“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
Inspired by a new strength, I sat up in a bewildered state. My head was burning and my body was throbbing, but I felt nothing other than the will to move. To get out. To tell anyone with ears of the grace I had felt.
The next thing I remember, I heard a hesitant voice stab the silence. My ears seemed to perk up like a curious dog’s and I dragged my body towards the edge of my car. I saw a light bouncing off of the shattered glass beneath me and heard the voice coming closer. I then saw a man’s gentle face pressed towards the ground, peering into my car. He had a look of such worry, a look of such concern. A look that I can only describe as the look of a man preparing to see death.
My memory from then comes only in flashes–like photo frames reeling through my mind. The sight of his face. The sound of my voice straining to whisper words to him. The sight and feel of my hand reaching through the shattered window and touching the cold, wet grass. The sound of his voice. And then numbing darkness…
My mom spoke to that man on the phone, a few days after the crash. Apparently, he had been driving with his wife and seen my lights in the distance. Out of curiosity, he stopped to check out the scene. That is when he discovered my vehicle and found me. Of all the people who could have possibly come across me on that night, this man was a retired paramedic and a member of the Navy (if that is not God showing off His grace, I don’t know what is!) In fear, the man had approached the vehicle with a flashlight, looked inside, and found me looking back towards him. He told my mom that he expected to find a dead, mangled body. He told her that he tried asking me questions, tried directing me on how to escape, and tried checking to see if I was coherent. Then he told her that all I kept repeating were 3 simple words–God is beautiful. God is beautiful. God is beautiful. He said that I was smiling, proclaiming the beauty that I’d seen.
When I awoke, I was strapped in a bed. I remember looking over and seeing a paramedic..a very cute paramedic. In true Mo Isom fashion, I milked the situation and stretched out my arm, beckoning for him to hold my hand. He squeezed my hand and told me that he was just waiting to see me wake up. Determined to make the most of the soap-opera moment, I believe I said something along the lines of, “I’ll never let go, Jack.” Realizing I was fine (and also a smartass), he dropped my hand, smiled, and left the room. That portion of the story is completely irrelevant, but I had to throw it in there for a good laugh. 🙂
My stay in the hospital was a blur. Ominous machines, tedious scans, countless x-rays. Needles, blood, IVs. Pain, fatigue, restlessness. My mom and sister’s arrival. My mom and sister revealing that they had snuck my dogs in inside of their jackets to brighten my spirits. My dogs peeing on things and barking. My dogs jumping on my fractured ribs and unhooking my IV. My mom and sister being asked to leave the hospital and remove the dogs. My mom and sister sneaking back in. It was a time of physical pain, but a time of overwhelming joy. Emotional joy and spiritual joy. Though my body was mangled and broken, my heart had been made anew.
In the wreck, I had broken my neck–fractured a vertebrae at the top of my spine. I had fractured the ribs down the left side of my body and sustained severe contusions to my lungs and liver. I had damaged my face, my eye and my jaw. Most severely, I had contusions to my brain. I was severely concussed and had bruising on my brain, but I was alive. And I was Saved. I was renewed in the Holy Spirit and I was unshakably, unmistakably a servant to my King!…
(to be continued)