New Living Translation (NLT)
"6 We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7 Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.” 8 So the men did as Joshua had commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River, one for each tribe, just as the Lord had told Joshua. They carried them to the place where they camped for the night and constructed the memorial there. 9 Joshua also set up another pile of twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, at the place where the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant were standing. And they are there to this day."
This morning when the alarm went off, the first words out of Ben's mouth were, "It's been 10 years." Strangely enough the same exact words had just crossed my mind seconds before he spoke them. We haven't put any memorial stones in place, but our minds are aware of the miracles and blessings GOD has poured out on us, and like GOD wanted the Israelites to do, we tell our children, so they will remember.
I know I have written about this before (3 years ago-- and you can read about it here: http://www.cacinewton.blogspot.com/2010/08/god-is-amazing.html), but I still feel led to tell of GOD's love, faithfulness, mercy and presence in our lives at such times as today....the 10 year anniversary of "the accident".
Here is an excerpt from my previous blog "I had this extraordinary peace that came over me as we flew. I am not saying I wasn't still scared--I am saying I was at peace. I felt God's arms around me at that moment, and I knew I was being prayed for. I knew I could not pray a single word at that moment, so all I did was sing the Rich Mullin's song Hold Me Jesus (which I also sang during the birth of my 2nd son). The words to that song are easy for my heart and mind to sing when no other words are available:
Hold me Jesus, cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace?
I know that He was my Prince of Peace that day."
I felt a peace. That peace did not take away the horribleness of the situation, make the pain disappear, or change the uncertainties I was facing, but it did remind me that GOD was on HIS throne and that NO.MATTER.WHAT. HIS will would be accomplished. That is a peaceful AND scary place to be because I had to ask myself if I trusted GOD enough to know/believe that [NO.MATTER.WHAT.] HIS will was the BEST thing for me and my family. I was 28 years old at the time, and I had been following JESUS for 21 years, but I had never really been put in a situation where I had to ask myself that question. I was thinking through real possibilities of my husband maybe never coming home with me again. My best friend maybe never being the same.....according to the doctors they didn't even know if he would know who I or the kids were when he woke up. I struggled with the thought that he may never get to be the daddy that his kids needed, or the husband that I counted on. But my biggest fear was that he might be angry with GOD that it happened. Most of those questions and fears were answered/put to rest within the first 3 days when he finally woke from his coma. The nurse asked him who I was, and I will never forget his raspy voice saying, "Acacia". She was nervous at first telling him, "No." because she knew me as Caci, but I cried because I knew he knew! Although he knew who I was (and the rest of his family) there were many other things he didn't know....like where we were or even WHEN we were. He asked me right away if the kids had grown up and gotten married. I laughed and I remember thinking, "No you didn't get out of it that easy!" But his parents and I gently told him, "You've only been asleep for 3 days." We were able to take him home for a week after he had only been in the hospital for a week. That in itself was a HUGE miracle! When they life- flighted him there they told me had pneumonia (when he was knocked off the jetski he landed face down in the water and had actually drown before his sister got to him), but the next morning there were NO SIGNS of water on his lungs at all! A complete answer to prayer! When he arrived in the trauma center he also had bleeding and swelling on his brain, and the doctors told me that if it didn't subside they would have to drill into his skull and put in stints to relieve the pressure. By the next morning all bleeding and swelling had stopped. Another complete answer to prayer! And even though we were able to bring him home after only one week in the hospital, the trials and struggles were not over. We were dealing with a closed head injury and all the side effects that come from that. There was forgetfulness, anger, frustration, an inability to focus, and an aversion to loud places or bright lights. We prayed. And we waited. Ben loved his therapy that he was able to go to for 4 months to help him relearn things and figure out how to deal with the new things he was going through. In his therapy they told him they had not had a patient who healed so quickly from an injury as major as his. We knew it was all GOD.
Ben loves to tell people that with him, in regards to the accident, GOD was being like the potter with the clay. The potter sits at his wheel molding the clay into a vessel and then notices this one spot that just isn't what he was wanting. It isn't right, so he smashes the clay down, gets it wet, and starts over. Ben feels like that is what GOD was doing with him when HE allowed him to be hurt so badly. And I can agree with him.....he came out of that accident and that situation with a stronger, greater love for GOD and a clearer vision of how he wants to serve HIM than I could have imagined. I was scared he would be angry with GOD, but he was loving GOD even more, and for that I am so very thankful.
Even though I wasn't physically injured in the accident, GOD was doing the same thing to me. I had spent the night before the accident talking with Ben: "I remember the conversation I had with Ben that night as we lay in bed. For some reason we were talking about if something bad happened to one of our kids (we had 3 at the time). We were telling each other that if something bad happened at least we knew we had each other and together (with God, of course) we could get through anything."
And then: "I watched them load Ben up and fly off wondering if I would ever hold him, or talk to him again. There was no time for goodbyes, no "I love you's".....it was scary and heartbreaking, and went against everything we had discussed the night before. We had talked about getting through something tough TOGETHER. I knew that I didn't have Ben to help me be strong for Cole. I didn't have Ben to help me get through this situation--this wasn't something we were going to get through together"
Here is where GOD was smashing me down and reshaping MY heart and MY thoughts. HE was showing me that HE is the ONLY one I need. HE is the ONLY PROVIDER for our family. HE is the HEALER. HE is the SUSTAINER. HE is the LIFE GIVER. HE is the ONE who sees and hears me when I cry. All the things I had been looking to Ben for, I needed to be looking to GOD for.
Ben is my best friend, and I am so thankful that GOD didn't take him from me in order to teach me that lesson. I am also thankful that HE was reshaping both of us at the same time. HE brought us closer together with a deeper love for each other because our love for HIM was deeper.
I feel compelled to share our story every so often so that the people who ask "Why does GOD let bad things happen?" can see that GOD has a purpose and a plan. HE will always be glorified (and I hope that my writing about it will bring glory to HIM in some way), and HE will never leave us. Yes, HE allows bad things to happen. Yes, HE could have stopped it all, but knowing now what I didn't know then.....I wouldn't want HIM to have stopped it. And that's why we have to trust and believe that HIS will is.the.BEST! HE sees the whole picture when we only see a part.
No matter how hard the situation is, HE will never leave us. When we call to HIM out of a sincere desire to find HIM, HE will reveal HIMSELF to us. We don't need to look anywhere else or to anyone else.
I just want to say one last thing because I know this has been long. Just because GOD brought us through the situation with a pretty positive outcome, doesn't mean HE would have been less faithful or less loving if HE hadn't.
Just as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego told Nebuchadnezzar: 17 If it be so, our GOD whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and HE will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But even if HE does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
Even if GOD doesn't deliver us from the situation in the way we wish HE had, I will never take my eyes or devotion off of HIM!