Seven years since I was happily on my way home one dark, wintery night, the trunk full of groceries and my heart full of anticipation.
In just a few minutes I'd pass the farmhouse where my daughter lived with her husband and sons. She was expecting twins, and I couldn't wait! I knew I'd wave and honk as I drove past, eagerly thinking of the reunion.
Twelve minutes after Rachel's house, I'd see the familiar lane, lined with maple trees over a hundred years old. I'd see the porch light on, and know that the kids would pile out of the house to welcome me home and carry in the groceries.
Disoriented. Where were my glasses? What was that noise? Why was some guy opening my passenger door, telling me to turn off the engine?
"Are you all right?" he asked as he reached in and turned the key. (I hadn't done what he asked...it simply didn't register that the engine was still running, but the car wasn't moving. It was never moving again.)
I want my glasses. I can't see.
I plead with the man. "Can you find my glasses?" He feels for them on the floor of the car, and hands them to me.
Ah, that's better. They're crooked, but not broken.
At least I can see.
"Can you find my cell phone?"
He does, and I instantly call my hubby.
"I've been in an accident."
"Are you all right?"
"No, I can't move." I meant the car. The car wasn't going to move again. But Rick thought I was paralyzed. What was I thinking?
I wasn't thinking. I was in shock.
I managed to call 911. Through faltering lips I told them the intersection: Perth Line 44 and Road 150.
I snapped at the man who had driven right into my lane.
"No, I don't want to sit in your vehicle." (Leave me alone!)
My glasses-finder and cellphone rescuer noticed the shaking. Shock. He insisted I get out of my car, and helped me to his truck. My teeth were chattering and soon would crack, I thought. He turned up the heat.
Police. Ambulance. Rick. Mike. Hospital. Rachel. Waiting, waiting, waiting.
Waves of pain. Worry.
Am I going to die?
What are these waves of electricity running through my skull? Am I having a stroke?
"You're fine, Mrs. Billson. Go home and rest."
It's been nearly seven years, and I still remember many details of that evening. I remember how the snow felt, pelting against my face. I remember my heart leaping when I saw Rick drive up in the big truck. I remember worrying when I saw Mike (I didn't want to worry his pregnant wife, Rachel... with the twins!)
It's been nearly seven years, and I haven't had a day without pain. Not one day. My neck hurts. My head hurts. My back is tight and sore and painful. My chest hurts. And oh, how my shoulder hurts. Pain is ever-present. It keeps me awake at night. It keeps me from hobbies and fun. It keeps me feeling grouchy at times. Pain is my constant companion.
God takes the most eminent and choicest of His servants for the choicest and most eminent afflictions. They who have received most grace from God are able to bear most afflictions from God. Affliction does not hit the saint by chance, but by direction. God does not draw His bow at a venture. Every one of His arrows goes upon a special errand and touches no breast but his against whom it is sent. It is not only the grace, but the glory of a believer when we can stand and take affliction quietly.–Joseph Caryl
The Enemy meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.
He will bring beauty out of the ashes of the crash. He will teach patience in affliction, perseverance in the midst of pain. He will give grace to endure, and He will remind me that these past seven years are a light and momentary affliction, because GLORY is FOREVER.
I'm a little late in discovering this brother's blog, but Greg Lane is a most eminent and choice servant of the Most High God. I wish I'd known of his blog before this, because he's just announced that he won't be blogging any more, as ALS has robbed him of the ability to do so. He's written many a post, so go there and explore. I know I will.