Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Had a Feeling....

Justus brings Daddy more cheer than a bouquet of flowers or balloons ever could!

Do you ever get the feeling that God is preparing you for something? Because I believe God is sovereign in everything and works all things in accordance with His purposes, I tend to overthink things and think, "God must be preparing me for _____." So, I was a bit scared when I read a couple of different books that talked about babies dying or having fatal diseases when I was pregnant with Justus.

Just a few posts ago, I wrote on how I want my faith in Christ to shine forth in trials as I've seen in my friend who had a recent loss. I also started listening to Mark Driscoll's newest preaching series on 1 and 2 Peter which is all about trials. I also know that all of life is full of trials and hardship, so I knew it wouldn't be long before another thing hit us that would cause us to fall on our knees, even though parenting 3 kids 3 and under already had us there!

This Saturday, my hubby went snowboarding at Red Lodge, in Montana, with some guys from the youth group and another adult from our church. King Jo planned the trip a long time ago and was eagerly counting down the days for a couple of months. Snowboarding is his favorite thing to do!

Unfortunately after only an hour and a half of boarding he hit a small jump wrong and came down on his wrist, snapping it. He ended up having to go to Billings and have a 3 hour surgery that evening to repair all the tendons that had snapped around his ball and socket. The other guys ended up leaving him to head home at his request and I went up the following morning bright and early and got him. Fetching him from Billings was no easy task. It meant finding childcare, packing for 3 kids, driving with a baby to care for, and traveling icy, dangerous roads, having to go extra slow most of the way and leaving my eyes completely fried. It's normally a little under 5 hours to get there but it took over 6 on the way up and over 8 on the way home.

We both know that our Father is good and nothing can touch us except what He allows. We know that He has a specific plan in this injury, and though we are walking through it feeling a little blind, we know that we will look back and see His hand in it. It's scary thinking about our family's provider having no use of one of his arms for at least 3 months, especially when he is a carpenter. It's hard for me to imagine being able to drive him to and from his appointments in Billings in the future (one coming up in a week) and sad to think that he gets cut open again in a couple of months to remove the pins. This trial is definitely just that: a trial!

But, already we can see some benefits from this time:

*More time together as a family

*Greater opportunities for closeness as a couple (having to work together, pray even more, support each other in physical pain and emotional burdens, etc.)

*Creative Frugality (If I was pinching pennies before, now I'll be making them scream! So watch for posts on Temporary Scarcity coming soon!)

*A reminder of Who really provides for us and the wonder of getting to see Him work in our lives again in visible, tangible ways to meet our needs

*Learning to accept help and be dependant (This is really harder than giving to others I think. It's easy to give to those in need but it's humbling to be on the receiving end sometimes.)

*Prayer support from many friends.

*Safety on the dangerous drives (I'm very uncomfortable driving on ice and have really bad night blindness. It's absolutely God's hand that kept us safe driving for 14 hours (about 11 of those hours on sheer ice, on winding, curvy, mountain roads). We had actually planned to drive back in the evening after he was released but through a series of events God led us to stay with my aunt and uncle in Billings and I'm so glad He did, because I believe we would have faced certain death had I tried to drive in the dark. At one point I was sandwiched between two semi-trucks and was on snowy roads on the interstate heading into Billings. I'm not very accustomed to city driving and I was starting to panick because the semis stirred up so much snow I couldn't see in front of me and was sure that I'd become a semi sandwich. I cried out to God for help and immediately the cloud of snow blew away to the side and both semis turned off to a weigh station exit at that moment! The drive to and from Billings felt like eternity...and not eternity in Heaven!

*God's preparation (We have an emergency fund in place and a good start on our 3-month's of living expenses. We are pretty sure our health sharing plan will cover the medical bills. King Jo has two weeks of paid vacation saved up and we're considering options for what to do in the next couple of weeks when that is gone.)

*Help from loved ones. My mom watched the kids for the entire day on her birthday and then took off the next morning from work so she could watch them longer for us! Our friend Shiloh watched our kids for a couple of hours too! My Aunt and Uncle let us crash at their place at a moment's notice.


Momma Bear said...

boy oh boy! i'm glad everything is okay a little hectic but okay. Wow you've got an awesome perspective, not sure I'd have the same. I think that's why I like your blog so much cause you seem to have faith in God where I often have doubt. Thanks for sharing so much about your life. take care.

Randall and Rachel Beita said...

I will be praying for you all. What an encouragement you have been.

S. and Company said...

Hey there. Wow. It's sometimes hard to know what to say in reaction to things like this. I just want you to know that you and the rest of the family will be in our prayers. I just shared this with Steve and I know he'll be praying too.
love you Lindsey,
I'll write a little more later when I have a chance,

Anonymous said...

