Mangled Grace

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It’s 1:30 in the morning. I’m curled up with Stanley cuddled in close. As sleep has captured me my phone begins to chime. I see I have missed a call, but this is from an unknown number. I never answer when it’s an unknown number calling. I look at this call and wonder, who in the world is calling at this hour. But with my eyes still sleepy I don’t notice the time until it rings again. This time I see that my husband should be walking through the door. The only thing that leaves my lips is, “Oh, sweet Jesus, please help”.

Fear of answering grabs hold of everything in me. But I hold my phone in hand and swipe, saying, “Hello”. My husband’s shaken voice is on the other end. He tells me he has been in an accident and is at the hospital. I’ve never heard my husband’s voice so shaken. He tells me I need to come. He assures me that he is okay. I again ask, “Are you okay?”, and he tells me, “I have a very large bump on my head, a cuts on my head, bruises, and cuts on my hands. Just come and be very safe driving to the hospital”. But see, I know that he isn’t going to tell me if something is seriously wrong because he knows I have to drive to a hospital I have never been to before and it will take me a while to get there. See, he’s all about protecting me.

I gather my clothes. I can feel myself shaking. I still don’t know all that happened. I just know I have to get to my husband. I seek my keys and head out in the dark. I hate driving in the night hours. My husband has always been here for these late night calls that bring fear. He would be the one driving us, but tonight it’s my husband on the other end of that call and here I am driving in the darkness of the unknown. This just isn’t suppose to happen, right? We never expect this to happen.

Tears but can’t help to fall. I start the engine and the Christian music station begins to play. I pull out of my drive and ask for God’s protection. Tears are falling and all that I speak is words to my Jesus. “Thank You, Jesus. Thank You.” I don’t know how long I say these words until prayer escapes. I am crying so hard now it’s hard to catch my breath. I raise my hand in praise. I then open my hands and share with Jesus, “All I have belongs to You, Jesus. Everything I am and all that I love I place back in Your hands. Forgive me for trying to hold on to all that You love.” I pray peace and healing over my husband from head to toe. I have no idea what I will see when I finally get to him.

The hospital is releasing him. I pull up to the ER and there is my husband. I touch him. I look him over. I feel the lump on his head. A lump so big that it feels like two eggs on top his head. He still has blood on him from his cuts. They have given him pain medication. He seems to ramble a bit as he shares what happened. He is still so shaken over what he has lived through. As I listen I feel like I’m in another dimension. Can this really be happening? I listen with such unbelief that my husband just went through such a traumatic experience. I just want to get him home. “Thank You, Jesus. Thank You for protecting my husband.”

On our drive home my husband shares with me how he was at a stop light and a drunk driver crashed into him. She and her passenger were so intoxicated they never tried to stop. They crashed into my husband at a full speed of at least seventy-five miles per hour. She hit my husband so hard she went under him, pushing the back of his truck up to where you cannot even tell there was a bed on his truck. He flipped end over end, spinning to a stop. She hit him so hard she ruptured the gas tank. Later we would hear from a fireman that if my husband would have stopped to fill up his truck would have blown up on impact.

See, my husband wasn’t just hit on impact. He took three massive hits. First being hit from behind, then when he slammed on the roof going upside down, and then slamming into the concrete electrical post. Finally coming to a stop one hundred feet away from impact.

Upside down, my husband is disoriented. He smells gas. He soon feels gas pouring on him. His pants and boots were covered in gasoline. He is fearful his truck is going to blow. He crawls out the side window. I cannot imagine the fear he was feeling. He was afraid of crawling out and having another car hit him. Once he is out he hears the people in the car who just crashed into him laughing. Can you imagine the horror of hearing people laughing and saying, “What the hell just happened?” They have no idea if my husband is dead or alive. Haven’t checked on him at all. A witness calls 911.

The ambulance arrives. The drunk driver and her drunk passenger are handcuffed along with the witness. The EMT in the ambulance shares with my husband, “There aren’t enough officers to haul to jail all of these people cuffed.”

I am listening to my husband tell this story and all I can feel at the moment is God’s grace for allowing my husband to survive. We would later know they had Air Evac on standby. We too would later hear that when the firemen and EMT heard the helicopter to be cancelled they thought my husband had died.

