Those of you that know me well, know that talking is not something that is hard for me. In fact being quiet is a physically draining struggle. (Quit nodding your head now) God has been throwing a lot of lessons my way and here is one that sheds light on a way that I am quiet and I don't need to be.
My Dad's horrific car accident happened on October 16, 2010. As Cara was opening the presents at her 6th birthday party I got a hot tip from a friend there that something was amiss.
She was reading body language and actions. Noticing that a cell phone call that my mom answered sent my sisters actions shifting toward a quiet distraction. Angie was whispering to Kevin and Ginger walked back in with her hair pulled back. So I asked, thinking maybe that Dad had called mom and was being weird. To hear "Dad was in a car accident and is in Shock Trauma"... not what I was expecting at all. From that moment it was all a blur. I tried to keep up with the party, getting everyone their parting gifts and saying goodbye. I texted Carter (Isn't technology great? You don't even have to say it out loud for anyone to hear!) and then 2 other friends at the party who knew that something was wrong. On the ride home we ended up with Samuel, my friend Kelly had Cara's presents and Ginger had my jacket. It all got done because all of the pieces were working - not on all cylinders as individuals - but as one machine that could still operate despite minor flaws in the parts.
My Mom, Sisters and I have always been able to do this. And do it quietly. One of the parts may be taken out but the other 3 keep it going so that the 4th can just jump right back in like nothing happened.
Growing up, we were never loud about what was going on. We made it all look like it was working. There were only a few glaring flaws that were visible - but only to the eye that was watching closely. Watching closely and questioning. This is where we may have gone wrong but we are making it right.
No one wants to look like a fool, or weak or a failure. Well some people do but I don't understand them.
After my Dad's accident we went straight to our means of pleading for prayer - Facebook and church. When I ask for prayer on Facebook it is not merely a means of spreading news under the disguise of asking for prayer. I REALLY WANT IT! When I reply to someone and say I am praying for them I MEAN IT! I challenge you to do the same. Don't type "Praying for you" and then not do it. I have been guilty of that in the past but that is more than over!
As a family we prayed for a miracle, prayed for the craziness that Dad creates to be over, prayed for his healing in every aspect. You would think that severe of a head injury would knock some sense into someone or knock all sense completely out. We got neither (well so far, I still have faith that it is possible that there will come a day when he is healed of his mental building blocks). What we did get was a miraculous recovery for Dad that has him exactly back to where he was before the accident. Amazing. It has not even been a month yet. If you know anything about Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), this is nuts. I have friends with experiences that prepared me for a long haul. Long haul of back and forth, progress and regress, relearning the basics. Yeah I got NONE of that! I almost feel robbed, but not really of course. What takes months/years my Dad did in 3 weeks. I am so thankful to God for that but mad at the unfairness of this life.
What I witnessed during that time was my miracle. I watched as people came out of the woodwork. People that are always at the surface of my life went into action. They stepped out and screamed their support. That support came in so many ways but the main ingredient was someone stepping out of their own life and reaching into mine to make a difference. Whether they had experience with TBI or had no idea but were open to listening, it all worked.
Anyone that says that Facebook is of the devil is obviously not using it correctly!!!!!!!!
I cannot even name all of the people that have helped my family in the last few weeks. Frankly I may not even know some of them at all. Each time we reached out we were overwhelmed with information and support. Countless responses from people who knew about this type of injury, what we were facing and where to go for services. You have to ask for help. There are people out there that have something to say! Don't be afraid that no one else has been through it and you will be alone. Life will easily show you where to put those that are not helpful. The only way to guarantee that you will be alone is to try and handle it by yourself. I learned this a little bit when I went through a miscarriage. No one in my immediate family had been through one. We were all at a loss. Once I opened up I found several shoulders to cry on that knew my pain first hand. Even now when I mention it I discover that people I have known for a while have been through it. It's like Breast Cancer, same thing. As soon as you mention that you will definitely understand that you are not alone. Everyone knows someone that has been through it or going through it. Not many people are going to lead into their conversation with those topics so when you need help, YOU have to say it first.
Life is hard but it does not have to be THAT hard. Lean, reach, or stretch. There is no need to "jump" but if you need to fall or sit for a minute, someone will be there. Do the same for others. Take time to observe and listen and pray. If you have something to offer, big or small, do it. Don't be afraid. It could save someone.