Unexpected tragedies can alter our lives in ways that we could never imagine. I’m always inspired to meet people who manage these events with courage, hope and faith, making the most of what has happened.
This past weekend, I met an individual who has done just that. While speaking at a church retreat, I met a man who decided to become a police officer after his sister’s life was taken by a serial killer.
Several years into the job, while chasing a burglar, he was accidentally hit by a motorcycle. The impact of the bike threw him several feet into the air, landing him in a horrible position. The doctors didn’t expect him to survive. In the months following the accident, he was faced with many operations and uncertainty. He lost most of his sight in one eye and struggles to remember things. Although he is no longer on the job, he is appreciative to be alive and married with a beautiful son.
Another individual who has been faced with a terrible life-altering event is one of my past co-workers and a great friend. She has been recently diagnosed with inoperable cancer. During our recent telephone conversation she said, “I’m not afraid to die.” I could sense the peace of God in her voice and spirit.
She is grateful to have lived a long and happy life. She went on to explain that she is looking forward to reuniting with her loved ones in heaven, especially her beloved husband. Her faith in God has sustained her in these unexpected and challenging times.
We can most certainly learn a lot from these two individuals, I know I have. They are both accepting of where they are in life and don’t dwell on what they have lost or will lose. They look to the Lord for strength.
Author Madeleine L’Engle wrote, “Faith is for that which lies on the other side of reason. Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys.”
How have you gotten through an unexpected event in your life? Please share with us.
Lord, help us to find You in the midst of the unexpected and to accept that Your strength will get us through.