Saturday, July 10, 2010

Grace, Part 2.

Us at the wonderful Dooley/Strader wedding in Kingston

When I was a freshman in college I experienced one of the coolest moments of my life. I was asked to speak during a faith conference hosted by a bible study group I attended. The event was titled 4Forever and was an amazing four days of worship and love for many different reasons. Fast forward to 2010 and the events of the past week have brought me back to that week and the concept of God's Grace that humbled me then.

A couple of days before I was scheduled to speak a series of events happened that gave me clarity of thought and purpose for the concept of grace I needed to deliver.

Grace, Part 1
Sunday, September 9, 2001
The weekend before Sunday I spent in cabins with my home church chaperoning a retreat. The retreat was great because it was the first time I felt like an adult in the church and really felt like there were people who looked up to me and wanted to hear what this college Christian had to say. After all the excitement from the weekend I got up early Sunday morning, after little sleep, to drive 3 hours back to school. While driving on I-40 I fell asleep and lost all control of my car. I awoke when I side-swiped the guardrail, and after over-compensating back to the right hit that rail. I believe this happened a couple of times. When I was done feeling like a ping-pong ball I ended up in the right lane facing the wrong direction of the interstate. Alone on the interstate, hours away from home and hours away from school. God's Grace that morning kept me safe, and kept me somewhat calm. It kept me from striking someone else, from hurting myself, and began to teach me the importance of grace, sweet grace.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Two days later I experienced, along with the rest of the nation, complete shock and disbelief of the enormous attacks our country received that day. I watched the second tower get hit and both towers collapse during my freshman world civilization class. I remember feeling helpless and confused. I had never heard of the World Trade Center before the attack and felt incompetent trying to understand the implications of the enormous attack we received. Like most college campuses that day the campus exploded with support and loving kindness. God's grace allowed the campus to connect and bond under the guise of patriotism.

Thursday, September 13, 2001
Many of you know that I am a tad bit accident prone at times. This day was no different. I was playing sand volleyball at Pacer Pond and, undoubtedly, trying to impress (fit in) with those I was playing with. I dove for a ball that was about to pass the boundaries and landed only a few inches away from the significant metal post holding the net. Seriously, I DOVE for it. I was mere inches away from breaking my collar bone, possibly even worse. Those inches were grace. A few more inches of intensity I would have been badly injured.

That night I publicly spoke to the 4Forever guests and felt truly humbled to deliver God's message of grace and how the past couple of days had humbled me into realizing his grace. I remember beginning the talk and ending it, everything else was a blur - besides my shaking, nervous leg that I couldn't still for anything.

Grace, Part 2
Monday, July 5, 2010
Ten years later the idea of God's grace resurfaced in an unwelcome manner. Rebecca and I were in Michigan to visit family and for a baby shower thrown by my Mom. We had been looking forward to seeing everyone and our first baby shower for months. My Mom was so excited to throw a double baby shower for Grayson and Knox, my brother's baby due 11/10, and we were equally excited to celebrate. My 14 year old cousin Theron was coming so that I could have some male support and was riding with us to the shower.

On our way to the shower we got into an accident. We rear-ended my Mom and her friends in their car. The crash was impactful for our car, Carla the Corola. The airbags deployed and the first thing I heard was from Rebecca, in the passenger seat, 'I can't breathe.' I jumped out of the car and had to man handle the door open so I could get to her. There weren't any significant issues immediately relevant. I got her to the curb and had someone call an ambulance. A bystander stopped and helped calm Rebecca. He was a great help when there was so much confusion. Now Rebecca was calm and had it all together. I, on the other hand, was not and couldn't remember anything - such as our address. I was overcome with worry for Rebecca, for the passengers of the other car, and the loss of the baby shower we had looked forward to for so long. The ambulance arrived and we decided she and Grayson needed to be checked out further. At the hospital they were treated as an immediate concern and received the undivided attention of 8+ ER doctors. After initial checks and ultrasounds Rebecca was dispatched to a room for observations. After four hours of observation by a 70+ year old OBGYN, who acted like she was learning things for the first time, Rebecca was released.

Thankfully everyone else involved was ok and only suffered from shock. We are very thankful that God's grace allowed us to walk away safe and for Rebecca with minor injuries and no harm to Grayson. The accident could have been much worse and cannot imagine the sorrow I would feel if more serious injuries occurred.

However, Carla the Corola did not fare as well. We are still waiting on the adjustor to tell us if she is totaled or if they will be fixing her up. We had to leave her in Michigan and drive Isaac the Impala, the rental car, home.
Carla the Corola. :(

Thanks to my Aunt Lynn, Uncle Tom, and Cousin Theron we still had our baby shower. It was on Tuesday and very much worth the wait. Grayson got so many great things and will have some Michigan love to welcome him home in Georgia.
Denim Huggies for Grayson from Marilyn

A Bouncy thingy for Grayson from my Grandparents

A BEAUTIFUL handmade Thomas the Train quilt by Aunt Lynn


mommara said...

So glad you guys are ok! That is his amazing grace for sure.

Pam said...

WOW! I can't believe you didn't tell me! I am so glad that everything turned out ok, beautiful Grace!

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