Recently I was joking around with my Hubby about how we haven’t watched a single minute of the NCAA Basketball Tournament (aka March Madness).
He replied “yea–March Madness describes our life for the past three weeks”
He was right.
The last month has been insane for our family. I feel like I’ve been in crisis mode all month long but…
…I’m thankful for hard times.
I know this is a strange thing to say. I’m not thankful for the bad things themselves, but I am thankful for what I’ve gained in going through them.
I didn’t always see things that way.
A good friend of mine had her first child a couple years ago. Weeks after the baby’s birth, her husband was diagnosed with cancer.
I’ll never forget her saying “God can do something good through this.”
I believe God can do miracles and I’ve seen them happen. But as I listened to my friend say this it just didn’t make any sense.
How can something good come out of watching your husband battle cancer as you are learning how to be a mom for the first time?
Now, years later it does make sense.
God CAN do good things through bad experiences.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good” Romans 8:28
I’m happy to report that my friend and her husband are doing well. He is cancer free and they both continue to show amazing faith and thankfulness no matter what is going on. Seeing their faith through struggles helped me prepare for the struggles I recently faced.
I’m sure by now you’re wondering what made the month of March so crazy. Here’s the whole story:
If you follow me on Facebook, you may have heard this story. My daughter was at church, fell down and split the skin on her chin open. And when I say “open” I mean one-look-at-it-and-you-might-lose-your-lunch open. I knew right away she was going to need stitches.
For your sake I won’t show you those pictures. You’re welcome.
But I will show you this one. This is us moments before my daughter got her stitches. Look at her–smiling and having fun. I was completely blown away at how calm she was. I was trying to put up a calm front but inside all I wanted to do was cry for my daughter.
This was the first emergency situation involving one of my kids. It was so hard watching her get stitches. I wanted to take her place so badly.
Surprisingly, she was more brave than I was! In fact, as soon as her stitches were done, I passed out!
It was like as soon as I knew everything was okay, my body gave up.
What good came out of this?
- God used this situation to show me that my kids are braver and stronger than I give them credit for.
- God loves my kids even more than I do and because of that I don’t need to worry. They will have to face some hard situations but I don’t have to worry as long as I leave them in His hands.
The very next day, our family took a little trip a to the zoo which is a couple hours away from our home. We figured this trip would help our daughter get her mind off of the trauma she went through the day before.
We had a great time! The kids had fun in the car on the ride up (without any movies!) while the hubby and I discussed how thankful we were for my car and the good gas mileage it was getting.
After a fun trip to the zoo with friends and a quick trip to the Disney Store, we headed out to Trader Joes–one of my favorite places to go!
Then it happened.
Tires screeching. A big bang. Airbags going off. My kids screaming.
We were in a head-on collision.
This is the kind of thing I never wanted my kids to experience but now we were right in the middle of it.
I immediately looked around the car to see if everyone was okay. My Hubby was okay. The kids were shaken up and upset, but otherwise they seemed fine. No blood. Just little scratches. Thankfully, all 6 people involved in the car accident made it out with nothing more than a couple scratches.
But my car was totaled. The car my hubby and I were just thanking God for…is now gone.
One reason our family can afford to live off of one income is because our cars are paid off. Now that my car is gone, what are we going to do? I was so thankful everyone was okay but how are we going to afford a new car?
What good came out of this?
- A thankfulness I’ve never felt before. Realizing that in an instant I could have lost my family really gave me a deep thankfulness for my husband and children. I could have lost them. But I didn’t.
- Experiencing God’s amazing protection. If we would have been half a second ahead, the other car would have hit my daughter and I, not the front of the car. Then the situation would have been much worse. The fact that we were able to walk away from this scene practically unharmed shows that God was there protecting us.
- Realizing God prepared us for this ahead of time. Weeks before the accident, I took both my kids on a school field trip to the fire station. The kids got to meet fire fighters, see the big trucks and learn all about how fire fighters and police are there to help. This trip led to many discussions about how fire fighters and the police come to help those in need. My daughter was the first one to see the police arrive at the scene of the accident. She immediately shouted out excitedly “the police are here to help us!” Instead of being scared of all the noise, commotion and safety equipment, she was calm. God prepared her ahead of time.
- Watching God come through and provide what we thought we couldn’t get. I now have a new-to-us car that I love and here’s the best part– it’s already paid off! God provided for this through a good settlement with our insurance company and some awesome help from our parents.
Worst Fever Ever
A couple days after the accident my daughter had a really bad fever. The worst one she’s ever had. At one point it got up to 105.
As if she hasn’t had enough to deal with by now! At this point my heart was breaking for my little girl. She just went through 2 traumas 2 days in a row. She needs to recover! She needs some normal time to help process all these events. But that’s not what she got.
The 105 temperature only lasted a day but the fever just wouldn’t go away. Slowly after about 4 days the fever finally went away.
What good came out of this?
- Realizing that I am blessed that my kids are healthy most of the time. Some parents have very sick children and the burden that goes along with that is unimaginable. Again, I was amazed at the strength God gave my little girl to face all these trials.
Apparently my family used 23,000 gallons of water in one month.
During the midst of our “March Madness”, we received the biggest water bill we’ve ever seen and discovered there was a break in the main pipe leading to our house.
Oh plumbing problems. How I hate you!
When we were shocked with the huge water bill, one of our good friends (who just happens to be the head honcho at the water department) offered to help us dig out our yard to find the leak.
The good news was they found the leak. The bad news was the leak was so bad we had to shut the water completely off.
For three whole days.
Have you ever gone without running water for more than a day? It’s not fun.
We hired a plumber to fix the leak. In order to fix the problem, the plumber needed more access to the pipe. The 6 foot deep hole in my front yard now had to be bigger. Usually they would hire an excavator to do the digging, but not us. In an effort to save money, my hubby did most of the digging to expose the pipe.
The hubby came home after teaching all day, then coaching at a track meet until almost 9PM to dig a 6 foot deep hole in our front yard and cut a hole in the basement to give access to the broken pipe.
The poor guy. He had a very long day!
What good came out of this?
- I have taken indoor plumbing for granted my whole life! I can’t tell you how excited I was to see running water again.
- God provides us with friends and family to help when we need it the most. I have some awesome friends who know how to serve and be a blessing to those they are around.
- Realizing I have an awesome Hubby. He has so many talents and abilities that have saved us so much money over the years. Usually if we have a problem with the house or cars, he can fix it. The only time we hire someone is for plumbing problems.
Thankfully I can say that things have finally calmed down for our family. I am out of crisis mode and things seem to be going back to normal.
One verse that helps me endure trials is this:
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” James 1:2-4
So–what struggles have you been going through lately? Have you gained something from going through hard times?