This week’s journaling questions called us to reflect back over lives as well as to look at today…this week…to remember and see God’s faithfulness.
To begin the week, the Lord called me back to my Life Passage for 2013 from Isaiah 43: 16-20 NLT.
There are so many times in my life that flash through my mind as I look back and am reminded of his constant presence through the trials and challenges that God has safely brought me through, but one time in my life comes to the forefront and cannot be forgotten. So many have asked me how I can look back at the tragic car accident that my family went through on July 15, 2012, just eight months ago next Friday, and see God’s faithfulness. But I guess, it is all a matter of perspective. Yes, there was the horror of the accident itself and its lasting, tragic effects on my family as we lost our beloved Will…Daddy and the love of my life as he went on ahead of us to his heavenly home.
But in the midst of the trauma…God was faithful.
I was unconscious for so much of it. But I felt Him there…saw and experienced so much evidence of His faithfulness and constant presence.
I’ve already written about the amazing gift of being able to tell my beloved husband good-bye and encourage him as he left this earth and had a new birth into his heavenly home with our Lord. But there were so many more examples…today I am going to share one more very special one that I haven’t written about before.
Three days after the accident, I received a very, very special phone call from a man named Ron Shank. I was in the trauma unit of the hospital and I didn’t know his name and by normal hospital guidelines, he should never have been able to reach the phone in my private hospital room on the trauma unit…but he did…God is faithful.
Mr. Shank was extremely gracious and told me that he realized that I didn’t know him but he and his wife, Joni, had been at the scene of the accident. I was immediately fully attentive…as much as I could be in my dazed and medicated state. He apologized for disturbing me so soon after the accident and while I was still in the trauma unit but he wanted to check and see how the boys and I were doing and offer me condolences on the passing of my husband.
I was stunned. You see, I didn’t remember what happened that day. I only have very small windows of memory of moments and none of them gave me any information about what actually happened in the accident. I had prayed that God would help me to know what happened so that I would better understand what happened to me and to my family. And here was Mr. Shank, calling me. God is faithful.
I may have never met Ron and Joni at the accident, but you see…my boys and husband did.
Here is what Ron shared with me that day on the phone…
He and his family were traveling from the Ozarks back to their home in Tennessee that morning from their vacation. Everything seemed to delay their departure that day, which was unusual for them, and they were traveling through the area we were in much later than they would have been if things had been on schedule. They saw the accident.
They were traveling on the interstate right next to where the accident happened…when it happened and they immediately pulled off to the side of the highway, grabbed their son out of the car. Ron yelled to Joni to call 9-1-1 as they ran down the hill to where our car landed. He told me that when I was ready, he would be there and able to tell me what happened. I wanted to know right then.
He said that they saw our car launched into the air, flip, and then hit the ground on the front end and roll about three times before we landed on the passenger side of the car. (Someone, I can’t remember who, from my family later told me that we were rear ended on an outer road by a car that was going 85 miles an hour according to the accident report.) I felt sick to my stomach but needed to hear the rest.
As soon as they heard the boys scream, they headed to our car to see what they could do to help. Ron told me that he talked with Josh to see if he was OK and encouraged him and prayed with him. His voice was the voice I remember hearing when I was conscious while we waited for emergency help. He helped Josh to get through this horrific time. God is faithful.
Joni called 9-1-1 and described what they saw. Then he told me that there were many others who stopped too. Joni was the last person to speak with my Will and Ron was able to tell me what he said to her. God is faithful.
Joni and other amazing people there, with the help of the 9-1-1 operator were able to get Michael out of the backseat and away from the car. The rest of us were pinned in and had to be removed with the jaws of life. God is faithful.
Ron told me that day, that a long line of cars pulled off and people gathered around Michael, holding hands in a line to “block the sun” from his eyes and in the process to block him from seeing our car and what was happening there. God is faithful.
Another man, who we will never know, lay down on the ground next to Michael and prayed with him and talked with him and helped him through this terrifying experience. God is faithful.
Ron told me that there was a lady, whose name I will never know, who spent the whole time next to where I was and talked with me when I was conscious and prayed with me and made sure that I knew Jesus as my Lord and Savior, they weren’t sure I would survive. I barely remember glimpses of this, but because of his call, I know. He told me later in November that all anyone could see of me was my right arm resting on the ground next to the car, that is how pinned in and crushed I was. God is faithful!
Ron made sure to ask Josh if he knew Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior and was he saved. Josh was able to say yes and ask Ron to pray with him. God is faithful!
He told me that the rescue workers were able to get there very quickly and we were all removed from the vehicle. God is faithful!
In November, I got a call from Ron and Joni and they wanted to know if it would be OK if they stopped by our house to be able to hug the boys and meet me in person…if it wouldn’t be to traumatic for us to see them after the accident. I said YES!
Here is this amazing couple who gave me the insight to know more of what happened so that I could better be there for Josh and Michael who were awake and remember the entire accident and the aftermath. God is so faithful!!!
After everything we have been through…God has continued to fill each one of us with His joy and peace and the ability to be silly. God is faithful!
I had prayed that someday I could meet these beautiful people and thank them and hug them tight in person. I was given that blessed opportunity. It was so healing for all of us to be able to be together for a couple of hours and connect in our home. They were able to share more details with me in answer to my many, many questions for them. And I was once again, in awe of how everything happened right when churches were letting out and people were driving down the highway and outer road that we had been on, that so many people stopped to pray and help. God is faithful.
And that we had the blessing of being able to talk with, meet with, cry with, and form a new friendship with one of the precious families that helped my family through such a tragic and traumatic day.
I realize that I spent a lot of time sharing this story today. It was one of the major points in my life when God showed His faithfulness through His people. There are many other moments I will share with you another day.
God continues to be faithful in His care for my family through God’s people. He did it again this week. But you will need to wait till later (Saturday night, 2/9) to hear the “to be continued”.
I pray you can think back and remember a time when God was faithful in your past that you can record in your journal and in your memory for those days you need to be reminded that He is STILL faithful and will continue to carry you through.
I hope you will come back for part two!
I would love to hear your thoughts on God’s faithfulness…your stories of faith if you would like to share with me in the comments here! Each of your comments makes my day!
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Sitting at the feet of Jesus with so much to learn,