Last month, I wrote about our experience with our daughter’s accident. What I didn’t mention was that I had just started reading Anne Voskamp’s 1,000 Gifts that night before bed. The beginning of that book is quite heavy with sorrow, and it had taken me awhile to get into it. Finally, that night, I began again, reading of the tragic loss of Anne’s younger sister as a child, and of her two nephews as well. That’s as far as I got, then I turned out my light, and 3 hours later, the phone rang.
When one experiences a difficult time, there are anxieties and fears that must be dealt with. One of mine is getting back into that book. In my feeble, human brain, I was reading the book, which deals with loss, then came the accident. So I must never read that book again. I know that thought has no bearing according to Scripture, nevertheless, I am not over it yet.
Meanwhile, many of my friends have read the book and applied it’s principle of thankfulness for everything…every little thing. God says: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (I Thes.5:18) Why? Because He is worthy of it, and because He wants our good. Having a positive attitude helps us to be mentally healthy. So I want to share with you the blessings, yes blessings, that came out of this trial. No, I would not have chosen this for us… our daughter’s suffering, scars, and battle with pain. Yet nor would I give back any of the good that has come out of it:
1. Experiencing the love of God like never before… through His people and His Word.
2. Seeing my daughter’s total dependence on and trust in her Savior throughout her ordeal.
3. Getting to know her friends as they visited her in the hospital over and over… good kids, kids with a heart for God and desire to live for Him.
4. Making new friends–nurses Kelly and Jenna, faculty and staff from Liberty University, and a couple we knew casually in college who live in the area and who came to minister to us again and again. We now count them as close friends!
5. The precious times my husband and I had with our daughter, quietly sitting in her ICU room as she lay in her bed, alive and healing.
6. The times of praise and worship…. “church” services like I’d never known, as worship music students from Liberty University came to visit us, bringing guitars and willing voices.
7. A marriage strengthened, not damaged.
8. My increased hunger for God’s Word.
9. The surgery scars on both of her arms, which her friend placed in perspective when he said, “I love these scars. It’s like Jesus left His fingerprints.”
10. Our first-born… a gift twice given.