I have taken a brief break from blogging for the last three weeks, and this post, which was written two weeks ago, explains why.
Last week, my husband was in a car accident. He was leaving the gym early Thursday morning and headed towards his favorite bait shop on the main highway that goes through our town when a woman headed into town failed to give him the right of way and he plowed into her, totaling both of their vehicles.
I was at home, getting my kids ready for school group, which meets every Thursday. I'd asked my husband to be sure to be home in time to help me get the boys out the door. They were going to eat a brand new cereal I'd gotten them, as a special incentive to make them eat faster so we could leave on time. I'd just baked paleo apple pie crumb bars to bring for Johnny Appleseed day.
When I got the phone call, I expected he was letting me know he'd be home soon.
"I got into a car accident," he said, breathing heavily.
"Oh my gosh! Are you OK?" I replied.
"I don't know," he answered. This was when I knew this was not going to be a normal inconvenience.
He didn't know where he was or what happened, he explained. He got someone nearby, which I later learned had probably been a paramedic (he still doesn't remember) to tell him where I was, and I told him I'd go get him.
He called me back two minutes later.
"I got into a car accident," he said.
He didn't remember calling me the first time. My stomach seized in fear.
He was clearly injured.
He would call me one more time to tell me again after that, and by now I was crying and ushering the kids in the car. He'd call me again right before I got to the crash site, having forgotten we'd agreed I'd come get him. He had refused to go with the paramedics because he said he just wanted to go home.
All I could think was how close we had just come to losing him entirely. How quickly it can all go away. How vulnerable we are.
In an instant, my husband went from going about his plans to go fishing — he'd been on his way to the bait shop when his car was hit — and then to the archery range to sight in his bow for the opening of deer season, to not knowing what had happened or what was going on.
Within an hour, he'd be facing down the reality of sustaining serious, likely long-term injuries and having no truck, not knowing when he'd be able to move normally again or how seriously his head had been injured.
In an instant, I went from going about my day as planned, fully expecting my husband to be able to help me with the kids and do his own thing when we left and having a normal evening and being able to stick to the schedule I'd made for myself in my Erin Condren the night before.
How much worse it could have gotten. How quickly our family's foundation could have been ripped out from under us.
We never know how long we have on this earth. We never know if the plans we make for ourself are going to work out. We take our spouses for granted, we take our schedules for granted, we take our lives for granted, and all along we have no idea what God's plans our for us.
Of course...that's what's at the core of events like this for those who believe.
It was God's plan.
It's been hard on us and will continue to be so. I hate seeing my husband so injured, I've never in my life seen him so subdued. His concussion could take up to three weeks to heal, and it will take that long to know if there's been any further damage. The doctor ordered an MRI of his neck, which she believes will likely take the longest to heal, and he'll require physical therapy.
This is a man who regularly lifts weights, hunts for whatever is in season, takes his dogs to the woods, his boys to go fishing, takes care of our yard, and, since he stays home with me and does the majority of the homeschooling, helps around the house as well.
He had plans for his day and the coming months, and so did I. While he's forced to simply sit around, I'm forced to do the things that I used to be able to rely on him to do, on top of my job and all the housework I was already doing.
But this is exactly where God wanted us to be and He has a purpose for it.
He has already, in such a short time, shown me the immense ways in which we are blessed through all this. Just having my husband alive is a pretty massive blessing, so I am praising the Good Lord for that, believe me.
There is also the fact that we already have two vehicles, that we have parents who can help us out, a roof over our heads, two healthy little boys, I have a good job, and since he doesn't work, it's no problem for him to simply stay home and heal.
Of all the times of our life for this to happen, right before deer season is definitely a bummer, but it didn't happen when he was the sole breadwinner and a physical laborer at that.
That's all I can say right now, and it's going to have to be enough. When I sat down to write this, to be honest, I was feeling nothing but overwhelmed. I've been crying multiple times a day, as the anxiety keeps my chest in a vice and I struggle to keep my eyes on the next task at hand ("do the next thing" is an amazing strategy to cope with overwhelm I explained in this post).
I feel like I'm on the brink of a breakdown, with everything going on. Money was already tight and our 7-year-old is going through a rough phase. This is to say nothing of the fact that our country seems to be on the brink of a civil war, which I have to write about on the daily for a living.
In some of the hardest times of my life, I've felt so lost, so confused, but have always known, intellectually, that God had my back. I didn't feel it, I didn't walk around singing His praises and smiling and spreading joy all around me. I grit my teeth and told the Lord I knew He still had me, but dang, did things suck.
He was always there on the other end of that tunnel, and there the whole time it felt like He wasn't. I know He's there now, and that's all I know, but that's enough.
Sometimes life just gets real, and it's the only thing reminding us that He's there. And that's probably the whole point.