Ok, I don't mean to be the jerk here but someone needs to tell King Jo that his days of snowboarding are over. Let me say it again: OVER. Snowboarding and these types of extreme sports are for 15 year olds or single people, not married men supporting a wife and 3 young kids. The day he put that ring on your finger was the day he needed to give up that Sean White nonsense. And instead of feeling all kinds of self-pity for his sacrifice, he needs to get on his knees and be thankful for his nice family and that he's no longer a single loser. I've seen his picture on your blog, and obviously he's a fit, heathly, happen' kind of guy, but he can take up some other winter sports besides that snowboarding business. How about: cx country skiing, curling, cx country skiing where you stop and shoot the gun, and that's about the extent of my knowledge of outdoor winter sports.
(I live in Texas). Seriously, though, he hurt his HAND and he's a carpenter. What was he thinking? We have a lake house, and one 4th of July evening we were on the beach and I noticed my neighbor, a prominent surgeon in town, handling roman candles with his bare hands. His hands!!! I gave him a lecture out of sincere Christian concern, and he vowed to me never to do it again. And I've never seen him do it. I think he's frightened of me.
You've got 3 young children to look after, you do not need the additional burden of one BIG baby to tend to. I've yet to see a man with any kind of infirmity that didn't make the most of the situation. I was hoping your daughter would throw the water in his face and call him a fool. Seriously, at the first sign of malingering, make him keep the kids while you take a loooong trip to the library or grocery store. I know you're probably feeling defensive of him and want to tell me what a great guy he is, and I'm sure he is, but I feel like you need an advocate. You have to keep it together so just let me rant for you. He may be a great guy but that was a serious lapse in judgment. And what about those so-called friends of his leaving him there in the hospital? They got him into that mess, they should have stayed with him and brought him home. Making you find child care and then driving treacherous icy roads to fetch him home !!! They should be ashamed of themselves. Good grief. I'm getting mad all over again. I'd better stop now. Hang in there! Praying for you in Texas.

King Jo said...

I'm guessing from Anonymous TX person's post that they have never snowboarded and don't know much about the sport. I could be wrong, but let me briefly write a little about my feelings on snowboarding anyway. Snowboarding is a great family sport. People of all ages do it. I have done it for more than 15 years and have never had an injury until now and nobody I ride with has either. Some of my older doctors that I talked with in the hospital said they still enjoy snowboarding!

However, like any sport some people choose to take it to the extreme. I'm sure that what you have seen of the sport is mostly people (like Sean White) who put their lives at risk chasing world titles and trying to break new records. I am not one of those people. I love to just ride slowly down a mountain in deep powder and talk with my friends.

My "friends" were actually youth from my church's youth group that came with me. Our goal was to strike up spiritual conversations with people we came in contact with in hopes that God would use us to plant seeds or reap a spiritual harvest. So it was a time of great fun with a purpose.

It was a bad judgment call for me to try to jump over a little ramp. One of the youth actually caught the ordeal on video. When my wife saw the footage she exclaimed, "Wow, you don't even look like you're goofing off or being dangerous! I'm surprised you got hurt from that little fall." Accidents can happen when you are sitting in a chair in your house hiding from the world! But it is also true that this accident might have been prevented if I had avoided that bump. So from now on I will be carefull to avoid ramps. But, I do plan to keep snowboarding until the day I die or until the Holy Spirit leads me to stop.

I told the other adult to take the kids home when I was in the hospital because it was unclear if I would even be able to be released the next day. The youth with us had parents expecting them to get home soon. The roads were clear for the drive up to Billings, and we thought they still were. I recommended to my wife that she take another person with her on the drive to Billings because it could be more emotionally exhausting by herself, and another lady actually called Mrs. Jo and asked if she could come with her. But Mrs. Jo thought the roads were clear and she is tough emotionally, so not wanting to inconvenience anyone she drove up there alone - finding that it had snowed over night. That caused the drive to be much longer. I'm sorry it turned into such an inconvenience for my wife. I am so grateful for her. She is such a blessing from the Lord.

On another note, I have been watching the kids at home while Mrs. Jo has been out running errands. I've even proven my efficiency at one handed diaper changes (as long as they aren't soiled). It is true that at this point I am still trying to take a lot of naps to recuperate, but when I am up I try to help out or at least do most things for myself so that I am not an added burden on my wife.

I hope I don't sound like I'm attacking you (Anonymous). I just wanted to add my 2 cents worth.

jesse said...

