Hold onto your seats, friends, and grab the tissue. I can’t wait for you to meet my friend Kristen. Her story is remarkable. But what is even more remarkable is her faith in the midst of her circumstances. She has such a contagious joy that can only be understood in the context of her Savior, Jesus.
What if your worst nightmare came true? Could you praise God in the midst? Kristen’s faith is a challenge to us all. Thank you so much, Kristen for sharing your story of going from Type A to Plan B with such grace and joy.
Every mom’s worst nightmare is the unthinkable accident of their child. My first-born son, Micah, was born “normal,” but at 13-months of age, fell tragically from a second story window. His little heart stopped beating and his dad held him in his arms when he took a final breath. In that moment, time stopped. The deafening echoes of the paramedic sirens couldn’t drown the deep angst in my heart. “Please, someone help him.” I mumbled the words, but numbness overtook me. It was in an inconceivable nightmare. The hurried paramedic team bustled around me as they attempted cardioversions, intravenous medications, bagged breathing, and chest compressions. It felt surreal and timeless. In a daze I wondered, “How could everything be normal one moment and in the next moment, devastating?”
Rewind 16 years ago.
I met my husband when I was in college. I remember daydreaming with him about being missionaries in Romania. He had a huge heart for orphans, and I had a passion for being on the “frontline” of where God is working. I so badly wanted God to do something “major” with my life. I wanted every breath to count. I was somehow convinced that the people God uses most are the surrendered superheroes who willingly give up every comfort. To me, that meant I needed to be a missionary in another country. So I applied to nursing school to gain tools to make myself practically useful.
After I graduated from nursing school, my husband changed his mind completely about the mission field. At first, I was confused. Then, I was devastated. I thought that by giving up on my plan for a life devoted to vocational ministry meant that I was going to live a life spiritually sub-par. I believed that God would use me less, and that He would forget my young adult cries to Him asking Him to send me “wherever” doing “whatever” so that His name and goodness would be known.
So I settled in my mind to live an ordinary life. I gave birth to my first-born son, Micah. He was a happy and stubborn little kiddo. He playfully disobeyed me when I asked him not to touch something. He pouted for hours when I laid him down for sleep. He was curious. He was stubborn. He was a playful ham in front of my camera. He was always laughing-truly a joy! That devastating day that is burned and scarred in my mind: the day Micah fell.
Micah was miraculously revived after 25 minutes of CPR and a helicopter ride to the hospital. When Micah’s heart began to beat, it would still be months before he would revive from his coma. When we were discharged from the hospital, it was apparent that he had lost everything. He couldn’t move (quadriplegia). He was blind. He had a permanent feeding tube (g-tube). He was given a coughing machine and oral suction machine because he couldn’t even cough on his own. He had lost everything. But he was alive, breathing on his own at the most. My little baby, as I knew him, would never be the same.
God is teaching me a lot through Micah’s accident. Since that devastating day, these current days are grueling. I’m a single mom now (unfortunately, and not my choice), and Micah is a very fragile kid. He is back and forth to the hospital frequently for seizures and surgeries. He is stuck in a wheelchair most hours of the day in between frequent physical therapies, speech therapies, home nursing interventions, doctor appointments, and frequent blood tests. Our home is fully equipped with hospital-grade equipment, ramps, and a basement full of syringes, oxygen tanks, and every supply Micah needs to stay alive.
Micah can do nothing on his own. He is completely dependent on others for every basic need. Yet, when I look at him, my heart swells with love for him. I would do anything for this boy. I would lay down my life for this boy. He has my heart! He can do nothing to earn that love. He can’t perform anything. He can’t even say “mom” to pull my heart strings. Nothing. I love him simply because he belongs to me. My love for him is dependent on me. I hear God’s voice when I’m basking in my feelings of love for Micah. He says, “and in your humanness, you understand that love is dependent on the person choosing to love. How much more can I say that I love you simply because you belong to me? You can’t do anything to earn my love. Stop performing. Just be.”
Loved ones, God loves us in our messiness and brokenness. He tells us in Romans 5:8 that “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He laid down His life when we were lost, broken, messy, corrupted.
So my big plans to do something grand for God is now plan B. Doing big things for God isn’t always the costly move to a third world country, eating bugs with the natives, and sharing smuggled pages from a Bible. Sometimes it is. But sometimes, it is a collection of the most humbling tasks that often build-up to an unseen grander plan. Sometimes that grander plan is the work that is done in our hearts too. In my heart decades ago, I thought that the work I was going to do for God would draw me closer to Him and increase His passion for me. Folks, I’ve learned that God is crazy passionate for us RIGHT NOW. AS IS. Can I challenge you for a moment to read this next paragraph as a message from the Lord to your heart? Read it and soak it in – God is speaking His love to you right now:
Hey you. I love you. In fact, I’m super crazy about you. I see you trying. You doubt that you would be loved and appreciated by that long list of reasons you think you have. On the days when you feel your worst, I don’t love you any less. And on the days when you feel your best, I don’t love you more. In fact, I have already given you the maximum amount of love. I love you to death, my death. I love you because you belong to me. Nothing can take that away. Nothing can change my love for you. So just come be with me. Sit with me. I want an eternal love relationship with you. I care more about you being with me than you performing something for me.
Powerful, right? Please give Kristen some love by sharing her post or commenting below!
Kristen will be a speaker at Beautifully Broken’s first women’s conference, “Unashamed” on September 30/Oct 1 at the Chapel in Barrington, IL. If you are interested in attending this conference, you can register here
Find out more about the ministry, visit “Beautifully Broken”