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Monday, May 16, 2011

Facing Tragedy

It was both the worst AND the best week of my life...EVER.
This was three years and three days ago, and I'll never forget it.
It has forever changed me.
It was the week we nearly lost our son to a drowning.

For any of you who have ever nearly lost (or, heaven forbid, actually lost) a child, you know the feelings of a matter such as this.  You know the feeling that there is nothing you can do.  You know the feeling of guilt, no matter what the particular circumstances.  You know the pang of death you feel in your own heart.  You know the feeling of nothingness, numbness, dizziness & depression.  You know the sleeplessness, the exhaustion, the shock, panic and deep, deep sorrow...the willingness and pleading to God that you do, begging him, "Lord, please!  Pleeeease!! I'll do anything, anything!,  if you would just heal our child!!!"

Lucky for us, those are not the only feelings we grappled with that week.  We also felt sheer JOY that week!  Why?  Well, obviously because we did, in fact, get our son back.  And not just "back," but ALL back {Praise God!}!  But even more, what forever changed us that week was really knowing that God is real.  That, yes, he does still perform modern day miracles!  That He has a deep mercy for us.  That He is in control.  That He can overcome anything.  That He take even the most difficult of instances and turn it into a blessing.  Most people don't get this "opportunity," if you will, but he blessed us with it!  Now.  Please understand, I would never ever want this to happen to me, or any one of you, for that matter. But the fact is, it did happen.  To us.  But through this near-devastating crisis, we pulled through...our son pulled through...and it was all because of God.  His perfect plan. His perfect timing.  All of it.

I know some of you are scoffing at this right now.  You know who you are.  You are the one sitting at your computer right now...wondering {mocking} how I can be crediting God for this.  How I can be so sure there is a God.  And that hurts my heart.  More so for you, than for me.  But.  But.  I'm going to notate some of the "uncanny" details from those 3 days...things that are much, much too "coincidental" to be just that, coincidental.  They are God's workings....here, see for yourselves:

*My boss asked me about leaving for lunch 5 minutes before I normally go.  I took this seemingly small "opportunity" to head out 5 minutes early.  I shudder to think what might have actually happened had I left 5 minutes later...as it turned out I was the one who would fine my son...floating on the pool, face-down.

*My son was wearing a tshirt with a screenprinted helicopter on it that day...the only one he owned with a helicopter on it.  Later that day, he'd go on his first (and only, so far) helicopter ride (from the ER to the hospital).

*My husband had been a police officer for 5 years prior to this event.  In those five years, and all the tragedies he encountered in them, he had never witnessed CPR actually work.  But on this day, I successfully gave CPR to my son...and got him to take a breath. I was *not* CPR-certified and had never performed it on someone before this day.

*My husband and I had to take a separate ride {we couldn't go in the helicopter with our son, as it would weigh too much} from the ER to the hospital.  So instead we rode with the fire chief {he was driving, of course, as we were in no shape to drive ourselves!} in his truck.  During this ride {which was the longest ride of my life EVER!}, I saw on the floor of the truck a copy of "The Family Prayer," and I also noticed on his wrist a bracelet, which had inscribed on it the word, "faith."  I can't believe I was able to notice or focus on anything at all during this ride, but somehow God made me notice those two things...and nothing else...not the traffic, not the noise...not anything else...just these two things.  And I held on tight to that word and that sheet of paper...and somehow, some way, felt a wave of calm then...knowing God was in this, and all I had to do was trust in Him...and have faith.

*My son, who could barely speak any words before the time of the incident to begin with, spoke his first word since the incident, the day after it happened.  We were in the hospital, and he spoke the word, "Nana."  He said it to his Nana, literally just as she came into his hospital room.  It was as if he was saying to her, "It's okay. It wasn't your fault. Everything's gonna be just fine.  God's got this."

*Thousands of people prayed for our son during this time.  There were special services held just for him...even in other countries.   The power of prayer is real.

*I had formed my company, "adam's blankie," before this happened.  I originally came up with the name out the love my son has for his blankie...his needing it for comfort and peace.  But I now know that this name is two-fold and came from God. For it speaks not only for Adam's love of his blankie, but it references God's "blankie" of love and protection that surrounded, enveloped & protected Adam during this near catastrophe.

Still to this day, retelling this story makes my eyes well up with tears.  I still cry every time I have to talk about it.  But I know God made this story part of our journey so that we would tell it.  So that is what I'm doing.  And I hope that it moves you such that you are that much more careful with your children around water, of course.  But most importantly, I hope it touches your soul such that you would know God to be true to His word.  That He is who he claims He is, and that you would seek Him in your journey here on Earth.

Please click this link to read the full story from that day.  Please also note that adam's blankie is a supporter of the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona, and donates a portion of its profits to them.  You can click here to discover tips on helping to prevent drownings, or to find the address to send your own donations to them. 

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Mama KC said...

Oh my word! You're right that there will be many people who read this post and think you're being silly, but some day God will touch their hearts and they will come to see him.

I'm sad that you had to go through that but happy that God lead your family back to safety! It was also a great eye-opening experience into the nature of his miracles, which I have seen too. Much love, and God Bless!!!

KC from www.OnePlusOneIsFour.com

Welcome! said...

Thank you so much for your inspirational comment, Mama KC! xoxo

Summer @ Well-rounded hippie said...

So glad it all worked out!!! Thanks for sharing!

Trinity Rose said...

Thanks so much for sharing this with us. I always believe that God hears and answers prayers, but it helps to really hear it for me right now. Would you and your friends please pray for us? Last year my son's wife ran off with a former boyfriend. We were all very shocked. They both have a 14th month old son whom is greatly loved. My son wants full custody of him, because his mom isn't a great influence on him and isn't a Christian. She doesn't have a job and doesn't try to get one, just wants to be on welfare as is her mother and brother. My son is a Christian and has a great job and wants to bring his son up in the right way. This Wednesday the 18th at 1:30p.m. Eastern they have their hearing. I would ask would you please pray that our son Jordan would get full custody of his son Peyton?
Thank you!
Trinity Rose aka Wanda

Welcome! said...

Thank you for sharing your story, Trinity! I will pray for this situation for you!

Garden Girl said...

A story that truly touched my heart. We own a pool and even though I am a good swimmer, I have had reacuring nightmares of children drowning. We must teach the importance of swimming and water safety. Blessings to you and your family

Welcome! said...

I totally understand that nightmare, and pray safety for you and your family! If you haven't yet, be sure to check the link I provided for tips on water safety!!

Anonymous said...

Your story leaves me with tears on my face for what could have happened and joy in my heart for what God did do in protecting your son! God is good - all the time!!!

A To Zebra Celebrations said...

WOW! Kari! I was reading your story tonight and my heart aches. What a testimony of God's love and faithfulness! You are so blessed! I had no idea you live in Arizona. I'd love to meet up for coffee some time :) Blessings to you and your beautiful family!

Welcome! said...

Thanks for reading this, Nancy. Yes, a huge testimony for us to share, and one day, for our little guy to share, too! HUGE plans for him from God, I believe!! Yep, right in AZ, so yes, we should totally get together some time!

Thanks again! God bless! :)

Cherry Blossoms said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. I read your story awhile ago but you are right God was with all of you that day just like he is every day. I guess, somedays we notice his loving works more than other days.

Welcome! said...

Cherry Blossoms - you are absolutely right! Thanks for sharing this insight and reminder with us all! xo

jcyc21 said...

God is so good to protect your son! I read the link too and couldn't read it without tears rolling down my face. God is so good and is certainly still performing miracles on a daily basis!!

Thanks so much for sharing this amazing story!

Blessings to your family.