“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!”
Hello precious friends! Thank you for sharing in our story. It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and God will be glorified! If you are just joining us, you can catch up on part one and part two of the story that we have been sharing over the last week!
I began to regain consciousness in mid February. The first few days remain very vague to me. What was going on around me was confusing and strange and I wasn’t sure where I was or why. My inability to do anything and the horrific pain were the only certainties. I couldn’t swallow. I thought I’d never be able to walk again. Things were a blur. I am still amazed at the one thing I do clearly remember.
It’s the first thing that I really understood. I heard voices quoting scripture. I learned that my pastor and brother-in-law had sat at my bedside and read the Bible out loud to me for hours.
Butch was improving! I can’t begin to tell you the overwhelming excitement and joy when the doctor decided to take Butch off the rotating bed and to remove one of his chest tubes. The following day, which was day 21, I was shocked and overcome with emotion when the doctor said he was fairly confident that Butch could now breathe on his own. He was going to remove the ventilator! Tears of joy! Prayers of thanks to our Heavenly Father! Our great God had truly performed a miracle! The next day Butch was moved out of ICU and we were given a two room suite on the same floor. Yes, a suite!! One room was set up like a hospital room with a pull-out bed. The other room had two sofas with one making into a bed and a small kitchenette! I could be with Butch 24/7. Our loving Father continued to take care of our every need. We would spend nine days in the suite. Progress was very slow and painful.
A few days later, after being moved to Lakeshore in Birmingham, I began to understand more and to experience God’s peace and presence in all that was taking place. I learned of head trauma and numerous broken bones including my back in a number of places. Twelve broken ribs had punctured both lungs. The impact from the fall had taken a toll on everything inside of me. Amazingly all blood loss was internal. I didn’t have a scratch on me. I had experienced blood clots, staph infection and pneumonia among other things!
The road ahead would not be easy. What I faced was big. Too big for me!
But God strengthened me and I began to make progress. I understood from those that attended me that the recovery to some level of “normal” would likely take 18 -24 months. I could not face that without God, family, and friends. I didn’t have to! They were all there for me.
As the days moved on, I continued to learn and experience things that touched me much deeper than these injuries could ever reach. Pam’s life had been put on hold too. Her love and devotion to me and her tender care for me around the clock for weeks without rest brought emotional and physical healing to me. When I wasn’t aware the world even existed she was there. She was surrounded by so many that loved and cared for me by loving and taking care of her. The outpouring of prayers and provisions during this journey was astounding. Pam and I lived through the same thing but in a totally different way.
I was home for the first time in thirty-one days! As I pulled up our winding driveway, the emotions of the long days and nights were overwhelming! The house was quiet and dark, no one but me. I was past exhaustion. Sleep didn’t come. Butch was in rehab and was alone for the first time. I wanted to be with him. I arrived early the next morning for the first day of his therapy. He had not walked since he climbed a tree on January 18. He totally amazed the doctors and me with his first attempt using a walker. They were expecting two or three steps! No, not my determined man…fifty feet, 3 different times! For the rest of his stay, I was permitted to visit after 4 in the afternoon. I never missed being there.
February 23rd was a celebration…our thirty-fourth wedding anniversary. It was unusual, we had never celebrated in a hospital! But what a beautiful time of thanking our Father for the gift of life. There were so many days that I thought this anniversary would never happen. I arrived at Lakeshore with all the fixings for a romantic dinner. China, crystal, silver, table linens, pink roses, and a home-cooked meal I had prepared. I had candles and the staff allowed me to light them, overlooking obvious rules. I turned off the harsh hospital lights and with the flickering candlelight we wept. God had answered our heart cries. After dinner and cake for dessert, Butch had a surprise. He handed me a small box. Where did he get this, how did he have a gift? That would be impossible. When I opened the box, there was the most gorgeous tanzanite and diamond ring…I couldn’t believe it. My loving and thoughtful husband had purchased it before the accident and had tucked it away. He had the memory to tell our son where it was. Amazing how God was restoring his mind as He was his body!
There are dozens of things I could share, but out of consideration to you who are so gracious to take time to read our story, I will share only one. The time had come for Pam to go home and sleep in our bed and just be at the house for a few hours. I was only 60 miles away from home now and I encouraged her to go rest. I didn’t want her to leave me but certainly never admitted it. That first night was one of the most unusual nights I’ve ever experienced. It was late and quiet. I became scared and I have never felt as lonely as I felt that night. I later started running a fever and it became very high. A nurse came in that I had not seen before. It was not her normal floor and she was only filling in for someone. She was a follower of Christ and her Father was a pastor in their home country of Kenya. She tended my needs but stayed and shared stories of how God was working in Kenya. She then took both my hands in hers and prayed one of the sweetest prayers I’ve ever heard. She went on her way and I never saw her again. Maybe an angel who borrowed a nurses uniform!
With prayer and by God’s grace I would come home in March.
Our little abode looked like a castle on a hill to me. A friend who is now in heaven visited us a few days later. She opened her Bible and showed me an underlined verse with my name by it. I found out she revealed the verse to Pam at the hospital early on and had claimed it for me. It is found in Psalm 118:17 which reads; “ I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord”. Scripture tells us clearly that we have an appointment with death and afterwards the judgement! I may die today but January 18, 2007, was not my appointed time. I’m still not sure of all the reasons God spared me, but for sure one reason is that I may recount His wonderful deeds.
There will forever be physical reminders of all that happened, as you never get completely over these type injuries. But for the record; God has allowed me not only to walk again, but He lets me run! My Doctor once told me that a surgeon could improve the scars where tubes had been and eventually they would fade away.
I chose not to do that.
I see the scars every day and remember Whose I am.
May we always be aware that God makes small things big to reveal to us His constant presence in our everyday living. He makes big things small to demonstrate His power and sovereign grace.
He makes all things for our good and His Glory.
And one day He will make all things new!