it comes around every year.
it is pure delight to teachers and students alike because it's a guaranteed day off school right at the start.
it was six years ago on the friday of labor day that luke was in an . the visual memory of the is still near via the scars on his forehead and yet the faithfulness that God displayed on that day is still near seeing as the could have been [pretty easily]. Would God be faithful if Luke hadn't made it through the , of course! But, clearly God's plan allowed for a halo, and for his life to continue.
oh man. six years... lots of things have transpired... our break up, our time single in college. our getting back together. our engagement. our wedding. our first three years of marriage. finding out we were pregnant for the first time. having carter. celebrating carter's first birthday. and those are just some of the highlights. but six years ago we were in a similar situation... luke and i. we had just begun college: new friendships, new classes, new environment. our relationship was evolving into what it would be or should i say 'what it wouldn't be' (funny to laugh about now) and we were figuring out the ropes of how not to look like a college freshman while still being one...
but that friday luke was driving up to the camp to spend a weekend away with his family and he had told me he would call me on his way up. i remember getting ready to go out with some friends that night and thinking that it was weird he hadn't called yet but shrugging it off as 'i don't want to be clingy, and think the worst.. etc, etc.'
but the next morning my parents called me a bit too early in the morning. at first i was frustrated about the time and then i realized that there was a Reason they were calling this early... to tell me that Luke had been in an . His left back tire blew and his car flipped three times... his head actually hitting the pavement. deep sigh, keep breathing. kristen, he's alive. he's gonna be ok. his neck was fractured but not broken and what in many cases leads to being paralyzed God allowed for him not to be. hmm.
my parents drove to toledo, ohio and picked me up and then drove me to grand rapids where luke was at in a hospital. tears came to my eyes instantly when i saw him. so sad to see him that way but at the same time so thankful i could still sit by his side and talk to him. i remember even some funny moments while i was visiting him where because of the medication he was saying weird stuff. because i love him, i'll just hold onto those as memories rather than sharing.
the morning of the i was playing music while packing and there was a song by ginny owens that played that's called 'if you want me to.' there's a line in the song that says, 'and i'm clinging to the promise that you're not through with me yet. so if all of these trials bring me closer to you, then i'll walk through the fire if you want me to.' you can listen here. all i could think was i don't know what God has planned for Luke but apparently, he's not through with him yet.
i think anyone who came in contact with luke for the next few months could see that he probably wouldn't have chosen this situation but since he was in it he wanted to learn the lessons before him once so he didn't have to go through something even more difficult to learn the same lessons. all things considered he had a really good attitude and through the ups and downs of the journey of wearing a halo and finding out when it would come off and if everything was healing properly was a journey in and of itself. it's so interesting to think back that people actually would say to him things like, 'you should hang lights on your halo for christmas.' or 'hey man, i saw you on the train yesterday, i couldn't miss you.' people, deep sigh.
but clearly the prayers of many were heard and God showed up in allowing Luke to get the halo off and to this day he has few problems with his neck. there are times that i worry when he rides rollercoasters or things like that and he always replies, 'really, kristen, i'm fine.' :)
although i wasn't around on a day to day basis because I was at cedarville God still used this circumstance mightily in my life. he taught me what it meant to trust him when everything was out of my control. he taught me that he has made the body of Christ how he has so everyone's function can play the role they need to. and he taught me that God is bigger than any circumstance that we have. He is so, so faithful. if you asked luke about the i'm sure he'd tell you lessons learned too... clearly God teaches us all different things even when we go through similar things.
but now we've turned quite a few pages since the . do i think about it everyday, no. but, when i do gaze at that beautifully handsome face of my husband and touch the scars in his forehead, or when i hear him teach the Word of God to students, or when i gaze into my son's eyes who is the spitting image of his father, i think... 'these are some of the reasons God wasn't through with him yet.' [now, i'm getting choked up]
trials produce lessons learned like nothing else. they're not easy but they're necessary. God is so good and we rest in him today.
here's to God's faithfulness for many more labor days...