Its been a bit of a sobering week for me. And for many others as well.
For me things started to change on Thursday night. I was out with friends doing a bible study and had left to come home. And in the car, i turned off the radio and began to pray. I wanted to have some time--just me and God-- i wanted to talk and to really listen to what he wanted me to hear. And many times i had to re-focus my brain and tell it that i was praying and that i was trying to be still and know that He is God.
And that's a hard things to do. I had just watched a video at our Moms group on Wednesday that challenged us to take time alone with God. Not at a bible study, not at church, or surrounded by people. But really be alone. Just you and God. She talked about how difficult that is, especially as a woman, as we have so many tasks that are always on our brain and on our to do list. But also how very important that time is in creating a satisfaction in Him. And nothing else.
So that is what triggered my Thursday night quiet time in the rain on the way home at 10:30. And as i prayed my mind went from one thing to another to another to another and where it landed was on prayer. I decided ( He revealed to me) that i wanted to pray scriptures for my kids each morning before i got out of bed. I felt so filled by this notion. It felt like a change and a new direction for my morning routines. Even if i had a child--that happened to appear in my bed sometime during the night--i could still lay there and pray.
And pray i would.
Friday morning came and i layed in bed. Joyfully praying. Though I forgot my bible in the car that night, i spent time just praying over my kids, their futures, their hearts, and their lives. And then i prayed for my husband and my siblings. And then i got to my Brother and his wife and kids. I prayed for their salvation. I prayed for their safety and i prayed for their beautiful lives.
As i got up and headed to the kitchen the kids woke and we were all getting ready for school.
Until the phone rang.
It was my mother.
I said hello and she said "Christina..."
I knew in an instant that something was going to change.
It made me hate my name, hearing it like that.
"Justin's been in an accident! We don't know how bad, but he has to be cut out of the car. You have to pray.... We're on our way up there now."
That was it. Fear had entered. And it was turning my veins into a fire that i had only felt a few other times. It hurt me to think of our Justy --hurt. And even worse--we didn't know the extent.
I immediately grabbed Ruby and told her that we had to pray for Justin--that he was in an accident and hurt. And we needed God to heal and protect him. (Ya see, Justin is super man in Ruby's eyes)
She told Laney and we prayed again. And i got them dressed for the bus and held them close and prayed for their safety as they left.
As the news unfolded we found out that Jordi (my niece) was in the car as well. And my sister in law and other nephew were following the car and saw the accident unfold. A car ran a stop sign on a side street and placed it directly in traffic on HWY 65 up in Mora, which caused a pickup to hit the rear end of it and that sent the truck directly into my nephews lane. Head on. (note: They both had seat belts on, and the airbags deployed.)
My heart broke for Lisa (my sis in law) because i couldn't imagine, as a mother, the pain of watching your child get hurt. The feeling of knowing you can do nothing to change it, and the uncertainty of the outcome.
Sorrow filled me as i imagined all the possibilities of this outcome. It hurt. I didn't want to even deal with it. I pleaded with God not to take him away from us. I didn't want this change in the family. I didn't want this heartache. And most of all, i didn't want Lisa to mourn the rest of her life. I couldn't see her like that.
Time went on and we found out that my sweet niece was alright. She actually walked out of the accident. (Praise God) Only small injuries compares to what could have been.
Justin was taken by Ambulance to North Memorial hospital. But he was talking. I knew this. And i hoped that meant good news.
As i showered and felt shook to the core--i never stopped praying. I felt Gods hand. I knew he was near. As fearful as i had become, i also felt a peace. My prayers for them that morning were for a reason. God placed them on my heart at the moment they needed it. He was doing his work. And we were witnessing it.
The day seemed to eek by. Slower than ever. My headache growing and my neck getting tenser by the hour.
I love this family- ya see. Like i love my own children. And the thought of losing any one of them, made me want to die as well.
My mind went to all the bad places, but i never lost hope in our prayers. I knew i had friends praying. Warriors. And so did my Mom. God was going to protect this family again. He just had to.
By afternoon i learned that Justin was at the hospital and only scuffed up. He was going to live--and so were we.
He was stitched up but with only minor injuries Jordi and Justin are doing well. Sore. Possibly more in shock then we knew, maybe less. But they are kids. They are resilient. And they are strong.
But most of all, God is good. And i know that he had is loving hand and watchful eye on that car. I know that his will is that none should perish. And i know that some day these kids are going to have a story to tell--I pray its one that glorifies Christ.
And then as i sat yesterday, hearing the new unfold about the bombs that exploded at the Boston Marathon and hearing about the injured and the lost. My heart was heavy. I felt the familiar hand of fear sneaking in my soul, once again.
Fear is my captor. Many of you know that.
But yesterday as i tried to keep the wave of panic at bay. I prayed. I focused on the good. I read a thing on facebook that was inspiring. A great reminder. It captured the truth, the light, and the love-- all in the time of horror.
What a beautiful gift, a reminder to focus on. Instead of focusing on the fear, the evil, the hate and the darkness--We are reminded of the love, the protection, the concern, the skill and the help--of the ones who rushed to the hurting, who gave without receiving, who offered without taking.
1 John 4:16 states that "God is love". And 1 John 4:18 tells us that "There is no fear in Love."
So if God is love and there is no fear in love, then i will stand tall--with His help--and trust that God is in charge and remember that he is weeping with those who weep.
Because he loves us. And he is in this.
I guess, my reason for even writing this--besides to process it--is to encourage each of us to pray. Each day. Pray. I know it seems monotonous, maybe unheard. But there is a security, a comfort, in talking with God. Laying it all on the line. Being vulnerable with a God who truly cares.
There is power in prayer.
It is our direct connect to God and he hears us. And I am so thankful that he does...Because with out Christ....i don't even want to imagine.
I don't do things right. I know i am unworthy. I know that i fail alot. I forget. And i am often selfish. But i want to be better. And i'm trying...
What i want to say, what i want to shout from the roof tops is, Thank you God!!! Thank you. Thank you for sparing my family. Thank you for giving me a mother who has devoted her life to prayer! Thank you for loving us---even when we don't deserve it!!
Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus"