Two days before leaving on our 17-day highly anticipated camping trip to see the fabulous National Parks on the western side of the United States, a woman stood on our porch and handed me paperwork for a lawsuit. I was served! I have never been served before and it felt like it was surely a mistake. I asked a few questions, of which she couldn’t (or wouldn’t) answer, and then left. Upon reading the paperwork, I discovered that I am being sued for personal injury for a car accident I was in two years ago! Oh, Lord. No, literally Oh Lord! I am not sure I can handle any more bad news. It might be time to start asking, “why me?” But then I am reminded deep within, “why not me?” I have two options here; fall apart and become consumed by all the unknowns or trust that God has me in the palm of His hand. I chose the latter, but only because I didn’t have time to fall apart, not because I have it all together.
Someday I will write a book entitled… “But-of-Course.” My life seems to follow that theme. You’re cruising along on a very normal day and the thing you never wanted to happen, dreaded might happen, feared may happen, or perhaps never thought about happening, happens…“But-of-Course.” I say that, of course, dripping with sarcasm. It is the reality that most of us face that when things couldn’t get any worse — they do. But, this time I was headed on a vacation to celebrate being cancer-free. A trip my husband planed while I laid lifeless in bed due to the effects of chemo. Something to look forward to. Something to hold on to while we went through the business of killing all the bad cells and many of the good cells in my body.
We, of course, have good insurance. We have several policies with one company that covers ALL our insurance; our business, our home, our auto… all of it. I honestly am so surprised that they even want to cover us any more. They however graciously take our money and keep writing policies that we keep making claims on. Two years ago after coming home from an exciting wildlife photography excursion to Alaska, we came home to our office being flooded and the ceiling of the business below ours collapsing. This was literally the night we were driving home from LA after flying all day. We get the call from the local police department that something is terribly wrong at our place of business and the fire department is breaking in. We were hit with several lawsuits and lots of bills, BUT we had insurance and they took on all of our burdens, fought the lawsuits and took on the headache for us.
One week later, my daughter and I were in a bad car accident involving several vehicles. Traffic came to an abrupt stop on the freeway and I could not stop in time and rear-ended the car in front of me and hit the car next to me. The girl I hit apologized profusely for having to stop so suddenly. The girl next to me was okay until the ambulance came to take me to the hospital and then suddenly she wasn’t ok. This is the same accident I am now being sued for. I totaled our car that day. But we were all okay. We were alive with only minor scrapes and bruises. And we had insurance.
Two-thirds of the way through this National Parks tour I find out that my daughter had a medical emergency and had to be taken to the ER because she couldn’t feel the side of her face nor one foot…“But-of-Course.” Have I told you yet that we had an amazing trip!? God’s marvelous creation surrounded us like a warm blanket in the cool, wet, crisp days of early spring. The sights all around us were some of the best we have ever seen. My husband and I love adventuring together and this was an amazing trip with creatures big and small being caught in our cameras and etched into our minds. God’s glory was abounding and He was revealing to us His goodness, His creativity, and His faithfulness as every minute passed. Isn’t it just like God to allow you to find rest in Him even in the midst of sorrow, fear, tragedy, and pain? Oh, the rest is so good, so sweet and gives you what you need for the “But-of-Course”… and then life hits. In so many ways my relationship with God is just like my insurance policy. I can fully rely on Him when the hard stuff hits, I am not alone, He is fighting for me. His sweet Word tells me, “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:14. He never expected me to do this life without Him. When I try to do it alone in my self-sufficiency, I get so bogged down. I get anxious. I get fearful. I get lost in the weight of this world. I have assurance in Him that He will never leave me alone. That’s the best insurance policy there is. I pay dearly for insurance for the temporary things of this world, but Jesus Christ freely gives me the deep soul security that can bring peace into my inner being when everything around me is spinning in chaos. He’s the only one that can do that and your money can’t pay for it.
At this very moment, my kitchen floor is ripped out, fans are blowing air in and de-humidifier is sucking the moisture out. The cabinets are taped shut to keep the mold spores from flying around, and my refrigerator is in my dining room. We ended this glorious trip with the floorboards in our kitchen flexing up at the seams and water squishing up as we walked across them. Such a beautiful mess to come home to…“But-of-Course.” “But-of-Course” we have insurance that takes the sting out of upheaval. Because, as you know, the upheaval will always come. I can laugh and I can cry, as life feels heavy, so unpredictable, and often unfair. I walk across the dirty, bare subfloor in my kitchen remembering the hard work I did more than a decade ago to lay that floor myself. A job I said I would NEVER do again. God allows us to bear the weight of change, upheaval, and even pain to draw us nearer to Him because He so badly wants us to journey this life by His side as He so graciously lessens the sting of this world. His assurance will take me through this next “But-of-Course” moment and on into the next. My daughter is okay. We are okay. Even my home is okay. It’s a mess, but it’s real and raw. It is who I am. My insides are exposed and messy, but God is my assurance and my hope upon whom I can fully rely, and so can you.