I actually started blogging so that I could share this story with others yet it’s taken me weeks to have the courage to do so. It is my prayer that I can do it justice.
A typical day in my household full of chaos. My husband was working out of town, so pizza was on the menu for dinner. My oldest girls had launched recently and every day I tend to have to remember which of my children are in my house that day. My oldest son was texting from a NYC airport as he prepared to fly to Israel to see friends. Can you feel the Mom anxiety level rise? On paper I can see it too, but with God as my strength this afternoon is almost typical. Victor, our 17 year old Russian exchange student needs help purchasing airline tickets online and Paul’s therapist is to arrive at 7:30. Kaylee (my 8 year old daughter) is spending the afternoon of “No Homework” twirling a baton and watching TV. Other than the butterflies in my stomach regarding Kevin’s trip that I prayed away each time they came, it was a quiet afternoon.
Paul decided to go out hunting and I was pleased. Paul, an anxious kid with a bunch of behavior problem, prefers to stay indoors and plugged in to screens most of the time so I am pleased that he wants to go outside. I say a quick prayer, grateful for the beautiful day & Paul wanting to walk in nature.
Paul’s “hunting” consists of a BB gun, an air gun or a sling shot and never a kill. Hunting = a walk in the woods. In my opinion great for a kid like him.
The doorbell rings and I assume it is Paul just wanting to make me greet him but it was a neighbor. We visit our neighbors when we see them outside but we never ring the doorbell to see them. This is not a good thing. The neighbor tells me Paul’s been hurt while hunting. Though I kick it in to Mom- Emergency gear, I’m not overly concerned. It was a BB gun, how bad could it be? When I get to Paul and see the blood soaked towel and hear the sirens, I know it’s bad.
Wanting to get him ready to go to the hospital, I ask him where the gun is. It is in his pocket. I have him stand and I reach into his pocket and feel heavy, cold steel. This I not an air gun, this is a real gun. My stomach lurches as I pull it out and reach my arm as far back as I can. I don’t handle guns and this one scares me to death. My neighbor takes it from me and unloads it. I later learn that it is a 9 mm pistol owned by my husband. Paul got the unloaded pistol out of the box that was in the gun cabinet that is in my husband’s closet. He shot his thumb. He was hunting behind our house but went to 4 neighbors’ houses before he found one home because he didn’t want to come home and get in trouble.
My support team of family, friends and community members came out in full force. They went into the woods to look for any missing pieces to the thumb, they cared for Kaylee and Victor and gave me love and encouragement.
Paul and I rode the ambulance to a location where the medical helicopter could land. As Paul was being loaded onto the helicopter, I was able to give him his comfort stuffed animal that I threw into my bag as I rushed out of the house. Not knowing what exactly I was facing, I grabbed a bag and threw in my phone charger, my iPad (My Bible app is in there), deodorant, a sweater, Paul’s stuffed animal and my journal.
Paul lifts off and my sister in law drives me to the hospital an hour away.
Praise God! The injury wasn’t as bad as we thought and certainly not as bad as it could’ve been. Paul lost the top of this thumb. It will be a journey as it heals, but all things considered, this is great news.
As I sit in the ER waiting for Paul to be discharged, I share with my sister-in-law that I just read James 1:2-9 that morning. Then I got out my journal and re-read my words, the words of others and my own words. Words the Lord had me write down that very morning to speak to me that night.
Journal Entry 6-3-14 6:00 a.m. A new journal, a new day. Paul slept in and is now in the shower. I am at such a loss for how to handle him. Even when he isn’t disobeying, I resent him. His constant breaking the rules & pushing the envelope. Constant. Lord, strengthen me. Help me formulate a plan and even a thought process that doesn’t make me angry all the time.
Victor (our Russian Exchange Student) said once, “Why you so aggressive? So Angry?” Lord, I don’t want to be, but maybe I am. I used to NOT be. And, I’m definitely not when Paul is not around. Rescue me Lord.
Devotional – Read James 1:2-9 (The 365 Most Important Bible Passages for Women)
“But God wants us to look through his eyes & see problems as gifts, as opportunities, that allow us to live what we believe and grow our faith.”
From a couple of days ago journal.
“Jesus can strengthen our faith if we will wait patiently and trust in God’s desire to make us more like himself.” (From Footprints for Women – Margaret Fishback Power)
That’s what it is about. Not how it appears, not how it appears to others, but about making us more like Him. To see problems as a gift? That’s tough. Lord, help me to mature in you. To know that these problems keep me on my knees and nearer to you. That these are blessings, not curses. That anything that makes me turn to you is a good thing. That said, Paul is the best thing that has ever happened to me! He has given me a deep need for you! He has been the vessel you use to have me examine me.
Thank you Lord, for Paul.
The Lord wrapped his arms around me in that Emergency Room. James 1:9 says, “the brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.” I was humbled. I was in the arms of the Lord. It doesn’t get any higher than that.