Last week I talked about the agony and ecstasy of research. Today I am going to talk about another form. It has nothing to do with writing (but perhaps will help me in the future with writing). This is a personal message because I just have to write about it. I may do so on HP as well.
On Tuesday of this week my 19 year old granddaughter was in a near-fatal car accident. She flipped her car and was rushed to the hospital. She had two brain bleeds and multiple broken bones. They did brain surgery where they removed a piece of her skull to allow for swelling. She was on life support for a two more days. I can’t tell you the devastation our family has been going through. You see, in addition to this horrific accident, the hospital had strict rules that she could only have one visitor for one hour every five days due to COVID and our awful governor who I am praying gets voted out. Not only was it devastating to her parents to not be able to be there, but the thought of her going through this alone was unbearable.
Fortunately, my former daughter-in-law is a nurse, a tough cookie, and a Mama bear. She found the right people and had the right formula for getting them to make an exception. This morning, she got to see her. More than her mother’s tenacity, I give credit to God.
She was still on the vent but finally awake. She was smiling despite the breathing apparatus and was able to write the word “water.” If you’ve been on a vent for a few days, you are super thirsty. Later on they took her off the vent and she was able to talk, a little slurred, due to the still swelling brain, but talk nonetheless. Not knowing the latter, I went to Bible study at 12:45 and came home about 2:30. I had a message from her Mom that my granddaughter had left me a voice mail. She had called me at 1:03. I will never ever ever erase that voicemail. As I said, her voice was slurred a bit, and she burped, I am sure due to all the air inside of her from the vent. Best burp ever.
People around the world were praying for her (I’m in a Facebook prayer warrior group with saints from around the world). Yesterday I was teary all day. Today I feel like Tigger, bouncing around with joy. She is still in very serious condition which is not to be taken lightly. She still could have setbacks and will have brain surgery again later on to put the skull piece back on. I imagine she will have lots of rehabilitation. So though I am ecstatic at this victorious day, I don’t want to rest on my spiritual laurels and quit praying. And I don’t want others to either.
I want to talk about this beautiful girl. This is not an exaggeration due to a biased grandmother. Everyone who knows her knows what a tender, sensitive heart she has. Truly one of the kindest people on the planet. She works at a memory care facility and adores her clients/patients. It’s more than a job to her, it’s a ministry. She is dearly loved there.
My older son, her uncle, needed to move one time and had no one to help him. She came to the rescue and helped him move. They had some sweet times together. If you need someone, she is there even if you don’t ask.
Ashlynn loves Jesus and when she hears worship music she beams and sings along with her sweet voice. I remember the last time I saw her about 3 or 4 years ago. She was going through some hard things. So I took her on a drive around the Peninsula I live on to take photos. Then we went to town the next day. The Christian radio station was on and that sad little face lit up and we sang all the way there. We prayed together that day too.
Her mother just got out of the hospital a couple of days before the accident. She had a very serious heart issue come up and was hospitalized about two weeks. About a week or less before her accident she messaged me that she was really having a hard time, worrying about her mom and a break up with a boyfriend. I called her and we talked quite a while then I prayed with her. She felt so much better. I remember being struck by how grown up she sounded; by her maturity, dedication to the people she serves at work, her inner beauty (she’s beautiful on the outside too). Little did I imagine what was to happen a few days later. When I heard the news I just couldn’t process it. Then her mother did a zoom even though she was still unconscious and took a photo off of zoom and sent it to me. It crushed me to see her in that condition. Hooked up to more hardware than five Home Depots.
This crisis has brought our family together in a way I’ve never seen before. And it’s brought some of us closer to God. A lot of people say at a time of crisis, “Oh, all we can do is pray.” In other words, its a last resort and not a very promising one. No, that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. Prayer is a first and best resort and it should continue throughout the whole ordeal. Because of social media hundreds of people have been praying for her.
From Tuesday to Thursday we were all in agony. I cried on an off through the days. Yesterday was particularly bad. But I had been feeling God’s presence even in the sadness and worry. I remembered the verse in the Bible that says to offer up the sacrifice of praise. Praise and thank God even when you don’t feel like it, even when things are at a devastating low. It is not thanking God for the circumstance or even the pain, but for the strength, comfort, and friendship He gives so abundantly. To do so helps you get your eyes off the problem and on to God, and the inflammatory anxiety is eased. There is no way for me to describe the inexplicable beauty to be found in the midst of pain and sorrow. For me it is simply knowing and feeling God’s presence through it. I’m not skipping along, “Woo hoo, pain rocks.” No, His presence carrying you. It’s too hard to put words to.
I think pain is one of the most useful, effective spiritual teachers to broken people; that is if they don’t choose bitterness. Cling to God and you will grow and find blessings you would not have otherwise. Bitterness has destroyed people. I would rather go through the worst adversity with God than without Him. I once was very bitter and turned on God and turned on myself. I became very self-destructive. I thank God He is the great forgiver and that He pulled me out of that pit and turned my life around. But I had to come to a place of surrender.
In our current situation, there is still a lot ahead of us, and most of all for my granddaughter. There are more hard things to face, but we have every hope she will become a fully restored body. I pray God will deepen our faith through this and mend some broken things in our lives.
A couple of days before the accident I posted here a lyric based on the song Always on My Mind. I remember listening to Susan Boyle singing it and something in my spirit drew me to put lyrics about God’s love in it. If was very intense and I sensed it was for someone particularly but didn’t know who. Well, the day after the accident I realized it was for Ashlynn. So, I am having it printed with a lovely background and take it to her when she can see me. What a day that will be.
Please say a prayer for our girl, Ashlynn Rose. Thank you.