But God is my helper. The Lord keeps me alive!
Psalm 54:4 NLT
The phone rang fairly early one sunny, Saturday morning, in May of 1979. I heard my mother say, "Joe has been in an accident and he is in the Pocono Hospital Emergency Room!" I quickly asked, "How bad is it?" My mom replied, "He has two broken legs and a broken arm!" She hung up before I could tell her we would meet her and my dad at the hospital.
When I got to the hospital, the nurses hurried me back to his room. They said my younger brother had been asking for me, and that he was scheduled for emergency surgery. What I saw as they opened the curtain, was more than I could have ever imagined. His face and lips were swollen and it was difficult to recognize him.
I tried to speak, but I could hardly get out his name. "Joey, it's me." His eyes opened and all he said was, "Kiss me." I was scared to death to touch him, but I leaned down, kissed him and told him I loved him. Before I knew it he was whisked off to surgery.
We waited for hours and finally the doctors came to speak to the family. Joey was in critical condition and was in the ICU. They had to replace his bones with metal rods, screws and put a plate in his arm. One of us asked if he would be alright, and all the doctor could say was, "Time will tell." Joe's bones had not just been broken, they were shattered. The biggest hurdle now was to pray the shattered pieces did not go to his brain and cause a stroke.
I remember the local news stating, "A man was critically injured, when he was hit 'head on' by a truck, on his way to work!" A 'man'... this was no man, this was my little brother who had just turned 18 a few months ago.
Joe spent a long time in the hospital, before coming home to my parents, via
ambulance, and in a full body cast. He still had many obstacles to overcome. I'm not sure exactly how long my brother was out of commission, but it was a long time before he could walk again. To this day he suffers with leg pain.
Tragedies of any kind can be a traumatic experience. Your life feels shattered and you feel like it will never be the same. You wonder if you will ever have joy and peace again. You may even battle with powerful emotions of fear, worry, confusion and anger!
I suppose these are all normal, basic responses to trauma and loss, and they are part of our healing process. However, if we don't keep a check on our emotions, our pain can turn into despair and depression. When you don't feel you can face or make it through another day, that's when you know your coping skills need help.
Have you ever been overcome with these kinds of feelings and emotions? Have you ever experienced anxiety attacks or have trouble sleeping? This world would have you turn to unhealthy ways of coping, such as alcohol or drugs. However, these things will just lead you to a worse place, filled with feelings of hate and bitterness.
You need to seek the Lord, He is your helper as stated in the verse above. I like the words of the New Living Translation, God is my helper, He will keep me alive. Be assured, when God gives us life, it is filled with His joy and comfort!
Above all else, NEVER GIVE UP! With God's help, and your willingness, YOU CAN MAKE IT! Pray and tell God what you need. Be completely open and honest about how you are feeling, ask God to guide your pathway. Remember, You can do anything with God at your side. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13