One year ago, I answered a phone call no parent wants to receive: “your son is unconscious and being taken by ambulance to a trauma hospital.” Jason, almost 20, had left our home a few hours earlier to play in a rugby game.
Our one-hour drive to the hospital was filled with silence and nervous energy as we anticipated the unknown. What would we find? What would our future hold?
When united with Jason, we were relieved to find him awake, though physically restrained as medical professionals monitored and assessed his head injury. We learned he was unresponsive for at least 30 minutes and there was significant concern about his condition.
Jason didn’t remember the game or incident, which is typical in this type of injury. However, we quickly established that something drastic had occurred – he was missing four years of memory.
This life-turning event launched our family into a surreal reality. With no knowledge of his experiences from the past four years – education, relationships, events, emotion – Jason needed to trust his parents and siblings to help him piece his life back together.
Implications about Jason’s injury and details of his recovery are too numerous to outline in this article (imagine going to sleep when you’re 16 and waking up when you’re 20). Let me simply express gratitude to many of you who knew our story and were praying for us; and let you know the Lord sustained and strengthened Jason to face his reality with courage and resilience. He’s doing well and we’re grateful.
As I reflect back on this year, I acknowledge the support and energy required to navigate through trauma and difficulty. My heart aches for those of you who are currently experiencing trouble and I want to remind you that the Lord is with you in the depths of your grief, confusion, disappointment and suffering:
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deut. 31:8).
I could share several stories about how the Lord prepared us for our time of trouble. For example, the night before Jason’s injury I had a dream about him, the date, and the impression that something was going to change. Even when a phone call brought shocking news, I was assured that this was not a surprise to God. He knew what we would be facing and he was with us. God’s presence and guidance.
Another example occurred three days after Jason’s injury when he found a journal from the previous six months. He expressed, “it’s great that you’re telling me about my life, but this is in my own words.” God’s provision.
More than ever, I realize we don’t know, nor do we have control over, what a day will bring. This can cause us to live in fear or risk aversion about what might happen. It can also generate fear and anger when something bad does happen.
My husband and I experienced God’s comfort and release from fear as we chose to trust in the Lord and surrender our situation, and our son, to him. We rallied together as a family with close friends and had many people praying for us. God’s protection.
I am reminded that God is the One who holds all our days in his hands. Whatever you are facing – and as you come alongside others who are suffering – may you be assured of the Lord’s faithful presence, guidance, provision and protection. He’s got this!
On the journey with you,
Dr. Sharon Simmonds
- Are you feeling afraid or discouraged? Bring your fear or discouragement to the Lord – be honest with him about what you’re feeling.
- How have you experienced God’s presence, guidance, provision and protection during your time of trouble? Make a list (even if you can only think of one thing) and take time today to thank and praise God for his presence with you.