Hey King,
Also know, you don't have to defend yourself to anonymous people! Those of us who know you know the Godly man, husband and father you are. It's just a bum situation, but God will make himself known through it in your family and in the lives of those that you are around. Thanks for all your work with those students, I certainly appreciate it.
And Lindsey, you are a superwoman, but please know that if you need help with anything, we won't feel imposed upon or burdened. We love your family and love being a part of your lives!

Lesley said...

Sorry to hear about the accident but I have total faith in you guys to make the best of the situation and it appears you already are. Hang in there and I'll pray for quick healing for King Jo!!

Nicole said...

Anyone who posts under anonymous doesn't need an explanation. Get over yourself anonymous. Sounds like you need a little fun yourself!

Heather said...

Some thoughts I'd like to share with Anonymous:

Your concern for Lindsey and her family show in your writing. I'd ask you to consider, though, if your tone was somewhat judgmental. For example, you said: "I was hoping your daughter would throw the water in his face and call him a fool." You cite Christian values as the reason Jo should stop snowboarding, yet you toss them aside in suggesting that Ali rudely rebuke her father. Aren't children commanded to honor their parents (Eph. 6:2)? If Josiah needs to be corrected (notice I said "if"), it is not his daughter's job to do so.

Also, I'd like to ask you to consider Lindsey's role in this. You seem very concerned that she will be overworked because of Josiah's injury. And this may be true. Hopefully her friends and family will rally around them during this time and provide them with lots of help. But this still may be a very trying time for her. Don't you think that the Lord is able to provide the strength and refreshment she needs? Aren't we called to put others first, instead of looking out for our own needs--especially within the context of a Christian marriage?

Again, I do appreciate your concern for Lindsey and her family.

Mrs. Jo said...

I appreciate the kind comments and encouragement from all of you. I know that though hers were worded harshly against my snowboarding hubby, even anonymous was showing her concern in her comment as she worries about the load I will bear. It's true that our tendency as wives is to be a bit resentful or at the very least overwhelmed when our spouse is injured, especially during a recreation time and not while on the job. A lot of guys can seem like big babies to us women when they are sick because they get time off to rest when we never seem to ever get a break as moms even if we are extremely ill. It sounds like anonymous has had a rough time of it herself in this area. I'm thankful that with his current injury my hubby isn't milking it for all it's worth and I have to keep telling him to sit down and not do too much. I know he suffers from regret and guilt and not wanting to be a burden and wanting to provide for his family. I have been tempted at times to be angry at the load this is bringing on our family and especially on me, but that's when I have to stop and remember that God gave us this load, not my hubby.

I agree with Nicole that when someone attacks another anonymously, we aren't obligated to respond, but we decided to go ahead and explain things further since others may be wondering some of these same things and it brought up some interesting things to ponder.

Here are some thought to consider in this discussion:

*Do we marry someone expecting them to change or do we marry them because we love them as they are (even if they are a snowboarder?)
I'm so thankful King Jo didn't ask me to give up sewing, scrapbooking, or other things I enjoy when we said, "I Do."

*Do we treat our spouse as we want to be treated? (Having had minor injuries and minor fender benders in the past, I'm thankful King Jo didn't give me lectures and guilt trips when I was already feeling bad, ashamed, or worried.)

*Does anyone plan to have an accident? Okay, so maybe the X-Games guys do, but most of us really try to be careful. Did my hubby think it would be fun to get his arm cut open and his bones rearranged and pinned together and be in pain for months on end?

*Is God in control or am I in control? Can I protect myself in a bubble I've created to avoid trials and hardship or has God called every Christian to suffer and experience trials? Are we to accept only good from God and not hardship?

*Are we supposed to avoid all risk in life or is it okay to live a little? If I wanted to avoid risk, I would have never had children. Pregnancy and childbirth are some of the scariest, riskiest things you could ever experience! Also, what about driving a vehicle? Those of you in cities especially are taking major risks everytime you head out into traffic.

Thanks for the kind comments and offers of help Jesse and thanks for the right-on thoughts in your comment Heather!

Anonymous said...

My husband is a 46 yr old snowboarder, and we have 2 little kids. sure, he doesn't get to go nearly as often as he used to, but who says that when you have a family you can't do anything you used to enjoy on your own? I encourage my husband to snowboard when he can, and can't wait until my children are old enough to share it with him.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous in Texas,
Did you ever stop to think that King Jo was put in the hospital to be a witness to a doctor or nurse? Things happen for a reason far greater than what we can comprehend. We were not meant to live our lives in hiding for fear of hurting ourselves. I'm pretty sure God created these things so we can experience joy in the things he created for us!

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