Around the time of Easter I was invited to speak at a Women’s group which meets the first Wednesday of each month. So, tomorrow I will be speaking at their June meeting. At first I thought that I would share a message that I had shared with our congregation a few months ago, but I just couldn’t make it fit. I really wasn’t feeling it. So, I continued to ponder what my message would be. Then this past Sunday evening during a music celebration service, it hit me. Out of the blue it struck me that June 1st would mark six years since my family’s world was rocked (and when I say rocked, I mean ROCKED). My eyes started to get a bit watery as images began flashing through my mind. Let me pause for a bit to share with you what happened on June 1, 2005.
I was a childcare director at a local United Methodist church at this time, and usually was at the church from 5:30 AM till around 2:00 PM. That day though I didn’t leave until around 4:00 PM. I loaded my daughter Kirstin (then 3 years old) into the car and we headed home for the day. As I neared our house I noticed that the traffic was backed up. As I joined the traffic line, I thought to myself, “There must be a wreck.” The traffic line began to slowly move forward, and I looked ahead and saw that I was right. There was a wreck. As I got closer to the accident scene, I began thinking, “That car looks like my Mom’s car.” (The accident was right outside of her subdivision.) I began telling myself that there was no way that car was my Mom’s. It just looked like her car. The car was smashed, the ambulance was on the scene, and the police officer was directing traffic. I decided to reassure myself by driving into my Mom’s subdivision and driving past her house. I told myself that if her car was at home, then it definitely wasn’t her car. I drove past her house, and her car wasn’t in the car port. I circled around the neighborhood, telling myself over and over that it was not my Mom in the accident. As I pulled up to the highway and out of the subdivision, my heart dropped. My step-dad was pulling up to the scene, and he was getting out of his truck. I started to pull my car off to the side of the road, but remembered that I had a three-year old in the backseat. I continued to my house, and found someone to to watch my daughter while I returned to the scene. As I pulled up to the scene I was told by the police officer that he couldn’t give me any information, so I asked that he just tell my step-dad that I was on my way to the hospital.
I arrived at the hospital and found my brother and sister waiting. We all just burst into tears. It seemed so surreal. Some of my Mom’s neighbors were there as well. I called my pastor, as well as the pastor of the church that I worked. My sister, brother, and I were escorted to a private waiting area, and then my step-dad arrived. He was shaken, but held it together for us as we were in pieces. Not one of us knew what shape Mom was in or what her injuries were at this time. We just waited and cried and prayed and hoped. My pastor arrived and the tears kept coming. He prayed with us, and stayed with us as we waited. Finally we were told that we could see her. As we walked back to the emergency room area, we held each other not knowing what we would find. And then, there she was. My Mom strapped to a stretcher. Her head & neck in a brace. Her eyes told you of her fear and uncertainty. We talked with her for a bit, and then we were told she had to go into surgery. The doctor talked with my step-dad and informed him that my Mom’s neck was broken in the accident and it was unlikely that she would walk again. From this time till after surgery is a bit of blur for me, but I do remember being told that the doctor was sure that she would never walk or use her hands again (she is an artist….she needs her hands). I remember her being in ICU for a whole month, strapped to a rotating bed and hooked up to a ventilator and other machines.I remember the scares we had. I remember sitting in the ICU waiting room almost everyday (I think my family & I practically lived there). After the month in ICU, my Mom spent a month at the Shepherd’s Center in Atlanta, GA for rehab.
All the images are still so fresh in my mind. I can draw a detailed picture of where everyone was in the waiting room and ICU room (if I could draw well). I can tell you just about everybody who came by to visit with us, pray with us, or offer some other form of Christian love. I can tell you exactly what played continually on the CD player in my Mom’s ICU room (Watermark, Selah, & Josh Groban). And I can tell you of how awesome God was during this time in our lives!
You see my Mom has continued to defy the odds that were against her. She has been painting and drawing since her time in Atlanta. Her hands haven’t stopped working (shows what docs know), and she has regained some movement in her legs. Her injury is an incomplete injury, meaning her break in her neck didn’t completely break. She is partially paralyzed, but this hasn’t stopped her. My Mom’s attitude is still as awesome as ever. Her faith in God has only increased & become more solid. Her love for Jesus has increased, and her witness has only gotten better! You see during all of this, God continued to be faithful just as His word promises. He never left us. He never forsake us. He never turned His back on us. What He did do was continue to love us. He brought us together stronger as a family. He blessed us beyond measure with all of the love from others that was shown to us. And He proved Himself to be the Almighty God as my Mom continued to conquer through her difficulty! One thing that He shared with me during all of this was, “We are not asked to understand, only to trust Him.” When we trust God, we will be amazed at what all He will do.
So, this is just a bit of what I will be sharing tomorrow at the Women’s group. I want to share how trusting God even when things look grim, will bring the best rewards. Trusting God will never fail you my friend. So, I challenge you today to trust God in your darkness. You won’t be disappointed.
“Our God is greater! Our God is stronger! God you are higher than any other. Our God is healer, awesome in power. Our God! Our God!
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Grace & Peace