Thursday, May 17, 2007

better than you could ever imagine...

May 10, 2007 will definitely be inserted in the timeline of
personal, historical events. Car accidents are nothing out of the norm; how many
people do you know who have never been involved in one? We hear about
these incidences frequently, even if one is heard of while listening to the rush
hour traffice report. But what happens when you find yourself involved in such a
dilemma, thinking to yourself, "That traffic helicopter up there is looking at
this very automobile accident"? While such events are far from uncommon, the
aftermath varies drastically from person to person.



If someone asked me what my very first thought was, this would be it: "Is my nose still attached?" Both airbags ejected from their compartments when I slammed into the woman who decided she was going to forego any rules regarding right of way. I remember putting my foot on the brake, but still had no reaction time in order to slow down. All I could do was stare straight ahead at the car I was about to hit, and brace myself. So I braced myself, and when I opened my eyes, the first thing I felt was the burning sensation on my nose. After reassurance that my nose was still attached, I went into panic mode. When airbags deploy, a white powder comes out, so I found myself choking and grasping for air since some had apparently gone down my throat. The witness who stayed at the scene appeared almost immediately at my drivers side door, and had to pry it open for me to exit since the impact severely damaged the car's frame. Upon exiting the car, I was able to gain control of my breathing and also noticed that I had a couple of burns on my wrists also caused by the airbags. All I could do was cry from the shock of the crash, trying to actually realize that this had just happened. I often replay the accident in my head, remembering how it felt to hit the other car, and the panic that immediately took over in wondering whether or not I was injured.


My car is currently sitting in the driveway waiting for someone to come and take a look. There is very little question as to the possibility of it being restored, so I have been trying to work my way through the various, detailed steps of purchasing a new car and insurance as well. I have no idea what the insurance company will give me in the event that the car is totaled, so there will be a waiting period over the next couple of days until they actually provide a quote of the damage.

I was talking with
one of my dearest friends last night and asked her if she still deals with feelings of being a kid in an adult world. All of this is so surreal, and the events of the past week are a blur. I finished a book on Saturday which has now been added to my personal list of favorites and recommendations: Suffering and the Sovereignty of God, eds. John Piper and Justin Taylor. I originally began reading the book as the day of my MRI was quickly approaching (see previous post regarding the MRI). In the midst of everything that happened with my car accident, the results of my MRI were put on hold. However, the reading and reflection on such a book could not have come at a better time. In the midst of a week filled with questions, some of which remain unanswered, the Lord used the words of godly men and women to bring comfort to my soul. My small group from church met on Sunday night, and I shared with them some of what the Lord has done and shown me during these recent events. I recalled events from this time last year, recollecting how dark that time was as I learned the nature of my medical condition, learned of my brother's cancer, and found myself facing certain financial debt. I shared with them that it was the darkest season to date, and a time when I cried out to the Lord knowing he was there, but clamoring for the light in the midst of such a lonely valley. As I was telling my small group, my eyes welled up as I shared my thoughts looking back on that time in my life. Yes, it was the darkest season, and yet I can see how perfectly orchestrated those days and minutes were in my history. I can see where the Lord's grace was sufficient for each given moment, and know that such grace was the exact amount I needed during those passing minutes. And now...in the midst of another uncertain and scary season, I can see this "slight and momentary affliction" much more clearly. I can look back at last year and know that the Lord was preparing me then for now...and that He's preparing me now for seasons which still remain a mystery. So in the midst of not knowing the status of my poor car, not knowing anything about insurance or bank loans for new cars, blowing my nose every five minutes due to my immune system taking quite a blow this week, I can rest. Although I have moments of anxiety or wonder, I rest--knowing that He who spared my life has done so for reasons which have yet to be revealed. Here are some of the quotes I have written in my journal after reading Suffering and the Sovereignty of God:

  • "Many of us have tasted such grief...I have had seasons of perplexity about God's providence that have been so deep that night after night sleep has fled from me. Yet these griefs have been God's gifts. For only by such severe suffering has my loving Father broken me free of some of my deeper idolatries. In the nights' watches, while others sleep, my wakeful heart must find rest in Him or it will find no rest at all." ~Talbot, 75-76
  • "We have an idea that if we do what God wants us to do, then He owes us to take the suffering away. I believed that; I don't believe that anymore." ~Steve Saint, 118
  • "He will make you stop. You will struggle. He will bring you up short. You will hurt. He will take His time. You will grow in faith and in love. He will deeply delight you. You will find the process harder than you ever imagined--and better. Goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life (Ps. 23:6). No matter how many times you've heard it, no matter how long you've known it, no matter how well you can say it, God's answer will come to mean something better than you could ever imagine." ~Powlison, 146
  • "There is inevitably an aloneness in suffering because no one can fully enter another's experience...God ensures that human aid will never substitute for the Lord who alone comes fully near. But we can bear each other's burdens with love, and we can counsel each other with truth. The give and take of wise love is one of life's most significant joys." ~Powlison, 166

When I am afraid I put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust: I shall not be afraid. ~Psalm 56

5 comments:

Gretchen said...

Grace,

This post is amazing. Thank you so much for your transparency, and appropriate thinking. Your thoughts are just precious.

I am so sorry about your wreck. I am truly glad and thankful that you were protected from personal injury. I'm sure it was totally frightening, but how precious to see what a slender strand your life is. . . a breath, anytime, could end it. Praise the Lord for His preservation!

I most certainly want to borrow that book, friend! Great quotes. Last Sunday Dr. Ware preached about the Affliction of Job, and it was such an unbelievable sermon. I want to EMBRACE that mindset! I know that my life has no suffering, really. It is even the small sufferings, though, that can be given as acts of worship to the Father -- to gladly bring our little lamb as a sacrifice!

Bless you for this real and excellent post.

Panda-Mom said...

Ouch. Your car is worse than I had pictured it. It is a miracle that you weren't hurt any worse than a bang up, girl. Glad you are OK. (((hug)))

Panda-Mom said...

You are such a Greek and I don't know how you stand yourself! LOLOLOLOLOLOL!

ColoradoDreaming said...

hey Jenn. Glad to know you are doing well, even though you had a bad accident. I totaled a new car a couple of years ago and it was hard. This is Terri Harr, incase you can't tell, lol. Would love to connect you with Sami. She was talking about you the other day! you were a real mentor to her. She is 20 now! Living on her own and doing great! Getting ready to step back into ministry with youth. Talk to you soon!

Jenn Swadell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.