There are moments in our lives that mark us. We can look back over the course of our lives and pick them out with little effort. They are the highs and lows – the moments that brought us to victory, the moments where we saw devastating loss, and the ones where life stood still in utter bliss.
This description sums up the phone call I received on November 26th, 2008. My brother had been in a horrible accident, and my dad was calling me with little information, but knowing that I needed to get to the hospital ASAP. Upon arriving, I’d quickly learn that he wasn’t expected to survive. Every bone in his face had been crushed, multiple limbs were broken, he had internal bleeding that they couldn’t yet stop, and his lungs were collapsing over and over. His lifeless body had already been resuscitated multiple times. He had much brain trauma, and there was no way for us to know that would mean. A moment - a phone call marked my life.
A decade later, and I can now sum up that happening quickly in a conversation or story, but the truth of it is, this past decade has been filled with hundreds of marking moments. The miracles we saw in the three months my brother was in the hospital would take months to pen. Yet the greatest miracle all of is his life continues.
It would be easy for us to look at that day as a day that created loss within his life. That day he lost the life that he knew. He lost complete sight in his right eye and full mobility of one of his arms/elbows. He lost the filter that most of us possess to keep quiet when we want to speak our mind. He lost his short-term memory and other cognitive thinking we take for granted, thus making things like job related tasks and interpersonal skills in the work place difficult and on some level impossible in a full-time, corporate America atmosphere.
Yet, in all of the loss that could mark his story, there are countless miracles to celebrate instead. Today, almost an entire decade later, the 26-year-old body that was lifeless, relying on machines to breathe oxygen into his once failing lungs, is as strong as an ox. He’s back to his certified physical trainer body, shape and stamina. The man who we were told would most likely never be able to care for himself, and the one who we should consider putting in a nursing home is now a homeowner and is capable of all the self-care every “normal” adult is. The man who we heard would never be able to work, go to school or live a productive life – that man completed his bachelor’s degree and graduated from Southeastern University. He holds a part time job and is daily making steps to better understand this new Jonathan, the way his brain now works, the way he now needs to process things and how he has to adapt that to everyone else.
Moments mark us. Yet, it’s our choice how they do. Often when we hear of marking moments, we think of the negative way our lives have been affected, changed and redirected. I certainly do. Yet, today, I encourage you, as you look back at the chapters that fill the pages of your story, as you remember the moments that have marked you, good or bad – look for the miracles in them all.
For me, there have been moments of life that seem to mark defeat, endings that were tragic and memories that are difficult and yet I can see the word God would write over them would be “protected”. There were moments of delay, what seemed like chapters of unanswered prayers and as I look back I can see God’s word would write “provision”, “preparation” and “promise”.
There’s a song that Elevation Worship sings that says this “I will look back and see that you are faithful. I’ll look ahead believing you are able.”
A thousand times, YES!! The faithfulness of God is present in tragedy as much as in triumph. As we look back, we can see that the past allows us proof of God’s faithfulness and gives room tobelieve that HE WILL DO IT AGAIN.
Today, on this throwback Thursday, look back on the moments that marked you. Remember them all. Take account of the details you’ve forgotten, remember His faithfulness, and let it serve as an encouragement that your best days are ahead. There are miracles in the making!