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Archive for December, 2012

  • On a snowy, blizzardy evening 44 years ago last week my whole world changed.
  • One minute I was a healthy, vibrant, divorced, mother of a 2-year old
  • heading home from work after retrieving my little girl from the baby-sitters. The next thing I knew my mother was telling me I was in the intensive care unit of BronsonHospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It was 3 days later and I was no longer a healthy, vibrant woman and my lifehad suddenly become pre-accident Susan and post-accident Susan. Pre-accident Susan had total recall of the events of her life up to this point, post-accident Susan only knew she was divorced, mother of a little girl who was going to be 2 in what I thoughtwould be 4 days, a sister of 2 brothers, a daughter of parents whose father worked at General Motors, and was seriously dating a young man. Pre-accident Susan could run, jump, able to accomplish any physical feat a 23 year old woman had a mind to do. Post-accident Susan was told maybe in a year’s time if the planets were aligned properly, the sun and moon were in there proper places, amd if everything went well she might be able to go to a wheelchair. When I was conscious enough to observe my surroundings, my legs were dangling in the air, my left arm was dangling in the air, I couldn’t lift my head off the pillow, and nothing worked the way God meant for it to operate.
  • After being transferred to a private room, I had my first visit with the orthopedic
  • surgeon He started at my head telling me the damage, telling me what was being done to correct it, and continued until he reached my toes. Overall, I had over 60 breaks in my body, over 70% of the breaks was from my waist down. He told me I should consider give the raising of my daughter to my parents. The nurses discouraged me from having a future with my boyfriend and do what was best for my child. This is NOT how I had planned to spend the Christmas holday season. However, God had other plans. More importantly, I knew God had other plans.
  • Fortunately, I was raised in a Christian home. Every Sunday we went to church
  • unless we were contagious. Friends, relatives, and local churches were praying for me.As for myself, all I could remember was a verse I recently discovered was from I John4:4, “…the One who is in you (me) is greater than the one who is in the world.” It was these words that would come to mind every time I became discouraged. Not becauseI was a strong, Scripture-quoting follower of Christ. That didn’t come until several years later; and, even now, Scripture-quoting is NOT my forte. At this time,all new and believed from the inner core of my being was God had different plans for me and He would make sure these plans happened. When everything appears hopeless, God gives us hope.
  • Sidewalk Prophets wrote a song called “Hope Was Born This Night”. I can’t sing itto you but I would like you to listen to the words:
  • Tonight I can see a star shine
  • And its splendor fills up the sky
  • It’s the same that appeared and the wise men revered
  • When hope was born this night
  • Out upon the snowy fields
  • There’s a silent peace that heals
  • And it echoes the grace of our Savior’s embrace
  • Because hope was born this night
  • Glory to God in the highest
  • Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men
  • Let all of the world sing the chorus of joy
  • Because hope was born this night
  • I can hear the Christmas bells ring
  • As softly a church choir sings
  • It’s the song used to praise the ancient of days
  • When hope was born this night
  • There are angles in this place
  • And my heart resounded the praise
  • Like a shepherd so scared, I’ll rejoice and declare
  • That hope was born this night
  • Glory to God in the highest
  • Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men
  • Let all of the world sing the chorus of joy
  • Because hope was born this night…
  • I know hope was born this night
  • Because Christ was born this night
  • This hope I speak of is the hope Scripture speaks of. We have watered down the
  • meaning of hope. To us, it is something we wish for, something we dream about
  • happening. The hope spoken of in Scripture is a positive outlook toward an expect
  • end. It is not focused on what might happen but what must happen. This was the first time I experienced the hope Scripture discusses.
  • What is so special about this time of year? Why do we look forward with such
  • expectation  birth of Jesus Christ? As my pastor often says, Here’s an idea:
  • maybewe look forward to Christmas with such expectation is because for the first
  • time in the history of the world, we saw a face to hope. We look at that little babe in
  • the manger and know God loves you. We look at the little babe in the manger and
  • know he was the “atoning sacrifice” for you and for me. We look at the little babe in
  • the manger and know he is the embodiment of eternal hope for you and for me.
  • One year later, I stood beside my daughter, my brother, and my sister-in-law in a
  • Lutheran Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan singing “Silent Night” with tears of
  • gratitude that God so loved me, He sent this babe into the world as an “atoning
  • sacrifice” so I could have life, eternal life. There was never any doubt how close I hadcome to death. I knew if I had died the night of my accident I would not have had
  • eternal life in heaven with this babe, with this Savior, with this God. So Christmas
  • Eve, 1969,not as the doctor predicted, I walked into church, celebrated the birth of
  • this Holy Child, and sang “Silent Night” with tears of gratitude and the knowledge
  • that no matter what I faced in my future I had eternal hope, a hope available to each
  • and every one of us just by asking for forgiveness and asking this babe, this Holy Son
  • named Jesus Christ, to come into your heart.
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