Before you read any further, I encourage you to go read THIS POST from Proverbs 31 Ministries written by Glynnis Whitwer.
This devotion was the inspiration for my post & I wanted to TRY to share my answer to the question:
"What God-inspired dreams do you have in your heart now?" I warn you...this story is a long one...but it was life changing & sometimes life changing stories are long! It's my heart's desire that you find hope & encouragement in my story...as penned by God.
The key verse from the PR31 post, Jeremiah 1:5, is one God led me to over 15 years ago while I was walking through one of THE HARDEST moments in my life. (Like many of you, I've had more than one hard moment in my 45 years) You see, I have worked with children my ENTIRE life...well except for maybe the first 5 years of my life...that's when I became a big sister! My mom liked to remind me that the one thing I ALWAYS wanted to be was a mom!
I have spent the last 30 years of my life serving the children of my church family in varying roles from student help to ministry coordinator to paid staff-a DREAM come true. There is a funny-ironic-only God can do this story attached to my current paid staff position, but that's for another day!
I've been a big sister, played house & school-much to my brother's dismay at times because he was ALWAYS the pupil & I the teacher, babysat, driven school bus, worked in a preschool, am a mom to a 22yo son, been the homeroom mom so many times the students referred to me as "Class Mom" by the time graduation rolled around, am a second mom to many-wow is that a blessing, and served the children in my church family. I'm an aunt to 10 nieces and nephews ranging in age from 3 yrs old to 30+ as well as several niece-in-laws, whom I also adore. I am a great aunt to 2 nieces & 3 nephews. To say children have been a HUGE part of my life would be an understatement. I do not have a degree of any kind from a college, trade school or university, just a life filled with on-the-job training, observing & independent study. I LOVE KIDS....of all ages!
I promise that bit of history does relate...and is crucial to the story ahead.
Back to that hard moment, when God first led me to Jeremiah 1:5. My son, then 6 yo, & I were driving home after a fabulous fun-filled day at our local pool. Our family had FINALLY purchased a piece of property that was ours. Okay, technically speaking I guess the bank owns it...but hey let's not rest on technicalities in this story! That 31 acre piece of property was a very long faith-building, challenge-ridden wait and that is another story for another day. Suffice it to say, we were ecstatic! So, we decided we wanted to drive home past our new property to see if daddy was there. Picnics in our new "kitchen" (a picnic table & grill) had become pretty normal the last few months.
That decision changed my life, completely. One seemingly small insignificant decision on which way to drive home...
Daddy wasn't there so we continued home, a way we didn't normally go from the pool but one that was becoming very familiar to us since our land purchase. I was familiar enough with this way home to know that one house along our route had children who played in the front yard. So, we were sure not to speed down that road. We approached that house & all was fine. We passed the house without incident.
Then suddenly, a bit further down the road across the creek near a fence row, a young boy on a bicycle appeared in the road out of nowhere. Right in front of my big green pick up truck. I am pretty certain that I screamed. I hit the brakes, tried to swerve. Instead we heard a crunch, felt a bump & I saw something fly up past the passenger side window....where my 6yo son was sitting.
I had hit the young boy on his bicycle. Had I run him over too? I couldn't breathe.
The truck stopped...the moment slowed to a crawl, like in the movies. I heard no sounds. I couldn't move. And suddenly, all sound came rushing back & we sprang into action. I sent my little son to the house door for help, while I jumped out of the truck to find the young boy...praying that my big green pick up truck had NOT run him over.
He was nowhere to be found. Lord, where is he? I see his bike-what a mess! Tears well up in my eyes...There....in the rocky ditch on the side of the road... laid a crumpled heap...is it? It was... the young boy. I rushed to him. Was he breathing? I don't think I ran him over. Was that him who flew past our window? Jesus, please!....a car stops...I yell, call 911!
His parents arrive & mom scoops him up-I would do the same. His sister, unbeknownst to me at the time has taken my son under her wing with a kitten in hand removing him from the scene that is unfolding on the side of the road. My first aid training kicks in & I realize that mom picking him up was a bad idea, so I pray...silently in my head...Jesus....please protect him!!! I realize he is in bad shape, awful shape...where is the ambulance? What is his name? May I pray for him? (Where did THAT question come from? I NEVER pray with people I don't know! Again....another piece of the story for another day!)
So I pray, out loud for this young boy, Reggie, on the side of the road. Broken, battered, bruised beyond belief...where has this calmness come from? It doesn't remain. The abulance, emt's & police arrive on the scene. They take over. I walk away & crumble into a million pieces as the gravity of the situation hits me full force.
My 6 yo son & I, in our big green pick up truck, just hit a 6 yo boy on his bicycle.
Here comes the helicopter...this is bad. Really, really bad. I sit in the grass & weep...
to be continued...