God is good. So, so good.

It has been a long time since I have written anything. Many things have happened and changed since I first started writing as a new mom. Life keeps going and hopefully we keep growing. I have grown significantly since my first blogging days and I would love the opportunity to share that all eventually. But in this moment, I have been feeling the overwhelming urge to share the most important growth, my love for Jesus. I can feel the eye-rolls now. That is okay. I get it. However, stick with me for a minute and I can explain more.

Jesus has been pulling at my heart for years. Years. I listen, pull closer and then I pull away, wanting to control my own life and not give my life to Him. Well, it is truth what is said about Jesus. He will leave the 99 to rescue the 1. Jesus has pursued me in many instances and finally, finally, I am free from some pretty terrible things that have been weighing so heavily on my heart. My heart has so much forgiveness for myself and others, grace for mistakes that I make and others, and overflowing love. I will share this story soon…I just need to pray a bit more for the right words to share the amazingness of God’s grace.

What called me to write today is a moment. A instant. A second.

My husband and I were in a car accident on December 2nd. Not a fender-bender. Not an oopsie. But a three ambulance, fire trucks, first responders, stop traffic, airbags deployed, accident. Thank the Lord, the only injuries were non-life threatening. But, still there will be thousands of dollars worth of medical bills and on-going pain and doctors appointments for Nate and I. This was a horrible moment.

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A moment before this moment, Nate and I had taken a personal day to drive to Duluth (an hour and a half from our town) to go Christmas shopping for our children. This year I have been craving some closer moments with my best friend and to share the joy and stress of preparing for Christmas with him. I was so excited to walk the stores with him and daydream about the excitement our children’s faces when they open up the gifts we found for them. I was also really excited to just walk, hand in hand with my spouse, sipping on my favorite Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte, and soaking in the lights and smells that are the consumerism version of Christmas.

Well, Jesus had different plans.

It is easy to get really down upon the drastic change of plans and the destruction that is this major inconvenience on life. Nate will be out of work for at least the next two weeks. I will have many upcoming appointments to support my knees and my weakened shoulder and chest. I could keep going, but really, my heart keeps focusing on the good. So much good. Let me share with you the amazingness that is God and His ability to show you the good and make good from hard situations.

