I’m struggling right now.
I find myself wondering if I need to be transparent about it on here so I’m not fake and a fair-weather blogger giving some false impression that my life is perfect and I’m strong… or if talking about struggles is going to sound like complaining and begging for attention.
But wouldn’t this blog and website be a farce if Hope was not here for me when I am struggling? Does someone out there need to know this?
Because Hope is still here. In me. Even though I feel like I’m falling apart.
Because the Infinite One lives inside of me and breathes life into me and holds me in the palm of His hand and is entirely capable of shining His Light through this blog if He chooses, regardless of what I am going through.
I was in a car accident last Thursday. The cold weather that descended on most of the US changed our Ohio roads from perfectly okay to ice-covered skating rinks for cars right at rush hour.
I was out to take my daughter to her last orchestra practice before her concert when we hit black ice. In the span of three seconds, I went through the realization that I had lost control of the car, terror that we were about to slam into an oncoming car, torture at my daughter screaming my name, relief that we had somehow missed the car, and a strange, cool, detached curiosity at whether it was possible for the car to somehow slide between the fire hydrant and telephone pole in front of us.
All of that finished up with two thoughts, one after the other.
It’s gonna be the telephone pole. This might not be good.
Okay, that wasn’t all that bad. We’re okay.
In the two hours afterward, as I spoke with the police and my husband and waited for a tow truck, I was shaking from the cold, concerned about my daughter, etc… and I probably appeared more calm, cool, and collected than I am right now.
We’re still waiting for confirmation that the car was totaled, and my daughter and I are physically okay other than some slight stiffness.
I am struggling. Mentally and Emotionally. This isn’t the first accident I’ve been in, but I have never been affected like this. This is also the first car accident that happened slowly enough for me to go through that many emotions before it was even over. Maybe that’s got something to do with it. I find myself wishing it had been faster… that I had no memory of those moments, because they keep playing over and over again in my mind.
In some moments, I feel fine and normal and ready to put this behind me, and in other moments I am grasping for the confidence that I have known for most of my life.
Two days after the accident, I had to drive our minivan to take this same daughter to her concert, and I was fine. Yesterday I had to drive our other tiny rear-wheel-drive car on the same roads, and I was a shaking, sobbing wreck by the time I got there.
Yesterday morning I was working at my online job and moving at a good pace.
This morning, I’m sitting here looking for answers… tears pouring down my face as I read about how PTSD often hits people after car accidents… particularly when there are not serious physical injuries. And I wonder.
And so I turn on my audio copy of the Psalms.
And the words wash over me.
“Do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in You.”
“In the day of trouble, He will keep me safe in His dwelling.
He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.”
“Though I have seen trouble, You will restore my life again. You will bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more.”
“Blessed are those who strength is in You. They go from strength to strength.”
“For great is His love toward us
And the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.”
“It is better to trust in the Lord than to trust in man.”
“The Lord is my strength and my defense.
He has become my salvation.
Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous.”
“Save me, for I am Yours.”
“You will restore my soul.”
“I rise before dawn and cry for help. I have put my hope in Your word. Hear my voice in accordance with Your love.”
“Your compassion, Lord, is great. Preserve my life according to Your love.”
“I remain confident of this. I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord. Be strong and take heart.
Wait for the Lord.”
“Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose Hope is in the Lord their God.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down.”
This is the reality of the gospel… that Hope is always calling, because He is always there… and He is always greater… and He is always loving… and He is always able… so, so able to carry me through this and comfort me and sustain me and restore me.
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever. – Psalm 121
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good
And His love endures forever.