As I turned out of my neighborhood, I prayed and thanked the Lord for the day ahead. My husband and daughter were traveling a bit behind me with the crafts I had worked so hard on painting in the weeks prior to the sunny Saturday morning in November. Avery Christian, our second daughter, may be born today. “Oh, Lord, I would just love to get through the Christmas craft show at the seminary today before I deliver this baby. How are these girls going to do on the mission field in a Muslim country, dear Lord? Please keep leading our little family into your perfect will.”
“OH, MY…” BAM!!!! I saw the car in my lane and heard the loudest boom I have ever heard. I slammed the brakes, and felt my body sling forward. I could not finish my sentence. The weight of the car caved in on my pregnant body. I felt pain in my foot, and throughout my face. “I am pregnant. Someone! I am pregnant!” A man entered the car from the back seat. He held my head still. I heard my husband’s voice, “Brooke, Brooke, it is going to be okay. Tell me your name. Tell me your address. Stay calm.” “Brooke Stark. The baby!” “Help is on its way. I love you.”
In my mind, I knew that it was bad. Inside, I felt a deep sadness thinking I may never see my unborn child, I may never watch my other daughter grow up, and I may not spend more years with my husband. Yet, I knew where I was going. I knew I was going home to be with Jesus. Was this all He had for me in this life? My heart was flooded with peace, as if the Holy Spirit was hugging me from the inside-out. I could see the man cutting me from the car. “Praise the Lord. He did send help.” I heard the helicopter. I was moving. I hurt. I was not afraid. God gave me the “peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7).” We were flying. I heard them talking about stopping the bleeding. I was dying. Our baby was dying. I might see Jesus today. All became dark.
Fourteen units of blood, an emergency C-section, 2 reconstructive facial surgeries, and a heel replacement later, I am who I am today. “His mercies are new every morning” and “great is His faithfulness.” Fortunately, God does not allow all of us to go through scenes like I did. For some, they experience far worse, and many never go through crisis. However, we all suffer in different ways. We all have days that are not what we expected when we wake up and roll out of bed.
Why do I write this scene on my blog today? I pray it serves as a reminder to the reader that we are to live in the present, not in the future, not in the past. A dear friend told me once, that I wanted to receive God’s grace for the future, which is a product of worry. I needed to stop striving in that way. God promises His grace for today, for that given situation, for that moment. He says, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). We should not live in fear, nor worry. God is able and willing to take our burdens and grant us peace…in the moment we need it…not before…not after.
Also, we are not to take for granted the gift of today. Focus on today, dear friend. Scripture is clear that we should “not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). Trust that God hears your prayers and He is completely in charge of your life…every moment of the day. I am still learning these lessons, that God is all-knowing and all-powerful and that He will give us what we need when we need it. As a believer in Christ, I cannot explain how He does it, but I can testify that He is big enough to give what you need for victory, not defeat, in your particular situation. Just ask Him.