  • We are alive. Truly by the grace of God, we are alive.
  • God had called us to live across the street from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law   for countless numbers of reasons and it shows in our daily lives.
    •  Family showed up. My sister-in-law met us at the hospital, immediately embraced me, and I cried. I cried because we are okay and she knew that. She took a picture of the pants that they had cut off so she would know which ones to order and quickly replaced my favorite jeans. She checked on Nate and I, walking between different ER rooms, updating each of us on the others’ status. She has taken Nate to the doctor because I was worried about him driving. She has organized meals for us. Etc. Etc. Etc.
  •  God works at relationships.
    • Family from out of town reached out and continue to check on us and bridge connections.
    • Coworkers and acquaintances have reached out to check on us and support us. People who I did not know if they knew my name, let alone show care, reached out.
  • God planted us in the most amazing community.
    • Our friends brought meals, warm and delicious meals, so that we did not have to be worried about cooking or grocery shopping.
    • The tree farm, where we go cut down our own tree each year, were gracious to us, helping us pick out a pre-cut tree, cutting the stump fresh for us, and helping us to load the tree in our truck.
    • Our friends came over to help us carry in our Christmas tree and set it up for us. I bet this year the tree won’t fall over.
    • Our teaching partners laid out all of our sub plans for us, so that we did not have to worry about school for a few days.
    • I work at the same school our children attend. Our children were given such extra love this week as people were checking on them and listening to them as they shared their concerns.
    • God brought us to West Cohasset Chapel, which has been our church for the last 8 years. Families from this church have been checking on us, praying for us, and providing meals for us.
    • A friend of ours had already been our insurance agent, through Greater Insurance Services. She has been such a blessing to us. She has worked in all the details to help us navigate the world that is insurance, focusing on getting us set for right now, making sure we have proper medical care, dealing with a vehicle that has been deemed a total loss, and walking me through the step by step expectations of mountains of paperwork. She knows us and is advocating for us. She also knows me and knows what to filter from me because of how I worry.
    • We have been going to the same car dealership since I was pregnant with our oldest daughter. After the accident I called to see if we could rent a car from them. Given that we live in snowy northern Minnesota and we have a long gravel driveway, I was not willing to drive a small 2-wheel drive car while we waited to see the plans for our vehicle. While they stated they could not rent me a car because of liability reasons, they offered a vehicle for me to test drive for a few days. This was such a blessing.
      • Then once we were informed that our car was officially considered a total loss, on the same day we realized our December car payment went through on the day of the accident, we were very concerned on how we would come up with an additional car payment to cover the cost so we could have a vehicle this month. After coming to the conclusion that we would just have to pursue a rental car through the insurance company until January, the car dealership, Grand Rapids GM, called us to inform us they would be covering our first month car payment. No strings, no repayment, just covering a gigantic car payment for us so that we could bring home, four days after the accident, a car that our family fits and and I feel safe in. What?!?! Who does that? Truly amazing.
  • God works at your heart.
    • This whole thing could have really set me in a horrible mood, especially at the holidays. Yet, my heart is so full of love and joy and a need to sing His praises. God is so good and I see so much good from this. I was sharing that with a friend last night and she said, “Only God can help us say crazy stuff like that.” She is right. Only God can work in your heart to help you see all the good in such a hard time.
    • Our kids were asking me about the car accident again today. It is so fresh on their minds, as daddy is home from work much more than he normally is and both mommy and daddy wobble about. They were showing fear in the situations and I said to them, “I am so grateful for the accident. It helped me to see how good God is and all the good there is.” I meant that, whole heartedly. I hope my children can see all the good and feel all the good from this situation and see the world this way moving forward.
    • One of the first things I prayed about after thanking God that Nate and I were alive was for the person who hit us to feel forgiveness. They made a poor choice, a misjudgement. But, it was an accident. There was no malicious intent. I am sure that the event was weighing heavily on their heart. I wanted them to feel forgiveness and to ease their feelings of guilt. I know that my heart alone would not have thought to intentionally think, let alone pray, for the other person in such a loving way. God does that.
  • God answers your prayers in ways you could never imagine yourself.
    • All I wanted for Christmas this year was time with my husband. He works approximately 55-60 hours a week. He had been gone for 10 days to hunt and before that we had been working conference week, which meant we only saw each other to sleep for a week. We were not together for Thanksgiving. I was missing my guy, a lot. I felt disconnected from him and wanted to be closer to him.
      • Nate is home now. A lot. He is not allowed to go back to work for at least two weeks, but may be more. As for that closeness, I have never felt closer. We were together in that accident for a purpose. He is so hurt because my amazing husband reached his arm over to protect me in the accident, causing additional strain on his left side when the vehicles collided. He also took the brunt of the pain because he steered the car towards a snowbank to try to avoid a complete t-bone, again to protect me. His gut reaction was to protect me and check on me. After we checked on one another and I saw that Nate’s neck was really hurting him, I jumped out of the car with adrenaline fueled power, called 911 and once I was sure help was on the way, my body then went into shock. But… I made sure help was coming to help him first. We love one another fiercely. We would do anything for the other one. I needed that reminder.
  • God gives perspective.
    • This was the worst accident either nate or I have been involved in. However, we walked away. I know many stories do not end this way. I do not share our story to belittle anyone else’s story. Awfulness happens. It happens to everyone, in varying levels on magnitude. Life stories are not handed out with an evenly distributed amount of sorrow and joy.
    • By sharing our story, I hope others can see how God can work in amazing ways.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. -Genesis 50:20

God is so, so good.

 

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