If you're just joining in, you'll want to take a moment and read part 1 and part 2, before reading today's post.
The next morning was Thanksgiving Day. I was up early -- not to put a turkey in the oven, but to go check on all of my patients! It was to be a day of learning more about God's great love and mercy and provision for our family!!
First, I rushed over to see Taylor in the Greenville hospital. He was doing miraculously well and was going to be moved to a regular room later that day. They were still watching him for possible pneumonia, but he was doing far better than could have been expected! Isn't God's mercy amazing??
Then, I drove over to Anderson (about an hour away) to check on my other patients. Alan was heavily sedated due to pain, but Joe was ready to go home! He had acquired quite a fan club due to his sweet spirit and one of the nurses had even given him a new Hardy Boys book! They were all ready to adopt him, but, I was quite glad to take him home myself! :)
There was only one problem -- the poor boy had nothing to wear home but his "birthday suit," because they had cut his clothes off of him in the ER the night before. Would you believe that one of the county councilmen who really loved our family and was there visiting my husband went out to Wal-Mart and bought Joe new clothes to go home in?! It was one of many acts of kindness from this dear Christian man.
When Joe was dressed and ready to go, we decided to stop by my husband's room so he could see his Daddy before he left. While there, the phone rang. I answered it and couldn't believe my ears!!
On the drive over that morning I was praying that I could find out who the nice Christian man was that helped us
immediately after the accident, because I regrettably didn't know his name or address so I could thank him. Would you believe this man was on the line asking how we all were?? He said that he and his family had been traveling from North Carolina (where he was a pastor) to his mother's home in Toccoa, Georgia when they witnessed our accident. He said that they had been so shaken by the accident that they had been unable to sleep that night and had stayed awake praying for our family all night long!! (The tears are flowing even now as I type this! We are so indebted to the love and compassion of God's people!)
He was able to tell me many things that I didn't know or remember. He confirmed that when our van came to a stop, both Ashlyn's and Taylor's heads were hanging out of the broken windows on the driver's side of the van. (It makes me shudder even now to think of it!!) He also shared that after witnessing the accident, he did not expect to see any survivors. (This was echoed by many who witnessed the accident or saw the remains of our van and camper! We were told repeatedly that the only reason our outcome was as good as it was - apart from the grace of God -- was because everyone was buckled up!! We also learned that two medevac helicopters had been dispatched immediately after the 911 center received the call, as they expected any survivors to be critically injured and needing immediate transport to a trauma unit.)
My legs went weak as I was reminded once again of what might have been!! I was immediately more aware of how *great* God's protection over our family had been! He allowed the accident, yes, but oh, how merciful He had been to us!!
This dear man asked about each of the injured ones but he especially wanted to know how Ashlyn was doing. Apparently, she had touched his and his wife's hearts. His wife had stayed by Ashlyn's side, praying for her and ministering to her until the paramedics came. When the paramedics began to take Ashlyn away, Ashlyn (age 16) turned to her and said, "May the Lord bless you and keep you and make his face to shine upon you. . ." She couldn't get this out of her mind!
(I was blessed to learn later that Ashlyn had her Commands of Christ pocket journal in her pocket at the time of the wreck so she could work on her memory verses, and she pulled it out in the ambulance and asked one of the paramedics to read it to her during the trip to the hospital, which he did!!!) Wow!
So, back to Thanksgiving Day -- it makes me cry even now (11 years later) to share some of the ways that God provided for us and blessed us on Thanksgiving Day!!
First of all, two men from our church spent the entire morning going over to the two wrecker services where they had towed our van and camper and cleaning out what they could and bringing it home for us. (Before it was over, I think 4 men made as many trips to our camper and van bringing stuff back for us. It was their desire to spare me the overwhelming and traumatic experience of sorting through the broken glass, twisted metal, blood, etc. in search of our belongings. Is that not an overwhelming act of love on our behalf???)
Alan's sister, Janet, and her family arrived that day to help out. When they heard of our accident, they dropped their own Thanksgiving plans and drove through the night to be there with us, helping out any way they could! Ralph was one of the men who sorted through the wreckage!
I was also able to get all my children (except Taylor) back at home that day. It was a blessing and comfort to have my children home and to be able to love on them! Little Joe was also glad to be back home!
Then, an unbelievable thing happened -- a friend of mine who lived an hour away and had nine children of her own, spent the entire afternoon at our house preparing us a huge Thanksgiving feast! She had cooked our turkey the night before and had de-boned it and put in a crock-pot, so her own family's turkey could cook in her oven that day. She even brought candles for the table. Can you believe such sacrificial love???
I was so overwhelmed by the unselfish love shown to us that day and by God's provision of our every need! What a blessing it was "to gather my chicks about me" and sit at our table for a Thanksgiving meal that evening. We had everyone there, except my husband, Alan, and son, Taylor, but were comforted to know that they were going to be OK. We were so blessed!!! We had never had so much to be thankful for!!!!
Come back tomorrow to read part 4 of Our Thanksgiving Miracle!