Monday, July 1, 2013
Around 2:30 on May 15 I texted my daughter, and texted her. She is 18 and we always connect in the afternoon to see what the rest of the day's plans will look like. And texted. Alone in my elementary classroom, I worried, but not desperately. Sometimes service is sketchy at the high school. A few minutes later, the approaching whine of an emergency vehicle, and I knew. I don't know how I knew, but I knew in a way that only a mother can, that something bad had just crashed into my life. Against all logic, I began to pray for my daughter. It was the first day she had driven to school, and my head kept telling me she was in Mr. M.'s class, certainly not out driving around. My heart screamed something completely different at me.
When my cell phone rang a minute later, I understood that my heart had informed me accurately. My daughter had been in a very bad accident, but she was talking. That helped. The story that began to play out in our lives at that point is filled with grit and strength on my daughter's part; she has become my hero. But even bigger, is the story of lavish miracles and boundless grace--events that could never be coincidence. God is so crazy big. Every time I consider His provisions, His answers to prayer, I am nearly brought to my knees. My dearest love is healing. She is being restored moment by moment, by the hand of the Great Physician.
As a mother, I have come under much fire for being overprotective, strict. It's been a hard label, as I have always wanted to be fun. I believe my fears were planted in my heart at an early age by my own family. I was the baby sister; my sisters were 11 and 14 when I was born. My sense of the world was defined early on by my mother's mantra: "Be careful! Watch the baby! Don't let anything happen to the baby!" When I became a mother at 27, I was initially fun and hip--right up until a young boy from our community was snatched and never returned. Every repressed worry surfaced and began to define my parenting. (If my kids didn't have a daredevil for a father they would have been sunk.). An inner vow took hold and chained me to caution: "Be careful! Watch the baby! Don't let anything happen to the baby!" Over time, I began to believe that my vigilance kept my children safe.
Not so. I had no idea my daughter was not in school at 2:30 on May 15. I thought she was tucked safely into Mr. M.'s class retaking a final. And if I had known, I could not have kept her safe. It is not within my power, nor my control, to hold back the crushing force of a vehicle collapsing in on itself. It is not within my power to place a barrier between a soft, warm body and three solid, rigid trees. I could not have kept anything from happening to the baby. I wasn't there.
But Someone so much more able was there, and continues to be. He is healing the child, and freeing the mother. Hallelujah.