Over the weekend I am sure we all have watched the news about the assassination attempt on the congresswoman in Arizona. It was indeed a sad day for our nation. For me personally it took me back to those days I spent in the ICU waiting area. The first few days are spent just sitting, waiting for word from doctors. Back then of course I had no idea what was ahead. We could only go in and see Chris 3 times a day. It was so limited. I didn’t even leave the third floor of the hospital for 2 weeks.
Sometimes all I could do is sit, drink coffee and stare off. The outpouring of those whose lives were touched by Chris was remarkable. People brought food, money and prayers. Sometimes we would sit around and they would all start telling stories of all the crazy things Chris did. This was bitter sweet. Many times after a good laugh at his escapes then I would retreat to the bathroom to cry it all out.
Anyway, the events of the weekend and knowing the congresswoman suffered a head trauma just brought it all back as I prayed for her and her family. Those days in the truama unit were terrible. Day and night there were families coming through whose lives were disrupted by tragedy. Sadly, many didn’t make it. I could hear doctors breaking news to families whose member would never walk again, or not expected to ever regain consciousness. IT was a rough three and a half weeks.
I compare those days to today. Unlike the congresswoman Chris did not respond early on. They literally bruised him pinching him trying to get a response to pain. Even though his brain activity was low and weak it was there and we clung to hope. But now, he has come so far since those initial days in the trauma unit.
One thing I learned early on was to focus on how far he has come and not how far he has to go. But the last couple of weeks he has indeed passed a couple of milestones. Yesterday, he actually took a step for me. I can’t even believe that I was courageous enough to try to get him to walk here at home! But he did take one step and started with the right foot. HE opened his mouth and stuck out his tongue too! These seem small perhaps; but these are things he wasn’t doing even a couple of weeks ago. They are things that we have worked on for a long time. Progress is progress!
I grieve today for the Giffords family as I know the path ahead is dreary and difficult. I also know that people soon forget. They go on with their lives, and they should, and leave you to deal with it. They don’t walk beside you forever.
But there is One Who does walk with us. He will never leave us or forsake us. That has been a comfort to me throughout this whole ordeal. During those days in trauma waiting rooms I rediscovered Psalm 121. I knew that the doctors (as good as they were) were not my help; I was not relying on the nurses and staff to help us but our help was from the Lord and I turned my eyes toward Him.
Jarrett, one of Chris’ good friends, loaned me a guitar that I used for almost a year before we moved to Oklahoma. Right there in the ICU waiting room I wrote a chorus about looking to the Lord for help and trusing in Him. And that is still where I stand. The words from Psalm 121 still echo in my heart:
I will look to the Lord
Where my help comes from
He who made heaven and earth
will not sleep – He will not sleep
But He will keep my soul
I will trust in Him.
So today this is still where I stand; trusting in HIm to keep my soul. It doesn’t matter what earthly upheaval comes our way – He is the keeper and sustainer of our soul. He will carryus through life’s trials. He is with us and we will not fear! – I think I just talked myself completely into peace! Come join me!