December 10th and 11th--Miracle #10 and #11
( I included both in one entry due to the length!)
It was strictly procedure. Jacoby was doing AMAZING with her therapy regimen and passing all her "psychologist" appointments with flying colors; however, we knew she still had one requirement to fulfill. Before Jacoby could be discharged from Children's Hospital, she had to go on an "outing"... an outing of any kind. Jacoby's physical therapists and team of doctors wanted to see patients challenge themselves and go out on an outing with their new circumstances. Basically, they wanted Jacoby to leave the hospital in her wheelchair. It could be as simple as ride in a car and look at Christmas lights, go to a drive-in movie, go through a drive through...simple, right?! Jacoby said she would think about what she wanted to do; we would go tomorrow.
Brian, Jacoby's therapist pulled us out into the hallway and said,
" Its only fair to let you know that this "outing" can and probably will set Jacoby in a state of depression for awhile. Most of our patients see the outside world for the first time after the accident during this outing; they want their old life back. Jacoby may be embarrassed of her wheelchair, embarrassed of her body, embarrassed of EVERYTHING!"
Up until this point, Jacoby had blown everyone (including Jason and I) away with her faith. She absolutely hated being paralyzed, but she also seemed completely at peace with where God had her for the moment. There were no signs of depression...YET! But now they had to go and ruin it for all of us...easy for him to say, I have to take her home. I could definantly feel myself going into the "crazy mom" cycle and realized it was MY turn to show a little faith. Afterall, how bad could it be? We would probably just be looking at Christmas lights from inside the van, she will be fine.
The next morning, Brian stopped by the room to remind us that we had the outing and he would see us in front of the hospital at 6pm; she could tell him the destination once we loaded up.
Had I known what was about to take place, I don't know if I would have had the strength (or guts) to go. But isn't that ALWAYS how God works? He knows how we think...He knows we operate better not knowing details in advance..He knew that night wasn't about Jacoby, it was about us.
Everyone was on pins and needles, as it was her first time out. Jacoby doesn't like to be out of control so I could already tell this drive was going to leave us feeling like we'd run the Boston Marathon. We made "small talk" for about 2 minutes, and then he asked Jacoby what she wanted to do. No one was prepared for what came out of her mouth.
"Is there a RAM restaurant around here? I would really love to go eat at the RAM for dinner."
Confusion seemed to be the single word to describe the emotion floating around in our poor hospital van. Wasn't she supposed to be embarrassed? I mean, the RAM at 6pm at night is "prime time" dinner hour. Wasn't she aware I would have to feed her every single bite? What if her chair didn't fit? Depression...she certainly didn't seem to be settling into a depressed state!
We all seemed to stammer through our shock. As Brian unbuckled her chair and got out the ramp, Jason squeezed my hand and our eyes met. We were both holding back tears for Jacoby's sake, but I knew the dam would break at some point that night...of this, I was absolutely certain.
Dinner was as hard as I could have imagined. The stares came from every corner of the restaurant, chairs were tight; people were having to adjust their tables to make a path for her wheelchair. Some people didn't move and were annoyed at our request. Jacoby ordered her absolute favorite... a RAM cheeseburger; she enjoyed every bite.
It was getting hard to swallow...the lump in my throat was there to stay. I was praying God would just get me though dinner. If Brian saw me break down, he might not let us take her home if they thought we couldn't handle the pressure. How could she be so strong? How? Lord, whats wrong with me? Why are we the ones slipping into the "depressed state?"
Our world had changed, her world had changed; we needed to move on. Everything inside of us wanted to stay in the past, wanted to stay in the familiar. All circumstances around us seemed to be a disaster... shear chaos..as if all hope was lost.
BUT THEN....in the center of the storm, HE WAS THERE...mighty to save! As we began to thank Him for what we couldn't understand at the time, His peace completely took over and guarded our lives.
Today, Jason and I had the privilege of visiting the 911 Memorial Museum in New York; three beautiful and emotional hours changed our lives forever. Finally, we were able to see firsthand, all the details of that tragic day sewn together into something precious and sacred. Their names and stories were honored. We were watching one of the short documentary films, when it hit us.
After the dust and debris settled on that tragic day, the sight was almost more than you could bear; there were no words for the loss of so many precious lives. Complete devastation and hopelessness filled the smoke-filled air...UNTIL the American flag was hoisted up into the center of the ruins. It's very presence filled the air with strength and hope! Everyone present was reminded they were part of something much bigger and greater than themselves...hope was NOT lost; they would press forward, they would keep fighting...they would NEVER give up.
Just like the American flag reminded Americans that hope was in their midst despite the tragic circumstances all around them, the Lord reminds us that He is "the hope" in our midst when life falls down around us.
Thank you for the miracle of a trusting heart, even at the age of 15....
He is Our Anchor.....and the Anchor holds....