Memories are extremely powerful recollections that can draw all sorts of emotions from us. They can be joy-filled reflections or they can engender sadness, despair or anger. Whatever emotion the memory triggers makes us aware of how powerful the stories of our past are and how deeply they can impact us.
I have shared this story so many times, but now fifteen years later I sit here one hour before midnight ushers in the 1st of July—undoubtedly the worst day of my life! However, I must reflect on this day because it is a period of my life that will grow dimmer with the passing years but it must never be forgotten.
So, fifteen years ago...
The doorbell rang and as I hurried to see who it was, I was caught off guard by the burly policeman standing there. I heard the words: 'Your son has been involved in a tragic accident...get to the hospital immediately.' And suddenly all about me was dark and I was sinking...until the unseen hand of my Jesus touched me and I knew He would walk with me through the darkest valley I had ever traversed.
Our precious son fought for his life and the dedicated medical staff of Carolina's Medical Centre, fought alongside him. There were agonizing hours where I felt the pain of seeing our son suffer and fight for his life was too much to bear. But God... Yes, God walked that journey with us and never once did He leave us or forsake us. I didn't always feel His presence, but I instinctively knew that He was there. I have written the full story in my book Wild Hope: A Memoir.
God spared Jay's life despite the prognosis and the 28 days in Trauma ICU. Today Jay lives a full and happy life in California. But let me reflect on the worst day of my life and share a few lessons I learned.
- Life is short, seize each moment and live to the full.
- Don't carry bitterness or unforgiveness because you never know when life will be snatched away.
- Keep short accounts with people because life is short and you don't have time for anger.
- Stop and smell the roses because you don't want to miss the moment.
- Love deeply and live well.
- Tell people how much you love and appreciate them.
- Spend quality time with your family because they are your most precious treasures.
- Love God with all of your heart.
- Live each day as if it is the last, but plan for the next 100 years.
- Be quick to say: 'I am sorry' and 'I forgive you' and most of all 'I love you.'
These are the simple reflections of the heart of a grateful Mom to a wonderful God who spared the life of her precious son some fifteen years ago. Now the worst day of my life is one filled with joy filled reflections and gratitude.
I am and always will be,
recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,