Six weeks ago, my 17-year-old baby girl was seriously injured in a snow ski accident while we were celebrating my son’s 14th birthday at a nearby ski slope in Weston, Missouri. Her recovery from shattering and fracturing multiple vertebrae in her back has been slow but remarkable. It has not been an easy six weeks, especially in this season when she was about to stretch her wings and fly from the nest, now slowed by a broken wing with a long recovery process.
We cannot understand or interpret all the bad events and tragedies that happen, but we can know that God is at work in them, whether or not we can understand on this side of heaven. God has been working incredibly behind the scenes, maybe in more ways than I’ll ever know, but here are a few things I see:
1. My relationship with my daughter has grown tighter, closer, forever altered, even if only for a short season. A new bond has been forged and sealed.
2. Her eyes are opened to the difficulties of others. She is sensitive to others in wheelchairs or using walkers or dealing with physical handicaps. She notices the things now that make it difficult for access with a walker or wheelchair, things many of us would never thing about, like grooves in a tile floor. She knows how it feels to be stared at and to experience the furtive glances.
3. She has re-considered her degree plan for college, realizing that God may want her to do something different with her life than she had originally planned. Rather than majoring in business and opening her own fitness center, she is now looking into social work with an emphasis in victim/trauma services. Her heart is tender toward those who hurt due to circumstances beyond their control. She is prioritizing meaning over money.
4. I am stronger than I thought I was. I learned this in my husband’s heart attack a year ago today, but several events since then have reinforced it. God helps me to think clearly in a crisis situation, to put aside my emotion and to deal with the next steps at hand that must be taken rather than falling into an emotional puddle. I still melt into an emotional puddle, but only when it’s over. God lets me melt, and then He puts me back together.