With the kids in school this year (we've homeschooled up until now), I've had lots of "think time" this week. The boys are in school all day and my girls are in half day Kindergarten, so I'm not quite sure what to do with my time while staying in a hotel in a new city.
Yesterday I drove up to my husband's work just to look at the directory in the lobby. He told me they had just placed his name on it and I wanted to take a peek. I know it sounds silly, but it took my breath away. Seeing those three little letters after his name...PA-C...made me so happy. Then I had this thought...no one who glances at that directory will ever know how those letters have impacted our little family. No one will know that those three letters after his name are a testament to what God has lovingly brought us through. I wish they could, though. It changed us, and I want everyone to know about it.
My husband used to be a firefighter. Five years ago, he was injured at work. One day, as he was driving an ambulance on a call, a truck crossed the double yellow lines on the highway and struck him head-on. The other driver was killed instantly; Phil survived, but sustained several injuries that would end his 18-year career as a firefighter. He had 3 surgeries that following year. Things at home were probably very hectic...I don't really remember much. I'm sure it was God's grace. Our girls were only 3 months old and our boys were 1 and 3. All four of them were in diapers. It's all a blur now. When I watch our home movies, I'm so glad to see that the kids were happy. They just toddled around, laughed and played with their toys. It was probably a good thing that they were all so young and didn't taste the bitter aftermath as we did. We prayed and prayed for healing from physical injuries, Post Traumatic Stress, and direction for what to do next. God directed Phil's heart to pursue a new career as a Physician Assistant, and he was accepted into the University of Washington's Physician Assistant program.
Four years ago, we moved from Northern California to Spokane, WA, so he could attend school. I remember wondering how I would survive without the help and support of all of our family and friends in California, but I quickly learned that when God leads, He also provides. Spokane will always hold a special place in my heart. So far, it's the best place I've ever lived. I think it's because it's the first time in my life where I had to depend completely on God and He proved Himself to be ever faithful. I watched my husband heal, my kids grow, and I watched my own heart grow as I learned to trust when I couldn't see. I loved our little 2 bedroom/1 bathroom house. I remember wondering how all 6 of us would manage in such a tight space, but we always had room enough--even for out-of-town guests and weekly preschool playdates that would number in the 20's! I learned that God makes much out of little.
Now we've moved to the state of Oregon. I'm anticipating that God will fill our lives as He did in Spokane. I'm really hoping that He will, because waves of sadness come over me when I think about our life up there. I miss people and places and my heart is breaking. So yesterday when I walked into the lobby at Phil's work and saw those three little letters...PA-C...after his name, my heart leaped. Those three letters mean God has carried us through darkness. He's been good to us--beauty from ashes, is all I can think of. Beauty from ashes. He's redeemed something that was so ugly at first glance. Five years ago, I remember thinking, "What are you going to do with all of this, God? It hurts so much." God never let go of me. I feel mended. These glimpses of why, these answers, are so sweet and so dear to me. This transition time for our family will unveil a few more answers, I'm sure. I don't want to miss any of them.
I need to write this, because it makes me sad to think that no one who walks into that lobby and sees his name on that directory will know this. But now you do.