On Saturday my daughter, my niece and I went to pick out a Christmas tree. Just before we went into the outdoor tent I got a phone call from mom’s sister. She told me that my mom was ok but she had slipped when they were moving her from her chair to her bed and had hit her head as she fell to the ground. In case you are reading this and you don’t know this already, my mom suffered a traumatic brain injury 20 years ago in a car accident. She lives in a nursing home and is unable to move herself except for the use of her left arm. She is also unable to eat and although she is trying hard and is managing a few words here and there she can’t speak either. To add insult to injury the gash was right in the same area as the shunt that was placed in her head right after the accident. So they had to call in a surgeon to take a look at the damage the fall may have caused. He was on his way to the hospital on a Saturday night to do emergency surgery.
Not exactly what I had planned for the evening. There was nothing I could do but wait for the updates so the girls and I went about picking out a tree and I tried my best to engage in the festivities although I was definitely preoccupied.
I was comforted to know that I had an upcoming visit to see my mom planned for a few days later and could get on an earlier flight if I needed to.
When we got home the girls put on the movie Super 8 to watch while I strung the lights on the tree and ran out for Chinese food.
As they ate and watched the movie I went through the boxes of decorations. I felt a huge lump in my throat as I came across some of the decorations my mom had given me over the years. The one for Danny and I – Our First Christmas Together, the ones for Baby’s first Christmas for both of the boys, Our First Home one shaped like a house… So many lovely memories. But also some pain.
I went back to finish putting the ribbon on the tree so the girls could start decorating and the movie was wrapping up. A poignant moment of dialogue in the movie made me pause and listen. The teenage boy (the leading actor) was trying to reason with the scary but sensitive alien monster who was taking out his pain on the earthlings (I know – crazy right?) …but listen…this is what he said:
“Bad things happen, But you can still live”.
That line pierced through my heart.
A few minutes later my sister texted me and said, “Just read Psalm 27:13 and thought of you.”. It was the verse that God gave to me at my lowest point after my mom’s accident twenty years ago. It has become my life-song. It says,
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. (NAS)
God was reminding me once again. That promise was true. I have seen so much of the goodness of God in this land of the living in these past twenty years.
And that promise is still true today. We need to make a conscious choice to BELIEVE it. This life brings pain but it also brings joy if we allow it to.
This is a tough season for many but there is joy to be had and hope to hold on to.
My mom pulled through her surgery and is doing well and is in good spirits.
Sorry this is so long but I am on a plane with nothing to do but think and write. ( I have finished flipping through the latest edition of InStyle magazine!)
In a few minutes I’ll head to the same hospital she was in 20 years ago only this time with the wisdom of past experience to know that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Whatever you may be going through this season I pray that you hold onto that hope too…
Yes, bad things happen. But you CAN still live!
Love and peace to you and yours…may your day be merry and bright xo