On 24February 2007, my husband and I received a phone call that no parent ever wants to receive. Our 15 year old son was a passenger in a near fatal car accident. I have had many difficult days in my life but that day was most definitely THE most difficult I have ever faced. Although he had his seat belt on, his head hit the metal divider between the front and rear windows and he suffered a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). I believe God brought us through that difficult time by preparing us for that day and by having certain people in our lives, one of whom was our family pastor who himself had lost a son. The following is an excerpt from my journaling dated 24Feb2010:
For my reading this morning I pulled out the notes that I took on 24Feb07 at a Beth Moore conference. Psalm 18:1-3 were words that God knew I would need that evening but, I almost did not receive these words from HIM. Why? Because at first I thought I was just too busy to go. Being a working mom, Saturday’s were catch up days…laundry, groceries, house cleaning, etc. Rick, who’s not as OCD as I used to be, told me I needed to go. He was actually going to be giving a brief devotion that day at the Upward Basketball program our church had. Unbeknownst to us, he was being prepared for that evening as well. So I went to the conference.
The first verses I wrote down were Psalm 40:1-3. It specifically touched on God lifting us up out of a slimy pit and setting us on firm ground. HE did that during the conference. Six months earlier we had gotten a restraining order against a young man who had been “stalking” our daughter and, in court on the Thursday before, he had been given probation for breaking the order yet again. I had told God that I’d forgiven this young man but, in reality, I was still holding on to this anger against him. And there was the anxiety that I felt, a fear that this boy would hurt our little girl, do something when we were not around to protect her. In Psalm 18:16-17 I read how God would draw me out of the pit and deliver me from my enemy. I learned that when God lifts us up and sets us on a rock, if I don’t stay on that rock, I’ll just slide back into that pit. There’s so much more but, the gist of this is, by the end of that day I was able to give up the anger I was holding onto and more importantly, I was able to once again trust that God would keep watch over my daughter. The weight on me had been lifted and I walked out of there that afternoon feeling free. What if I had not gone? What if I had not listened to God’s words?
That evening around 9pm we got the call about Richard. My initial feeling was a fear of losing him but, later in the evening, when the mother of the driver came over sobbing and apologizing and, I showed her Psalm 18:1-3 in a Bible someone had brought, that feeling began to change. Those verses, along with all the different things God had revealed to me earlier that day, helped me to know, that whatever the outcome would be…HE would give me the strength that I would need. God knew this was coming and he prepared Rick and I through the little devotion Rick prepared for that morning and the conference that I attended. One of the things I had Mari bring to me the next day was my Bible and the notebook with my notes from the conference. I was able to draw strength from those words I’d been given.
Now, had I not taken the time to go to the conference that day, had I not been open to hearing His words to me, had I not stopped to listen to His voice, would I have been able to get through that initial night or even the days that followed? Sometimes we just have to stop and listen. To be totally honest, there are still times that I don’t want to be quiet and listen but, when I do, I can feel myself being lifted up…on the rock. And that’s a good place to be. 🙂
“I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; He is my shield and the horn(power) of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” Psalm 18:1-3
Oh, if you’re wondering about my son Richard, he is doing well today. The TBI’s one lasting effect seems to be on his short term memory but, although he has to work just a little bit harder than others in school, he is in his fourth year of college. That’s definitely something for me to smile about.