Thursday, January 5, 2012
nine years ago
Sometimes it feels like nine years ago, sometimes it feels like nine months. Regardless of how it feels, we a so thankful; so blessed.
This was Eric's patrol car from exactly nine years ago - to the hour - after his fellow officers and firefighters removed him from it.
A wonderful friend and mentor in Eric's life, Rich Hanson, posted this picture on facebook today saying: "This is a picture of God's graciousness over our lives and how he sometimes uses events to change our course. Eric came to Jesus through the ministry in Fairfield and became a CHP officer and survived this crash, it took 2+ hours to extricate him. Then God said you take your medical retirement and go be a missionary with your family, so her did. one of my hero's)"
I said to the kids today that next year we should have a big party for the 10 year anniversary. One of them said "A party celebrating that daddy had an accident?" Uh, no, not exactly! Celebrating how good God is, sillies - ten years knowing that Eric is still alive.
It is amazing how God works. Many people, including myself, look at difficult situations like this and get mad at God for allowing these things to happen. And indeed they are difficult. But God will always, ALWAYS turn the horrible into something good for those who love Him, trust Him and follow Him. ALWAYS.
Of course that doesn't mean that it isn't hard, it doesn't suck, it doesn't hurt and there aren't plenty of painful things along the way. But that is what makes it a faith journey - one that makes you see that God is good, no matter what.... so even if it looks and is horrible at many points during the pain, your trust in Him grows as you wait for Him to complete His Good plan.
God is good. He is Always Good and He can't do anything but Good.
GOODNESS can't do something bad.
Those few months after his accident weren't easy by any stretch. I gave birth to Cade a week later (and was in labor when the accident happened!.... that is another story.... but even though my contractions were 5 minutes apart, I prayed and begged God to let me wait to have our precious son another day - and He did.) and became the mother of four instead of three. When younger mothers have asked me how the transition was going from two kids to three I just laugh - I say I skipped that transition and went straight to four... one of them was just a really big baby! But this huge challenge was also one of the biggest blessings I have ever experienced - and again, only because of Christ.
During this time I had incredible peace and joy - peace and joy in horrible circumstances. It could only have come from God. I almost never felt anxious - even when Eric was in the ICU. That whole time - for months - were filled with a calmness and peace that only could be described as supernatural.
And I had the incredible, irreplaceable experience of being part of the Body of Christ in a way I had never seen before. Truly when one part suffered, all suffered with it - and all worked to support it. We were the part that was suffering but we carried through in amazing ways - meals for weeks and weeks, people coming to clean the house, mow the grass, build shelves in our garage (I always say they never would have been built if Eric didn't have the accident!) and the list goes on. People served and cared and served and cared - and not just for the first week or two but for months. It was amazing to be a part of; to be blessed so richly and loved so deeply. Incredible.
So now, nine years later, we sit in our house in Ecuador.....who would have thought. I still have four kids - but traded the big one in for a smaller, female version (and much more demanding!). Eric has said many many times that we would not be here, on this journey if he had not had that accident. It is hard to believe that one could say this, but I am so thankful that it happened.
Surely God knows best.