Finding Peace in the Wreckage
It’s a Thursday evening. I’m home alone, a rare occasion these days. The house is quiet and peaceful and I’m relishing the moment, putting together a tray of appetizers and lighting candles, Pandora tuned to the Nat King Cole station, getting ready for some girl time with Alyssa. Matt’s at praise team practice. Darron and Jarod are driving to Denton for a concert.
6:30 p.m... the phone rings. It’s Jarod.
“Mom? Hey, so we’re both ok, everyone’s fine… but we were in a wreck…” The pace of my heartbeat quickens just a bit. “We’re ok,” he emphasizes. “We’re in an ambulance. I’m riding up front, Dad’s in the back…” He is amazingly calm. “Mom, don’t rush. Don’t freak out. Just meet us at Baylor.” A hundred questions rush through my mind but I’m afraid to ask any of them. I do ask “Is Dad conscious?” “Yes, he’s talking to the EMTs.”
By this time my heart’s tempo has sped to allegro pace. I grab my purse, quickly blow out all the candles and run next door to tell Alyssa, who is bathing Cyrus but makes me promise to call as soon as I get to the hospital. I pray passionate prayers for my husband and son as I’m making the 20-minute drive to McKinney. I’ve been to this ER several times late at night. It’s not exactly a place of happy memories.
Thankfully, Jarod walks out to meet me. He appears to be all in one piece. Darron, as it turns out, took the brunt of the crash. Three hours in the ER trauma room and multiple x-rays and body scans reveal 2 broken ribs, 3 cracked vertebrae and a lacerated spleen. The spleen has them concerned so they admit him to ICU to keep a close watch for the next 48 hours.
It’s been four weeks since that night. A four-week whirlwind of insurance claims, police reports, physical therapy, and car shopping (as our old car was a crumpled totaled heap in the tow yard). I was already stressed before the accident by all my self-imposed deadlines of finishing the loft renovation before Christmas. Then the doctors told Darron no lifting or construction projects for six weeks, leaving my mind racing with uncertainty. Should we put it on hold? Can we afford to hire out the remaining work? Does the rest of the family just buckle down and get it done?
It’s funny how our minds and bodies react to an event like this. The night of the accident, the adrenaline kicked in. We all remained relatively calm and simply rose to the tasks at hand. There was much to be done the next few days and I was on autopilot.
But then, when the dust settles, a kind of post-traumatic stress reaction sets in. I’ve found myself on hyper-alert whenever I’m driving. I take forever to make a left turn if there are any oncoming cars in view. I worry more about my grown kids when they’re out driving late at night. I’ve been so very grateful knowing this could have played out much more tragically, but at the same time it’s made me more conscious of the uncertainties of life. At times it hits me like a ton of bricks and I feel so fragile and small.
I’m tossing and turning one night, Thanksgiving week. I decide to get out of bed and wander into the living room, the only room in the house that is clean, uncluttered, and newly decorated for Christmas. Lying on the couch, my eyes are drawn to the nativity scene sitting atop the armoire. The Christmas lights are illuminating the whitewashed planter-turned-manger with the “hope” ornament hanging above the Christchild.
And here in this space in the wee hours of the morning my mind relaxes. He stills my soul with a gentle reminder that the Prince of Peace is here with me, right now, in the middle of my worries and fears. That he came for moments like this. He put Himself into the midst of our mess and He is still shining light into our darkest places. My living room becomes a sanctuary as He welcomes me into the holiest of seasons.
From TheSpaceWeShare, we welcome you into this holy season. Whatever challenges you may be going through, we pray He stills your soul and lights up your darkness.