One year ago this week, life changed.
I got the phone call that no parent wants to receive. “Mr. Butler, this is the hospital. Your son has been badly injured. You need to get here as quickly as you can.”
There are times when it is a good thing that you don’t know what you don’t know. As many times as I have been in the hospital with others, I simply did not realize the full measure of the gravity of the situation that day. When they took our son to surgery, most of the trauma unit’s medical personnel did not expect him to return. My naivety was a great blessing.
I must tell you this: For my son’s sake, I do so wish that I could go back and change the events of June 26, 2013. If I could have taken his place, I gladly would have done so. And I pray that you will not have to go through such circumstances.
Still, there are so many things I have learned from this life-changing event.
Some people have said to me, “God will never place more on you than you can bear.” While I am sure they mean well, I believe they are mistaken; I could not bear what we have faced this year. But God will never let us face more than he can bear. And he will never leave us alone.
I also have been reminded of the goodness and love of God’s people. The church has been a great resource of strength and love for me. I speak first of the church as a whole, for people across the nation have prayed for us. But I also speak of the good people at First Baptist of Pembroke. They have shown their pastor and his family love in so many tangible ways in the last 12 months. I never will forget their many acts of kindness.
Finally, this has been a year of changed priorities in my life. I always have tried to have them in order, but I now know that I still was majoring on things that simply do not matter.
I’m still not where I should be, but I’m closer than I ever have been. I want to focus on the things that are of the most importance.
Thank you for taking the time to read the thoughts I share each week. I know that some of you read every week, and many have let me know of your continued prayers for my son and my entire family. We are grateful.
I know this for sure. If it were not for the Lord and his people, we would not have survived this last year. But in his strength, we have made it. We have grown. God is good, and he can be trusted. I am grateful that he has not forsaken us.