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Nov 13 2012

New Tuesday series…”Thanking God through the Tears”

 

Thanking God through the tears isn’t some that has always come easily for me. In fact, I’ve always struggled with becoming overwhelmed with panic first and not being able to find the reasons to give thanks until much farther after the circumstances that brought on the tears, trials or tragedy in my life.

Until the tragic accident that my family went through on July 15, 2012, that is how I know it is God at work in me. It is His strength in a time when I found/find myself weaker than I have ever been in my life.

It was then that the power and promise of this passage became my daily…my moment by moment reality…and I clung to it with unwavering faith only possible through the grace of God.

8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12: 8-10 ESV

The accident was a horrible tragedy in which…

…my precious husband, Will, went home to heaven after receiving severe injuries from the intense impact.

…the driver who hit us, a quiet man in his early 50s who somehow lost control of his car, also lost his life after being thrown from his car due to the impact.

…I was crushed and pinned underneath everyone and everything part inside the car when it finally stopped rolling and landed on its side balancing on the passenger side. I had to be cut out of the car with the jaws of life and I sustained many severe injuries including three fracture vertebrae in my neck, one fracture vertebrae (T10) in my mid back, seven fracture ribs, severe bruising down the entire right side of my body, and a severe head injury, loss of consciousness except for a few minutes at a time after the accident at the scene after being airlifted to the ER at a hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

…our sweet, four-year old son, Michael, who was in his booster seat in the back seat behind his daddy on the driver’s side of the car, was crushed against the back of the front seat and sustained a serious fracture of his left tibia and femur bones.

…our amazing, nine-year old son, Josh, who was in his booster seat in the back seat behind me on the passenger side of the car was crushed against the back of the front seat and was pinned underneath, was I. He sustained a minor laceration on his liver, a compound fracture of his right femur bone, and a serious fracture of his left femur bone. He too had to be cut out of the car with the jaws of life and airlifted to a hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

Michael in his wheelchair with Grandma at the hospital the day after his surgery.

Both boys were conscious through the entire accident and after the impact while we waited for the emergency workers to arrive and remember most of what happened.

That is the kind of weakness I am talking about.

That is the kind of tears I am talking about.

The ONLY reason I share the extent of the tragedy we experienced…is because God calls us to “boast in our weaknesses so that His real strength and power can be seen clearly and given the glory”!!!

All I had in those moments was His Grace and by His amazing, powerful grace…I knew that would be enough. I knew that He would carry us through. I trusted Him more strongly and confidently in those moments than I even knew was in me to do.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12: 9 ESV

In those moments, we were living a miracle and in the days, weeks and months following…we would continue to live, receive, and witness many miracles…and I remain in awe of how His power is made perfect in real weakness.

The first miracle is that I lived and our boys lived. You see we shouldn’t have lived…according to the emergency workers and the tow truck driver. In all of the accidents, of this severity, that they had been called to…the people involved did not survive. Josh, Michael and I survived.

But we didn’t just survive. We are LIVING, breathing, walking, the boys are running, none of us has to use walkers, and we are living independently, without aides in the home, we lived in before the accident. We are giving Glory to God for every single moment He has carried us through on this journey and continue to as He continues to carry us through.

How we got to this point is a journey of grace…a journey of giving thanks.

The change in me started with God’s power being made perfect as doctors, nurses, medical personnel, other patients and visitors while I was in the hospitals asked me if I was comfortable talking about what happened. My answer was the same each time…

“I am if you are comfortable hearing about the amazing ways that God worked through so many people and how His hand of protection and provision was on us the entire time.”

I was told that I was in shock. I was told that I shouldn’t be able to be so focused on all that God had done for us in the accident and afterward…but they agreed to hear my story…my way. And I would share how God rescued us and how His hand was on us and worked through so many people and I found myself giving praise and thanks to God each and every time I shared our story with tears running down my face.

The miracles and touch of God haven’t stopped. It has been a few months since that life altering day. I miss my husband more than I can ever, ever express in words. My heart is broken and living through the aftermath of the accident has NOT been easy. The tears flow down my cheeks as I write this article. But I continue to give thanks for the incredible miracles of God and how He carries me through each new day and each new challenge.  I continue to be amazed at how God is gifting us with moments of joy, of giggles, of discovering a new “normal” in life after the accident…mixed in with the tears.

