How do you find words for those moments when you feel the most deeply? The ones that bring you to your knees in gratitude, or leave you shaking with fear? How can words capture the entire range of raw human emotion and experience with all its nuance and fragility in the moments of life that leave their marks the most deeply on our souls?
I'm not sure words can. And if words even could, I'm not sure I will find them. But I feel compelled to try. Not because I'm unique among mankind, but because the Bible says, "One generation shall praise Thy works to another, and shall declare Thy mighty acts." Psalm 145:4
Starting earlier in this month, we were blessed with a special gift to start work on our road. To fully appreciate just what this means to us, please imagine a year of trekking roughly 100 yards back and forth from where we had to park the truck to our cabin. More than half that time we were slogging through mud and water carrying everything from sleeping children to building supplies. It would take too long (and distract from my point here) to go into very much detail about all the ins and outs of our road, but suffice it to say it was a project that we had hoped to have tackled much sooner and it just hadn't worked out. But as I am learning, God is the God of our stops as well as our starts, and His timing is so perfect. So, early Monday morning we got our first loads of dirt dumped. And because The Lord is so perfect in His detail, He allowed a co-worker of Ed's to volunteer to bring his tractor to help spread and pack the dirt, allowing us to not only get done in a little over an hour what would have taken us the rest of the week to complete (with all of us working and using shovels, buckets and a wagon), but also to get one more load of dirt dumped after the first two were spread. (And I'm sure that is the longest run-on sentence in the history of ever. =)
We have such a long driveway that Ed and I have a friendly little bet going as to how many more loads of dirt it will take to complete the driveway up to the cabin. I'm saying 10, Ed says 5 (my Dad says 12-15). I'll let y'all know who wins. =)
Anyway, I have to confess to a whole lot of doubt that this project was even going to be started before rains came again and made roadwork impossible for another 9 months, but The Lord always does exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think! And watching an almost total stranger spend hours of his day off to work on our road while we just watched, and then not accept payment, is one of the most humbling experiences ever. My prayer was one steady stream of "Thank you, Lord!". Moments like those, 'Thank you' feels so inadequate, and yet that is all you can say.
In amazes me how quickly we can move from one overwhelming experience to another….I feel as though we have been riding a wave of just one blessing after another over the last few months as we see one project after another be completed…and then last night we had an experience of a whole different kind. And yet one that leaves me more deeply thankful than any of our previous blessings.
I went Black Friday shopping yesterday with my sisters and cousins, and we had a good time chatting and laughing and seeing if there were any bargains to snag. After we were done, Josh and Rachel took me home. They hadn't been there is a few months so we spent a little time showing off all the improvements since they were last there, and then we all sat down for coffee. The kids were as usual shrieking and playing in the loft and enjoying their cousin. All in all a normal, happy evening. But we hadn't been sitting there long, when Wyatt slipped coming down the ladder from the loft and fell about 6 ft. landing on his front/side. Full body impact. It's one of those moments when time freezes and then restarts in slow-motion. Ed was there is a second, picking him up and taking him to the bed to examine him. (Side-note: Ed is an EMT, so he knew what to look for.) I was in a full panic and near hysteria and Ed initially wouldn't let me close, and rightly so! but there is no more helpless feeling in life than knowing your baby is in a life threatening crisis and there is not one single thing (physically) you can do to fix it. I was thrown on God's mercy and His alone. And in that moment, silently crying out to my Heavenly Father for the life and health of my baby boy, not even knowing what to pray or how to pray it….in that moment was crystalized the reality of life. We are living every moment dependent on God's grace and mercy whether we know it or not. And I think so often we lose sight of that fact. I know I do. I wouldn't have said I did, but it's these kind of moments to strip us bare and leave us with the raw truth of our own frailty before an Almighty God. I am, by nature, a do-er. If there is a problem, I want to find the solution. If there is a conflict, I want to resolve it. But God wants us to acknowledge that "without Me, ye can do nothing". In that moment, at the core of my being, I knew that. Not with my mind, but with my soul.
But our God…..is merciful and gracious.
Wyatt passed out for about 30 seconds right after Ed picked him up. And after he came to, he was foggy and confused and barely responsive in general. Nothing seemed broken, but he was so pale and fluttery that Ed decided pretty quick we needed to make a trip to the ER in Hattiesburg. Thankfully Josh and Rachel took our truck and all the kids to their house and let us use their car to go to the hospital.
We had prayer as we took off, and it is surprising how hard it is to admit aloud that our lives are in His hands in moments when that might turn out to have a different ending than we want to demand. The trip took as long as trips do at times like that and we spent it just trying to get him to stay awake. We sang and counted fingers and toes and asked questions, and while he would repeat with difficulty what we said he couldn't answer questions. He kept fading out and it was all I could do to keep him awake. Then just as I got out at the ER to go inside he started vomiting all over both of us. Thankfully we didn't have a long wait, they took us back pretty quick and then after an initial exam got him scheduled for CT scans of the head and neck. Of course, waiting always takes forever, but it gave me time to get cleaned up a bit and he got a gown and warm blankets. ( I had forgotten to even grab his little backpack, so we had NO clothes.) I was thankful that Ed and I were able to hold him through the entire wait and even when he went for his scans they let us go to and go his head and hands. He laid perfectly still for that which amazed and scared me. It was good for the scan but not normal for him at all! He did perk up for just a minute when the nurse gave him some stickers after that which was good to see but it didn't last long. Then we were back to the room to wait for the results. At this point he had been awake for so long, (it was about 10:00pm and he had fallen about 7:20pm) that when he started to doze we just let him sleep. We kept checking his breathing and skin temp and he napped about 20 min before he woke on his own. He seemed much more alert at this point even asking a few questions and noticing what was on the TV in the room, which was hugely encouraging to us. Shortly after that the Dr came in and let us know that all the scans were clear. They had waited to see how he was acting before they let us know the scan results, but they released us not long after that. My relief in hearing that left me feeling a little limp and shaky. I'm convinced the Lord performed a miracle on our behalf. All in all, not a long stay, just an intense one. By the time we headed for the waiting room, he was acting much more like himself.
We are so thankful for family who are always there when you need them. Josh had called all our family in Wiggins right after they took off, letting them know what happened and asking them to pray. We started getting texts and calls assuring us of prayer not long after we got to the hospital, and then Uncle Phil, Bryson, and Ivan drove up just to wait in the waiting room to find out how things were. Wyatt was able to greet them with a smile (although a pale one) and show them his stickers. And then Uncle Phil led us in a prayer of thanksgiving right there in the waiting room!
We spent the night in town with Josh's and Wyatt slept well and seems good as new today. I can't help wanting to keep him close and not let him do anything today, but I know it's not me that keeps him safe, it's the powerful, mighty God of the universe, Who sent His only Son to this earth to live and die for my sin. He loves my children more than I possibly could (hard as that is for me to fathom!) and our lives and times are in His hands.
This Thanksgiving, I'm more thankful than words that:
" Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable". Psalm 145:3