Life has continued to roll over us since our last update.
Nathan’s leg is healing slower than anyone expected and is still terribly swollen and painful for him. There is no sign of infection, and we’re thankful for that. For now, his surgeon has told us we just have to wait for his body to heal. So we wait.
On Friday, Scott and I left the house to find a quiet place where we could work uninterrupted on some pressing TSC business that needed to be addressed before we left town. That evening, we tacked on a little mini-date at the end and did manage to completely get away from everything for a couple of hours.
As we were driving home, though, our mini-van suddenly just quit working. This is the same mini-van that just had a ton of work completed on it. We coasted to the side of the road and initially we both just sat there in the silence and the dark, thinking about the fact that this was the vehicle that was supposed to drive us to Knoxville about thirty-six hours later. We recognized that our heightened emotions were making this feel like a much bigger deal that it really was, but there we were. Eventually, we kind of pulled ourselves out of that little mental funk and reminded each other, again, that God never takes us any place without a reason. And we chose to trust Him.
A very young police officer pulled up behind us and came to our window just to be sure we were okay. Then he left some flares to mark our location and provide some extra safety on the dark road. And Scott found a tow truck driver who had another hour left before closing time, and he came to save us.
When we arrived home late that night, the mail from that day was waiting for us on the kitchen counter. As we went through that mail, we discovered a gift from our church that was labeled, “A Love Offering.” This gift left us weeping in the kitchen. There was more than enough to cover towing costs to our house that night and to the repair shop the next morning, more repairs to the mini-van, and a rental vehicle to get us to Knoxville on Sunday and back home on Thursday. God was already several steps ahead of us as we sat there on the side of the road in the dark, wondering what would happen next. When will we ever learn not to doubt Him even when nothing seems to make sense. We do public speaking about this very topic; we have written a book about this! Yet we struggle to hold onto this ourselves sometimes.
The next morning was Saturday, and we jumped up and began working on pre-trip planning. Scott and the boys had a massive amount of work to do in our basement and the girls and I were working on a crazy long list of organizational plans for getting all of us moved to Knoxville. Scott and I had already planned to take a lot of things with us on this first trip that would be used up during our family’s stay — diapers, pull-ups, Juice Plus, one-week’s worth of catheter supplies (we had already arranged to have more delivered to us after the family arrives in Knoxville), sterile saline, etc. Trying to get all of this organized, as well as planning for later packing of clothes, small kitchen appliances, pots and pans, kids’ prescriptions took a lot of work.
Around mid-day, I suddenly realized I wasn’t feeling so well, and within an hour I was running a fever and experiencing so much nausea that I could barely stand to move. And we were supposed to drive to Knoxville in less than twenty-four hours!
Thanks to my girls’ help, we did manage to finish all of the list-making, but I gave up on trying to do any packing. Scott did make sure we were able to do our last family Easter study with the kids that night (we didn’t want to leave Jesus in the grave as we drove away to Knoxville!!), my teens helped him put together the kids’ Easter baskets for me, and we both went to bed. My fever broke about 5:00 a.m. the next morning, and we did manage to pack and get on the road, although it was about four hours later than we had hoped for.
As we drove away, our daughter and son-in-law, Greg and Kristie, arrived with their seven children and began working on plans for an Easter egg hunt and a very non-traditional Easter dinner of grilled hamburgers. They made the day very special for our children and sent us pictures so we could be a part of our family’s Easter — Nolan’s first one with us. It was hard to miss that.
That evening, Scott and I arrived at the lake house that is already beginning to feel like home and as we walked into the family room, we saw that we had gotten there just in time to catch the last of Easter Sunday’s fabulous sunset over the lake. God continually finds ways to remind us that we are in His capable, loving, and very patient hands.
So as I sit here in the waiting room and Scott is in the back having his staging MRI and our hearts are both tempted to feel anxiety over what this MRI will show, I remember that beautiful sunset and all of God’s recent gifts and His powerful, loving hands holding us. And I know — at this moment anyway — that whatever we learn from this MRI, He is still in control and will carry us each step of the way. And I also know that, should we get more bad news from this MRI and consequently stumble in fear initially, He will patiently continue to whisper to us that He is here and will never leave us.
Thank you all — all of you who have blessed us financially, have made/are making meals for our family in our absences, have run/are running errands for us, sent cards, written emails of love, offered to help in any way possible. Thank you. You are beautiful representations of His hands and feet.