Michael climbing the jungle gym the last week of October.

Through it all, I stand more confidently and gratefully in the deeper understanding I now have of this Scripture…

8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12: 8-10 ESV

This new Tuesday series…”Thanking God through the Tears”, isn’t an easy one for me to write. My mind is swirling with painful memories and emotions and flashbacks of that tragic time…but I also know, through His Grace…that I give thanks and the glory to God through my tears. The testimony that He has given me through this experience is painful yes…but it is filled with incredibly kind and generous people, healing relationships, and unquestionable miracles that all point to the power and saving power of God’s grace and love…and everything in me calls out to share it with you.

So I hope you will join me in this time of giving thanks through the tears as I give Him ALL the GLORY.

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Unwrapping His Grace,

Mary Joy

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About the author

Mary Joy

I am a broken daughter of God and a work in progress. I am passionate about encouraging women to embrace God's grace and faithfulness as I discover and share His faithfulness, grace and even joy in the messiness of my journey as a widowed (less than 2 yrs), homeschooling mom with a missionary's heart. I am in awe of how God fills me up and carries me through each day. My Heavenly Father leads me as I continue to parent and home school my two recovering and very active boys and encourage my beautiful teenage step-daughter (long distance) during her first year in of college. In every moment I see incredible evidence of God's healing love, grace and faithfulness. I am so blessed to be the creator, manager, and an author of Unwrapping His Grace as I lean on my Savior to lead us in this special web-ministry.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.surrenderedlivingnow.com/2012/11/13/new-tuesday-series-thanking-god-through-the-tears/

  • Nan

    Such a beautiful post, Mary Joy! And so wonderful to see your son climbing on that jungle gym toy! You truly DO have a message of mercy, and grace, and God’s faithfulness to you and your boys.

    I love the title, because there are many times when we do have to thank the Lord, in faith, through our tears. Like when I had my miscarriage after five years of trying, and when we lost the foster child we were going to adopt. Those were painful moments and yet we knew that God was in control. It really is the sacrifice of praise!

  • maria gaglio

    Mary Joy as i read all of what you and the boys have been through and how it has made you stronger and has made your faith in god deeper i am in awe of gods grace and goodness. As i remember myself yesterday sitting here depressed about life mind you my life is good, i think of what you have gone through and it gives me strenght in knowing God is always here for us and he will never leave nor forsake us. You motivate me to get out of this funk im in get on my knees and praise God for all the good and bad!No more pitty parties for me! I love cor12:8-10 and i will lean on it to give me strenght as i praise God for all he has done for you and your family and as he helps me. i hope this makes sense . its 4am here and couldnt sleep so i got up to check emails and read yours, its just what i need to hear. God is Good through the good and bad in our life and everything happens for a reason and it makes us stronger. God bless you and your children Mary Joy and thank you for sharing from your heart i know it must be so hard and i pray God gives you peace and comfort .thank you for helping me see the good in my life and not the negatives. ” I can do all things through Christ who strenghtens me” thats my verse i just ned to remember it .

  • Mama Bear

    This touched my heart. I know it must be hard to relive that day, but with the strength of our Lord, He gives you a voice. It will help others come to the same place of comfort and trust in the Lord. His plan is far greater than ours and He has it all laid out. You are such a continued encouragement to trust and obey…there is no other way. I loved seeing Michael on that jungle gym, climbing and showing what a true testimony he is and what God has done in his little life. He will tell this story for the rest of his life and so will Josh. 3 of you, sharing the gospel, it’s beautiful. Praying for your healing heart. Much love to each one of you. We pray and will continue to pray for you, each night. I love hearing my husband when he prays for the Pershing family. Imagine how many other families are doing the same in their quiet little homes. The power of prayer. God bless you and this ministering blog!

  • http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com/ Barbie

    Our tears and pain can be used to bring healing to so many. I am so grateful for you, for the way you share your pain openly and honestly. From the very first time I visited here, you have always remained positive and always gave Glory. I cannot imagine the depth of your pain. I know there are many private moments that we may never know about. But I do believe God is using you, and will continue to do so, to bring healing and HOPE to so many that are hurting. Carry on Mary Joy, and may the JOY of the LORD be your strength!

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