Eight days ago, an accident changed our plans! We planned to spend Christmas in Louisiana with my side of the family. We were due to leave 2 days after the accident occurred. Many things this year did not transpire as we had planned or even had hoped. Two of our children had surgery, unexpectedly. Our granddaughter, who was due to be born in the month of October, came in the early part of August. Our Thanksgiving Colorado trip for Rodney to meet our newest grand had to be postponed. Our oldest daughter and son-in-law became foster parents to a sibling group of 2 children with alarming trauma. Then, a little boy who was now eligible for adoption, arrived a month after the foster siblings. The adoption process was a very slow and painful procedure. My daughter and son-in-law now had two 1-year old’s and a 2-year old which was never the plan. Our youngest and her husband and their son, sold their house, and experienced a change in plans. More and more I see how my grasp on what I plan should be a loose grip, because there are no accidents in the Lord’s intentions. “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps” (Proverbs 16:9, NLT). “You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail” (Proverbs 19:21).
I’m sitting in the doctor’s office where my husband is having his 12 staples removed from the top of his forehead. The few stitches right above his lip will also be taken out. Christmas was very different looking for us this year. “I know, LORD, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course” (Jeremiah 10:23).
This year repeatedly showed me the significance in the verse that the Lord pressed upon my heart early in the year: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
As I trust Him while not leaning on my understanding of these different situations, I rejoice in the wonderful actions that transpired! A good friend took Rodney to the ER. An elderly neighbor drove me the 45-50 minutes it took to get to the hospital. All three of our children, along with their spouses, called or messaged after the accident to see if there was anything we needed! I was doctoring myself for sinus issues and a burning cough but wasn’t going to leave Rodney alone. After staying in the ER with him for most of the day, our youngest drove from Newport, NC to stay with her dad and even spent the night as he was finally admitted into a room for observation and testing. She stayed with him and drove him home the next evening. Our oldest daughter came with her family to spend Christmas eve and Christmas morning with us and provided all the food. Our son’s wife kept careful tabs on us checking in each day to see how we were doing.
This Christmas we are very thankful for all the Lord has accomplished through our lives that reflect His love and care: Rodney’s accident could have been so much worse! We have a newly adopted grandson! Our precious granddaughter, born at 29 weeks, weighing 2 pounds and 11 ounces, stayed in the NICU 68 days, but is now laughing and playing and trying to talk (she’s VERY smart)! Our older daughter who really needed a nanny for a few days each week now has employed her sister in that position. Our children and their spouses are some of the hardest workers I know. There are no accidents! The Lord is with us!
A few days after Rodney’s accident, I left him at home to do a few errands. I didn’t go far but I felt so lonely in that drive. I still had a husband back home, for whom I am very thankful. But the errands were the kind he and I would do together, enjoying the Christmas season along the way. My mind thought of the babe in a manger, my Savior, Who left His unlimited relationship with the Father to put on skin and submit himself to the Almighty. And then feel the separation at the cross, being totally abandoned so that we never have to feel the weight of that loneliness. I felt and understood some of what Christmas really means. Nothing stops Christmas! It is a celebration of what took place a long time ago! It is a celebration of the heart! But there is a stipulation, our hearts must be open! They must invite Him in, and then, yes, Immanuel is with us no matter if it’s in a hospital bed or driving down the highway without another soul in the car. He’s there! There are no accidents! The Lord is with us!
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Immanuel; It’s no accident: The Lord is with us!