Monday, August 28, 2017

Eight Twenty Eight

I woke up too early this morning. I tried to think of happy, pretty things to get myself back to sleep, but worries kept buzzing like bees around the flowers in my head. So, I decided to do something I haven’t done in far too long: mentally recite my favorite passage from the Bible.

It begins with Romans 8:28: For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him… and ends with Romans 8:38-39: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I finally gave up on sleep and dragged myself out of bed for coffee. With the consciousness of day, it suddenly dawned on me: Today is 8/28. One year ago on this day, my second child almost died.

I’ve been having some PTSD-ish symptoms for a couple of weeks now. Anxiety, depression, a sense of impending doom. Amie has been struggling, too. Although the majority of her physical injuries have healed miraculously well, pain remains. The physical part often heals more rapidly than the emotional, spiritual, and biochemical. But she’s a fighter. Always has been.

When Amie was in 8th grade, we decided to home-school her. I’m not sure how much she learned that year, but we managed to have some fun ‘field trips.’ The highlight for me was Scripture Class. (Mwaahaahaa! Mama’s got you now!) Yes, that fidgety little thing was forced to memorize scripture for homework. Of course, it meant I had to memorize it as well. Our longest passage was Romans 8:28-39. We made colorful flash cards and funny mnemonics to help us remember. For example, “trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” in v. 35 became “the happy people found new dance shoes.” At that time, I could not have imagined what trouble and hardship lay ahead. I’m grateful for that blissful ignorance now. But I’m even more grateful that those life-giving words were implanted deep within our brains and hearts.  No matter what has happened, we know that we are “more than conquerors through him that loves us!” (v.37) I may feel more like a cowering coward, but I believe this deep spiritual truth. Faith is a choice.

As I mentioned long ago somewhere on Katherine’s Mom’s Blog, Katherine got a little jealous of her younger sister’s academic accomplishment, so she memorized the passage, too. We all clung to it like a lifebuoy in the days following her AVM rupture.

At her greatest point of suffering, Katherine questioned God. “Have You made a mistake? Wouldn’t it have better for everyone if I’d died?”

As she writes in Hope Heals,

“And then suddenly, before those thoughts had even fully landed in my head and heart, I felt a deep awakening of the Word of God, which I had known since I was a little girl. I could almost hear this rapid-fire succession of the truths of Scripture, like a dispatch from God Himself.

Katherine, you are not a mistake. I DON’T MAKE MISTAKES.

…Trust Me. I am working EVERYTHING for your good. Don’t doubt the truth just because you are in this darkness now. What’s true in the light is true in the dark.”  (Hope Heals, p. 164)

This past year has been one of the hardest of my life. It’s been hard for everyone in our family. For Amie, it’s been kind of like Hell, with occasional day passes out. She’s experienced major victories and serious setbacks. There have been legions of dragons and demons to slay, and the struggle is not yet over.

I’m not really sure why Amie and I have both been secretly dreading this day. Throughout the past month, its eminent arrival has brought some flashbacks of horror and excruciating pain. But the GOOD that God has worked from the brokenness is evident over all. From the wreckage has come restoration. From near-death, new life. Blessing upon blessing for every pain. Help in every battle. Love poured out in showers from angels on earth.

One year ago today, God honored His word. He did work great good even when “all things” includes a mother’s worst nightmare.

His goodness and mercy pursue us relentlessly all the days of our lives.


Shortly after the realization of the date this morning, I talked to a friend of Amie’s. She told me that they had spoken last night and Amie seemed anxious. The friend said she shared a scripture with her: Romans 8:28. She had no idea that 8/28 was the date of Amie’s accident, nor of it’s significance for our family.

Sometime after that, the card above fell out of a book.
Katherine was the one that originally noticed the symbolism of the date.