For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. -2Corinthians 4:5-12
One of the big things that came from our trip to the west side of Washington last week was loading up and bringing back all of our belongings that had been in the car when the accident happened. For those of you that don’t already know, we were in a little Toyota and it was packed full of everything that we could fit and felt we would need for the next couple months.
When we left NC and headed to CA, we left everything with Cale’s brother and when they moved back to WA a couple months ago, they brought everything with them. I had mixed emotions about wanting to get the stuff, but I also needed a couple things that were there. So, we packed the CRV and brought everything home. The last couple days I’ve been sorting through it with Mama and Cale. Tuesday night was the start of the project when I decided to just dive in. At first it started out being something more exciting than emotionally taxing. Things we haven’t seen over two years came to the surface but as the night progressed, it began to feel as each new thing I unpacked and discovered was like a punch in the gut. You know that bubble that gets caught in your throat when you’re going to cry? I had that for almost the entire time.
I tried so hard to keep things light and fun. Cale was excited about some of the things I unpacked, even though he didn’t remember any of it; it was Christmas in March! I thought I had just about conquered the night with only misty eyes until I pulled it out of the bag…
The book. My heart sank so fast and the tears came like a hurricane hitting the coast. I tried to walk out of the room because it suddenly felt very small and stuffy, but I couldn’t make it out before collapsing. I was crying so hard it hurt. Everything seemed to hurt all of a sudden. I couldn’t catch my breath and when Cale came in and saw me crumbled on the ground, I couldn’t lift my head to even let him know I was ok. I just held the book as close to me as I could thinking about how quickly life changed. How quickly my world shifted and spiraled out of control.
When I first pulled the worn out paper towel away from the book, I knew what it was, but I wanted to look. I wanted to see. I wanted to be reminded. When I read the cover I could instantly see the moment so clearly when I last read it. Just an hour or so before the accident, my feet were on the dash, the sun was shining, my hands gripped the front and back of the book held opened to the page I was reading, and I was sharing my thoughts with Cale as we talked about our dream for a family. We both wanted a baby so bad and just the day before had been told the blood test I had gotten was negative. We were disappointed, but we knew God had a perfect plan for when and since we weren’t sure what the next season of our lives looked like we decided to see how things went.
The memory is so sweet and perfect, but as I found myself holding that same book, it was ugly. The devastation of what happened over two years ago is left marked on this book forever. My thoughts led me to thinking about how I’ve said so many times about our story. We had something so wonderful and pure and then the car accident happened, which is so ugly and terrible. I then say I love how God has turned ugly into beautiful.
This time though, I think it went even deeper than it has before because I thought about how the book is ugly and it will always be ugly. I won’t look at it and be able to just think of the sweet memory. It’s tainted with the moment of screeching tires, glass, blood, and sirens. Our lives though, are filled with the Holy Spirit and are in the hands of a living God. Our life has become beautiful because of Him, because he gives us new life. The book will always have blood stained over the front and back and along the pages, but Cale’s body healed and through Christ in us, our hearts our healing daily. He does still have a brain injury and we do still live with the effects of it, but God is good. He’s given us an abundance of joy, peace, comfort, and so much more!
The best part of the whole moment was when Mama helped me up off the floor and Cale’s arms were open to hold me and that’s just what he did. He held me and let me cry. It was an odd mix of emotions at that point; mourning for the man I lost, but feeling so blessed by the man I have. Once we had gone to the room and were lying on the bed, tears still streaming down my wet cheeks, Cale said, “I’m sorry I don’t know why you’re crying.” Oh man. Is it possible for your heart to actually burst? I felt as though mine was seconds from experiencing it.
We just about finished going through everything today. There were a couple times that the tears came running to the surface, but we made it through. One thing I did find was the notebook that had our trip plans and all the directions from place to place. We didn’t quite make it. Even though it was hard to see, it also brought a smile to my face. We’ve been on a whole lot more trips since then! I’ve also been doing a crazy amount of laundry and still more to do. All good stuff…even through the tears.
In my devotional, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, the next morning there was a couple lines I needed to read and be reminded of…
Your weakness is not a deterrent to being filled with My Spirit; on the contrary, it provides an opportunity for My power to shine forth more brightly.
My prayer is that through the hard days and the good days, you would be able to see Christ shining brightly through us and our story.
There’s no therapy for Cale right now, but we’re still getting “therapy” done! The last couple days we’ve taken Basil on a walk around the block. He’s not so…um…trained. He pulls a lot and pees on a every bush we pass. It’s a bit tricky trying to control and lead Basil and help Cale with his balance, but we’re making it. Yesterday I had help after walking for just a short time because of the difficulty, but today we ventured out again and did a lot better. I haven’t been the best dog owner with taking Basil for walks. Shame on me! Especially since when I first got Basil I walked him 3 times a day and had some of the most intimate prayer times during those walks! We’ve started!
Update on the 5k…
ATTENTION 5k Runners/Walkers and others: Who knew that organizing and planning a 5k Benefit run could have SO many hoops to jump through and legal issues that need to be considered??? Not the team planning this event, that is for sure!! ;) So, due to all of those "hoops" and issues, we are needing to postpone the 5K until this upcoming Fall. We simply need more time to put this together and do it right for Cale and Kathleen. This event IS STILL GOING TO HAPPEN....just not until Fall of 2012. PLEASE be checking back with this page for future updates and as soon as we can we will get you the new date and information!! Thank you for your understanding.
(took this off the 5k Facebook page!)
Thank you to those of you that had marked your calendars and were planning on being a part of that day. I hope that when the new day is made, you’ll still join us!