Two years on

Today is August 1st, the second anniversary of our son’s motorcycle accident, where he lost control at a corner and collided with a steel road barrier, severing off his left leg and badly mutilating the other.  It was the day when our world was turned completely upside down.  The weeks following were an absolute nightmare.  Looking back, we wonder how we ever got through it.  If it wasn’t for God’s sustaining grace and the faithful prayers of his people, the outcome may have been quite different.

Even so, the whole episode has affected us more than we both realized (perhaps I was the slower to admit it), and it is only now, two years on, that we feel that life has retained a measure of stability.  It has made me think quite differently about those who go through some kind of trauma.  It can leave even the strongest of us feeling weak, battered and a little frail about the edges for months – perhaps even years afterwards.

Francelle put some of her thoughts down on paper (it is the first time she has been able to do so since the accident).  I asked her if I could include in this blog.  She graciously agreed.  So here it is.

As I’ve been reflecting over the past two years, I’d thought I’d share three things that God has taught me in the midst of our new normal.

God’s grace is sufficient. It seems like a cliché, until you really experience it.  I can still remember the awful terror rushing towards me like a speeding freight train when we first got the news.  I covered my ears, not wanting to know if Mark was dead or alive.  But in that place, God met me and sustained me.  He really does walk with us in the valley of the shadow of death.  I remember filling my heart with the truth of God’s word and calling out and asking Him to with me—and He was.

God’s love is shown through His children. In those early days, Peter and I were surrounded by love and tangible support from our brothers and sisters in Christ.  One couple laid everything aside and drove over 14 hours to be with us during those early days in the hospital, sharing with us in our sorrow as we dealt with the repetition of telling Mark he had lost a leg, experiencing the grief time and again.  But not only friends and family helped-the people of God surrounded us with help and love in so many tangible ways.  I knew God loved us because God’s people were caring for us.

God calls us to walk the life of faith. Hebrew 11:1 tells us Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. The walk of faith calls us to dwell in the realm of the unseen. When tragedy strikes, it purifies the heart.  Do I really believe that God works all things out for the good of those who love Him? 

Not every story has a happy ending.  While Mark survived in a miraculous way, he will live with the damage done to his body all his life.  And as yet, he has not chosen to follow the God who saved his life.  But I do know that God is faithful and all of His promises are Yes and Amen (2 Cor 1:20).  However, I recognise that I may not live to see all that God would do because of this tragedy, just as the saints of old did not receive what was promised.  But while I wait, I can continue to fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith (Heb 12:2).

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