The children who came to help have gone. Our home is quiet. BJ rests his weary head as he sits up in the chair, trying to sleep. Both arms in casts and many broken bones in his chest, he needs help with everything, from drinking water to putting on his house shoes. This is tough for my independent, ‘I’ll get it done’ husband. His attitude has been great, and he even prays for me as we walk this new, but temporary, path together.
It is interesting how we got here.
On September 17 (has it only been a month?) I read in my devotion, “You will not find my Peace by engaging in excessive planning; attempting to control what will happen to you in the future. That is a commonly practiced form of unbelief.” I had written beside this passage, “Help me, Lord!”
That morning, in looking ahead over the next two months, I had two back to back conferences, an Essential Oils gathering, two week end trips for ministry and then an 11 day trip to Israel, leading a team of 33 people. My mind was trying to carve out small increments of time to pack, shop, and REST before boarding the plane on our great adventure.
As I read these words on September 17 I just couldn’t get it. I continually tried to trust, to stop making my plans and just take it one day at the time. I looked forward to being at those conferences, and was thrilled that we had been invited to minister to such precious people. But somehow, I couldn’t figure it all out. How would I have the energy and preparation time? So I kept looking at my calendar and feeling the anxiety mount, in spite of the words from my devotion.
All of this changed Wednesday evening, October 8 at 6:30 PM. Billy Joe was involved in an auto accident in which he received fractures in his right hand, two in his left arm, two in his sternum and 9 fractured ribs. Suddenly, all of my plans halted with one phone call.
One minute I was in Birmingham at the first conference; the next I was hurriedly packing my bags and driving home. Because my phone had been turned off, I didn’t receive the information about the accident until 10:30 PM. My sisters at the Ruach Journey conference all prayed and helped me leave quickly.
As I was driving down the mountain from the conference center, the song “You raise me up” began to play on K-love. And the tears came. Still somewhat in shock, I couldn’t precisely pinpoint what I was feeling, yet it felt good to just simply let those tears fall.
And just as quickly, they left.
After that one brief moment, I had no more tears. I drove the three hours home and went directly to the hospital where I was met by two of my daughters and my son. Ushered quickly into the SICU there was my precious spouse. With a crooked smile he whispered, “I love you.” As he held my hand with the two fingers that weren’t bandaged, we prayed. The next few days were a blur as he received wonderful, intensive nursing care night and day.
Still no tears. No emotions. Just do the next thing and move on. The outpouring of prayers, phone calls, texts and emails were incredible and supportive. All of the words were wonderful and encouraging. But still, no tears.
Was I in some sort of time warp? Just one day at the time.
Then the questions began to come to my mind. Were we still to go to Israel? Didn’t know. How would we manage at home? Didn’t know. Would the insurance be enough? Didn’t know. What would I be doing in the next week? The next month? Didn’t know.
Yet this song kept resonating in my heart: “You raise me up.” Although my emotions were flat, and I appreciated all of the visits, the calls, the texts, underneath there has been a quiet, peace, an assurance that He was not surprised by this accident. He didn’t have to go to plan B. He still had a plan for us and all I had to do was ‘the next thing.’
This morning I finally had a few minutes alone as BJ slept. I opened my devotion and it fell open to September 17 and my hand written note of “Help me, Lord!” I was able to smile as I read those words about my attempt to control all of my plans for the future. I smiled as I remembered the anxiety I felt the day I had read those words. Smiled at my attempt to try to trust the Lord with my future. How foolish we are sometimes, thinking that we really have THAT much control. In one quick moment, everything can change. But our Father doesn’t. He never changes. And that, my friend, is peace.
I still have very few tears. I still have no answers to my questions about next week or next month. But that is okay, because He is still here and He never changes.
This morning I watched one of my favorite YouTube clips just to remind myself of our loving Father, and how he is there for us. How we are strong when we are on his shoulders! How he has plans for us and knows our future.
Jeremiah 29:11 Says, “I know the plans I have for you…. Plans for good and not evil…. Plans to prosper you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” Plans that I cannot control nor change with all of my worry and anxiety.
And so we trust.
“You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.”