It’s the phone call nobody wants and everyone dreads. Even as I type these words I know the thought of it happening to you or the reminder that it has already happened in your past makes people’s hearts sink. So why do I bring it up? Why talk about it? Miracles still occur and we must talk about them.
At a time when most of us find frustration, bitterness, and disappointment at the top of our list of emotions, I want to proclaim that I’ve seen God's hand move and I recognize it. Most of you have seen God’s hand move with us because you prayed for it and witnessed it through this irritating medium called “Facebook.”
I shared with a friend of mine recently that I am not ready to share all the details of our experience. It’s still too fresh; still too painful. That phone call on a Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. told us our son, our oldest son, our soldier son had been involved in a serious accident and he’d been flown by helicopter to the nearest trauma hospital.
I admit my first reaction was doubt. I knew the caller wasn’t embellishing the story. Her words and her tone were too serious for me to think that she was blowing things out of proportion. I knew this caller wouldn’t worry me if it wasn’t absolutely necessary but my mind thought immediately, “It can’t be that bad. It simply can’t be that bad.”
I remember texting my son typing, “Call me as soon as possible.” I fully expected him to call and tell me everything was good. I needed him to call and tell me everything was ok. I needed it all to be ok.
The phone rang again but it wasn’t him. It wasn’t his passenger. It was more bad news. It was in that instant, during the second phone call, I knew – it really was that bad.
I asked the caller to talk to my husband. Not because I am weak but because I knew my husband would understand the Paramedic lingo and the details at the scene of this emergency. As I handed him the phone, I walked away. I leaned up against the wall to prevent myself from falling over and my prayer came, “Lord, I trust You. No matter what that looks like – I trust You.”
We began to piece together the fragments of a phone-call puzzle consisting of many, many phone calls. We knew it was serious. I continued to pray aloud, “Lord, I trust You.”
What came next were some of the hardest and most excruciating hours of my life but they produced one the greatest blessings. We drove four hours in the middle of the night not knowing what we would find at the end of our trip. My husband, his daddy, continued making phone calls attempting to gather every detail possible. I drove. It was better that way. I could focus on driving and focus on my simple prayer, which prevented my mind from going to that bad side of fear.
“Lord, I trust you regardless of what we find. You have never left us. You never forsake us. I trust him with You.”
This was our soldier son who had returned from seven deployments physically unscathed. The emotional battles have been the hardest on all of us – the fear, the separation, the brutal memories that go unspoken because no one wants to try and grasp that side of war. Not even those who see it.
He returned to us seven times allowing us to welcome him home; always with such joy and relief. I wanted to get to him now. But I would do my best to get us there safely. He needed us.
It’s funny what you remember in times of tragedy and pain. I walked into the hospital room at 2:00 in the morning and saw his eyes. He was awake. I will not share what transpired over the next four days but we literally watched God’s hand move through medical personnel and military liaisons working everything together for the good of my son and according to God’s purpose.
To this day, I find myself constantly saying, “Thank You, God. Thank you.”
The road has been stressful and difficult. We’ve seen the very best in people as everyone prayed and offered ways to support us. His journey has been a remarkable one. The soldier oozes out of his body as he refuses to allow this to keep him down.
I chose to stay awake that first night sitting next to him with his dad an arm-length away on a very small couch, I stared at him refusing to take my eyes off of him. Every so often, he’d open his eyes and look around the dimly lit room to see who was there. His eyes would meet mine and I’d smile. He’d smile back.
“Thank You, God.”
Before this event, I wondered what people without faith do in times of great stress and deep tragedy. Please remember that I was born and raised in an authentic Christian home. I do not know life without God. I can’t imagine not having Him walk with me daily. I am not boasting. Quite the opposite, I found His strength in my weakness.
*The artwork entitled, “Lonely Louisiana Highway,” is copyrighted along with this blogsite.