Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Publication and a special Birthday!

Hey everyone-- Following is an article I wrote for our APU Alumni newsletter. Our accident is obviously old news for all of you, but not heard from my perspective.

In the months before the summer of 2005 began, God was blessing my husband and I in every area of our lives. My husband, Aaron, was having a tremendously successful year as a middle school band and orchestra teacher. I was working on my Philosophy of Ministry paper for my M. Div. at Haggard School of Theology. I was also busily planning trips for my youth group and Ethiopia mission team that summer. Aaron and I were experiencing an amazing time of spiritual growth and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We also managed to squeeze in several hiking and weekend camping trips that just seemed to sum up all of the joy we were experiencing.

A couple of weeks before our summer trips began, we had to fly to the Midwest for a friend’s wedding. The wedding was in western Kansas- far from any airport, so renting a car was required. In our carefree spirit that year, we rented a convertible. On Sunday July 17, we were returning the day after the wedding when our plans for the summer, and the rest of our lives, changed. Forced to make a split second decision, Aaron swerved off the road to avoid hitting a truck waiting to turn left. Our car rumbled through an unplanted cornfield, hit a ditch that launched it airborne, and landed upside down on the other side of the road with both of us trapped underneath. I was hanging upside down by my seatbelt and my head was pressed on the ground with my chin pushed down on my chest blocking my windpipe. I remember seeing my legs and thinking they had been cut off because I couldn’t feel them. Realizing what happened, I said to Aaron, “I broke my neck.” Aaron was struggling to breathe as well until he managed to take off his seat belt and relieve the pressure on his chest. Still trapped under the car, Aaron kept me alive by encouraging me to breathe and not go to sleep. After 25 minutes, we finally heard the sirens and knew that help had arrived. I was flown to a trauma center in Colorado while Aaron waited alone in a tiny local Kansas hospital for 10 hours calling everyone we knew.

Not only were our summer plans changed, but also the fall and half of winter as I recovered in a Colorado rehab hospital. The second half of 2005 was full of pain, loss, confusion, pain medications that didn’t work, ventilators, neck and arm braces and wheelchairs. But it was also full of so much love and support from our family and friends and the body of Christ. There truly was a sense of “sharing in our suffering.” Never in our lives would we have known how many people love and care about us.

I am thankful that we survived. We are continuing to live our lives. Aaron is still teaching and I am finally finishing up my M. Div. at APU. I don’t know if there was any great purpose in all of this. I don’t have any inspirational words of wisdom, or any theological conclusions I didn’t already have. I still know God loves me. I am still created in God’s image even if my body doesn’t function below my shoulders. God will never leave me or forsake me. God is good.

I’m not trying to sound heroic or like I don’t have any doubts or fears or anger. It’s just what I know. Those fundamental truths are what I stand (or sit) on every day.

Isaiah 43.1-3 But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 3For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Also...my little nephew- Joshua Aaron turns 1 on Sept. 29! Here's a recent picture:

Thanks for reading everyone! Show me some love in the comment section!!
Love- Kari