Monday, August 25, 2008

LAUNCH DATE: JUST A BROKEN BACK (Part Two)

PLEASE NOTE: This post is continued from LAUNCH DATE (Part One)

Of course, when you hear something like that in your head, the first thing you want to do is deny it. And I prayed, hard, and gave it to God. I must admit it was with some reservation that I said good-bye to Rich as he left a little later, but I refused to bow down to such a fear. He asked me if I wanted to go with him, but the kids were just about ready for naps, and I told him I'd just stay home with them.

I rambled around the house that afternoon while the kids slept, and finally stretched out on the couch. I never quite got to sleep, but I did get to a prayerful place of rest. That was a good thing, because the Lord knew I wasn't going to sleep that night.

I was running the kids through the tub late that afternoon when the phone rang. Even in remembering this, it seems surreal. It was my friend Jeri (she and her husband were also helping with the move). Her voice was shaky, and I knew immediately that something was wrong. "What happened?" I asked, and I began to tremble as I held the phone.

Rich went off the road , sailed (airborne) over an embankment, and came to rest in some bushes that halted his pickup truck and saved his life. He was conscious. He was on the way to the hospital in an ambulance. I was to meet them there.

What happened? He had evidently fallen asleep at the wheel or just zoned out, and he went off the road. A police officer saw the whole thing, and he said Rich missed hitting a light pole by mere inches. He missed crashing into a concrete culvert by the tiny bushes that brought his truck to a stop. The vehicle was totaled. If I (or any passenger) had been with him, I wouldn't have made it. This same police officer came to the hospital, 30 minutes away from the crash site, to see me. He had one burning question on his lips--one question that for him would be the only explanation for what he had seen that day: Was your husband a man of God? That's the only way he could be alive right now. God saved his life.

Rich was alive.
He was conscious.
No brain damage.
No internal injuries.
Just a broken back. And I say "just" because comparatively speaking, my sweet Rich "just" had a broken back.

It would not be the last picture. IT WOULD NOT!

Eight years later, I remember who showed up at the hospital that night, and from the bottom of my heart, I say thank you.
Thank you for sitting with me.
Thank you for being quiet with me.
Thank you for holding my hand.
Thank you for praying with me.
Thank you for not acting like everything was okay.
Thank you for understanding that it wasn't.

Eight years later, I remember one of the greatest encouragements I received. A couple from our church, Dale and Suzanne, came up to me several weeks later, on my first Sunday back at church. (Rich was confined to a hospital bed that we had set up in our living room. When I felt okay with leaving him for a few hours at a time, several of the guys from our Sunday school class took turns sitting with him while the kids and I went to church.) They told me their story of when Dale had broken his back.
Just like Rich.
And Suzanne encouraged me by affirming how hard she knew things were, taking care of Rich as well as three young children. Because she had been there, she understood. That was such a blessing to me. And Dale, who was the picture of health, gave me the assurance that Rich would be back on his feet in no time. Seeing two who had survived similar circumstances was like medicine to my soul. I knew that we would survive the days ahead.

But unfortunately, I didn't know anybody who could identify with the rest of my story. You see, by the time I had my talk with Suzanne and Dale, five thousand copies of BBC had been delivered to my house, and it seemed to me that God's timing was waaaaay off.

(LAUNCH DATE (Part Three) continues tomorrow.)

4 comments:

Chatty Kelly said...

What an amazing story. I wonder if it was Satan who whispered that lie into your ear? He is the father of lies (John 8:44).

I can't imagine what you went through, but I am so happy that you had a family of believers surrounding you and lifting you up.

5,000 copies of the book, probably in your living room with the hospital bed. Oh my. God does have an interesting sense of timing, doesn't he?

Rebecca Ingram Powell said...

Hi CK,

I'm 100% sure it was Satan!

My church family was awesome as they ministered to us during that time. And my folks and Rich's folks were all on hand.

Rich's dad came over every morning at 6am to check on Rich, fix a pot of coffee and bring him a newspaper. Those were sweet, sweet times.

More tomorrow!

My ADHD Me said...

I actually have goosebumps after reading that. And I know what you mean by "just" a broken back. When my son totaled his car a few weeks ago, with 4 other teenagers in the car with him, there was not a single injury. It was "just" a totaled car.
Even though a broken back is much worse than what we had to deal with, it could have been SO MUCH WORSE.

Truth4thejourney said...

Oh Rebecca this is amazine! God is so good. I cannot wait to read part 3 and see even more of God's mercy and grace being poured out on your lives. :)

Blessings,
Sonya

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