I would get my husband home, help him inside, and once again look him over. Adrenaline is still flowing in my husband. It’s just so unbelievable. There would be no sleep for us on this early morning. But my husband would soon close his eyes trying to relieve the pain. I laid next to him with quiet tears flowing. “Oh, sweet Jesus, thank You.”

See, these intoxicated people had no regard for life. They placed my husband’s life in the pathway of their poor choice to get behind the wheel. This is nothing less than attempted murder. Is the passenger guilty as well? Yes. She too had an obligation to check themselves and if they were drunk all it would have taken is one person to speak up. One person to not allow the keys to enter the ignition. These people could have taken the life of my husband, our children’s father, our grandchildren’s Papa, his parents youngest son. They had a choice. My husband did not. He was on the receiving end of their choice.

Grace. I could have received a different call. I could have received a call that husband was not coming home. I would have woken to a different life all together. If you were to ask me where my thoughts are today I would share with you all the different scenarios that could have been because of the poor choices of others.

Today my husband is suffering from Post Concussive Syndrome. It has not been easy. He has a long road ahead of him. Healing is coming. Patience isn’t easy, but this is where we are and this is what our Lord has called us to do.

I am blessed to kiss my husband good night tonight. But I know what happens on the other side of a drunk driver. My friend, Bobbie, lost her son on September 12, 2014 to drunk drivers who decided to race at extremely high speeds. The lead driver would crash his car into Donnie as he waited for the school bus. To read of Donnie’s story follow the link: https://robinsnest66.blogspot.com/2014/09/my-letter-to-my-friend-bobbie.html.

In these past weeks I haven’t slept much. I wake at night and I envision my husband covered in gasoline, crawling out of his truck. I can see his truck on fire. I can envision all that could have happened. I can even tell you I hate answering my phone. Anxiety has blanketed my life once again. I can’t think of my husband’s crash without thinking about Donnie. My mind churns from peace to anger.

Oh, yes, the sweet grace of God, has blessed our lives. What else do I envision? God knew this was going to happen. He knew these people would make the poor choice to drink and drive. He knew my husband would be in their path. I can so clearly see the hand of God upon my husband. I see His hands cradling my husband’s head, where the top of his truck was crunched right above his head. The back of his truck had pushed into his seat. This is nothing short of the grace of God.

Where there is evil there are angels presiding. These angels covered my husband with their mighty hand. What Satan has meant for evil God will use for His glory. I have no doubt more of His glory will be unveiled to us. He has already shown us so much of Himself. Oh, if we could only see the spiritual side of this life as angels protect and as God’s hand covers us.

My husband asks me, “Rob, what’s wrong? I know you’re so tired, but what else is it?” Tears come so easily. I can’t imagine my life without my husband. There is a battle ragging within me. I know God’s grace. I feel His presence with us. But there is also anger. The moment I seen my husband’s truck I thought for sure my knees would give way. I couldn’t breath. The only word that would escape was, “Jesus”. In all this mangled mess was God’s grace! God gives opportunity for me to share the grace of God saved my husband. Not luck. No happenstance. I too am given opportunity to share Donnie’s story. God is so good to give us opportunity to share of His love.

These past weeks have been so difficult for my husband. I wish I could share those aspects of his healing, but that story just can’t be shared yet. I can tell you that these weeks have taken a toll and the unknown of tomorrow brings its own set of frustration. Which leads me to share the what if it had been a different call?

If it had been a different call, would I still be praising God? Would my faith still be mighty or would I be struggling with questions that I don’t even want to speak? I can only hope I would be praising Him, but as for now, I know He is with me as I battle all of these emotions that have seemed to block me in.

I hold my husband’s hand a little tighter. I am so grateful to have him with me. I don’t know when he will be 100%. That may be a long time off. It could be tomorrow. But with all the unknowns what I do know is that every step of the way our Jesus is with us. I know that He has changed both of us in ways we never imagined. He has brought us this far and He isn’t about to leave us where we are. We are in for the journey as long as our Jesus is leading the way.

You can read more of our continuing journey here, Jericho High, where I will share this rocky road in hopes of changing lives so no one else will have to endure what we are living today.

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