Woman tells her angelic tale
By: Tammy Rollie
| Posted: Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 08:38 am
An Okotokian’s story of answered prayer which saved her life is reaching thousands of households this winter through a renowned book series.
Irene Bastian’s recollection of a frightening life and death incident with an ornery cow is featured in the book “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels Among Us,” which tells 101 stories of miracles, faith and answered prayers.
The 20-year-old “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series shares collections of short, inspirational stories and motivational essays from people all over the world with more than 250 publications selling millions of copies in 54 languages worldwide.
Bastian’s submission “Seeing Red” reveals her encounter with a cow named “Red” about 20 years ago on the family farm.
“She was always a little cranky,” Bastian recalled of the cow. “She was one you had to watch yourself around. She would look at you and shake her head and give you a warning.”
Bastian went out one morning to check on the pregnant cow and was unexpectedly attacked by the animal. Her husband was at work and her daughter, who she homeschooled, was in the house, so Bastian had no one to help her.
Bastian said Red continuously rammed her and proceeded to stand on her back, pawing at Bastian with her hooves and hitting Bastian’s head with her own every time the battered woman tried to get to her feet.
“I felt I was going to possibly die,” she said. “That’s when I realized I could call on the Lord.”
After calling out, “Lord, help me!” Red ran to the far side of the corral, her gaze fixed in fear.
“It was very sudden the way the cow ran away,” she said. “I thought she would come towards me and she didn’t.”
Bastian recalls feeling a force help her to her feet and back to her house. She suffered numerous bruises and broken ribs as a result of the attack.
This isn’t the only miracle the Bastian family experienced. One day they were coming home from Red Deer when an oncoming vehicle went out of control and veered towards them. Rather than striking their vehicle, Bastian said it literally flew over them and into a field.
Bastian said these incidents strengthened the family’s faith in God.
“Our whole life has changed,” she said. “I don’t think we would get through some of the situations we had gotten through if it hadn’t been our faith in Christ.”
Bastian said the incident with Red left her nervous around cattle for a while.
“It took me several months before I would walk in the field among the herd,” she said. “I knew I had to do that to get over the fear.”
Bastian said she is glad to share her story with others through “Chicken Soup for the Soul.”
“I feel good about having something published for one thing and I hope people realize that there are angels that help protect us, that God does have his hand upon us and we can reach out to him,” she said.
Bastian surfs the Chicken Soup for the Soul website frequently and when she saw the angels topic she knew her story was a good fit. She has also had other stories published in magazines and anthologies.
Amy Newmark, publisher of Chicken Soup for the Soul, said she wanted a book strictly on angels following the success of “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages from Heaven” last year. The publication became a national best seller.
Thousands of stories were submitted online and Newmark said it was hard to choose just 101.
“It’s 101 awesome stories about extraordinary things happening to normal people,” she said. “Whether you are religious or not you read the stories and say, ‘I can’t really explain how that happened.’ Anyone who has an open mind will enjoy these stories.”
Newmark said Bastian’s story gave her chills.
“Irene’s story is one of my favourite ones,” she said. “It’s really different and it just seemed like there was such an obvious link between her yelling out for help and then all of a sudden the cow just stopped and turned and ran away. Hers was a great example of a story you cannot explain away.”
Even recently when Newmark picked it up again she was not able to put it down.
“I was rereading the book a few weeks ago before it was coming out and I said to one of my editors, ‘This is really good,’” she said. “When you are making it you get so involved in it you don’t see it the way a reader would see it.”
“Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels Among Us” was released Jan. 1 and will soon be available in local book stores and can be purchased online at www.amazon.com