It was a rainy afternoon one Monday in May, exactly one year ago yesterday, when it happened.
I was six months pregnant with Jude and had a doctor's appointment that afternoon. Only I didn't remember the doctor's appointment because I had forgotten to flip my week-at-a-time calendar page that Monday. It had been a busy weekend and getting back into Mondays with three kids three and under sometimes didn't happen for me until Tuesday (or later in the week, for that matter).
If I had flipped my calendar, I wouldn't have been taking the kids up to the Chalet for a walk. But I didn't turn the page. I didn't see my appointment. I wasn't going into town to see my OB.
Instead, Catherine, Camille, Jack, and I (with Jude tucked inside my tummy) were walking, splashing, stomping through the mud puddles on the driveway from our house to the Chalet. We were going to stop inside and play a while until Daddy finished work.
We went up to the library at the top of the Chalet, walked out on the porch, sang "It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring..." while we watched the raindrops fall. We went back inside.
And then it happened. The accident. The library sliding glass door shut on Jack's two fingers, severing them. He was in my arms.
The rest is a blur of red, tears, adrenaline.
Hours later, with our little boy's fingers stitched back on, bound up in bandages, I crawled into bed beside Erik.
In the twilight hours, my mind sloshing through imagery and sequences and the gaps, I recalled my calendar. Wanting to vomit, I leapt from bed and my suspicions were confirmed. My doctor's appointment was that day. That time. If only I had turned the page...
Hot tears. Remorse. Anguish. Wanting to force back the hand of time do things differently. To protect my little boy's hand. To take his pain away, even to take it myself. Nothing, absolutely nothing can change what happened. Time has locked it away.
Sometime later, as I lay there in bed, this scene unfolds in my half-awake, half-asleep thoughts:
God says: "Aren't you glad the accident didn't happen?"
Me: "But the accident did happen!"
Reply: "No, the other accident that would have happened to you, your unborn baby, Erik, and the children if you had gone to your doctor's appointment this afternoon."
I do not know if this scenario would have happened or not, but either way I feel it was God communicating with me and reminding me that His heart for us is far, far, far beyond the dimension we see now. What I do know is that for all the unknowns in our life stories, all the mysteries, and the senseless acts, God sees the whole picture, from all angles and from eternity. And He is good.
As a parent, there's nothing I want more than to protect, defend, nurture, and support our children. I'm pretty sure if you're a parent, you feel the same.
When accidents happen?
When things are beyond our control?
When it was a mistake?
When we forget?
For this we have Jesus.
Lord, in the hot tears, anguish, and remorse of parenting,
may we find rest in You.
May our children know You, the One who can heal their wounds.