I grew up singing the Doxology (aka "Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow") weekly. It always meant something to me, but I don't know that I had ever felt as Colin did in The Secret Garden, when he wanted to sing it because he was so happy to be getting healthier and walking. Until last Friday night.
Friday night, we were in a horrific car crash. (Warning: really. It's horrific. And there are pics.) The kind that my first responder friends tell me they expect fatalaties when they see, especially when they know kids are inside.
We all sustained no more than fairly minor injuries. The worst was Bridey's broken leg and deep cut on her foot, and my very cut-up and scraped-up arm, which required a lot of stitches. We'll be better, all of us, completely, in less than 2 months. From an accident that could easily have been fatal.
Before our trip I had some promptings that I didn't understand but followed. I re-packed the luggage to make sure the heavy stuff was compartmentalized. I wasn't comfortable with the idea of Emma falling asleep and falling out of her booster, so even though I'd wavered over the idea of just watching her and poking her if she fell asleep, I put in a harnessed seat for her at the last minute, and sat in the back since she now couldn't reach back to pass snacks. There were other things too, but those were the two major ones.
And so when I realized we had crashed, and we were hanging upside down, and I heard that my family was all alive, and that I could wiggle my fingers and toes (and so was not paralyzed), and that the worst of the car's damage seemed to be on my side, not where my kids were-- I rejoiced. And over and over in my head, as I hung for 10 minutes waiting to be extracted (they had to cut off the door, stablize my neck, unbuckle me and then strap me to the board to pull me out), through fending off the bystander that wanted to cut me out and talking to my husband to make sure the kids were okay, I sang over and over in my head. And without a thought of what my words should be, my soul sang those well-known words over and over, the words that have embodied the joy of knowing that God has blessed us for so many over so many years:
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
And I understood the joy that Colin felt in that book, the joy of being alive-- both the euphoria ("I'm going to live forever and ever and ever!") and the deep, deep gratitude.
I begin to understand, I think, a teeny tiny part of the plan that God had when he sent Becky to live in our family for such a short time. She saved my life; she also enabled me to spread this message of car safety farther than I've ever been able to reach before. And I know that she had a choice in it. She did it for me. For her sisters. And for all those other mamas' babies whose lives she may yet save through the spread of this message.
But more than that, I feel just such gratitude. I can't think "why did this happen to me" because I know. If I hadn't been me, whosever children they were might not be alive. And I know my children need to live, because their missions in this life are far from over. Intuitively, I know that. And I know that God loves all children, and wants them protected tenderly, and that many parents need more information on how to do that, when it comes to travelling in the car. (After all, that's why I became a CPST to begin with.) And I know that my Father stepped in to shield me from the worse things that could have happened. And I'm so grateful. And so once again I will praise Him, and as I thank Him for my children every day, I will also thank Him for the good He is doing through us for others' children.
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow!
P.S.-- please join me in doing this work. Spread the story linked in any way you feel you can-- email, facebook, blogs, anything. May it do much good for those who read it. :)