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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)

By Karen Sunderland


It was a beautiful morning in April of 1987; and I, 40 years old and still single, was waiting at a suburban intersection for a bus to work. As I eyed a bus that was about to cross the intersection, I continued to dwell on my hopeless life.

I never did see that bus cross the intersection because I was hit by a pick-up truck going a bit over 45mph. How did that happen? Well, when a high school student passed through the intersection in his pick-up truck, a car rear-ended him. To avoid further damage to his truck, the student turned onto the sidewalk and hit me on his way to the field behind me.

I was flown by helicopter to a hospital in a neighboring suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. All I remember about the accident is waking up to a kind nurse who held a dish for me to vomit into, as a surgeon asserted that my accident was a miracle, since I had no broken bones. Yes, I did have a broken rib or two and a broken big-toe; but I also had an arm bone, many knee bones, and probably a facial bone that should have been broken - but weren't. Furthermore, though my entire brain was damaged by the hit, I lost no mental capabilities. And last but not least; an excellent, good-Samaritan plastic-surgeon repaired my face - in spite of the fact that I had no insurance.

I spent five days in the hospital and slept soundly most of that time due to the brain damage. My non-Christian landlady, a nurse, took me home on the fifth day. Nevertheless, I could only rent her room for another month, as the work I was able to continue doing after the accident was not enough to cover the rent. So, I asked my local church to help me find a place to stay that would require very little money.

You might wonder why I didn't just go back home to New York State. Well, I was still struggling with getting my act together in life - a thing I should have done years before, but hadn't. And added to that - I feared that if I returned home with my brain-injury still recent and was verbally abused, I might never be able to get back up onto my mental-feet again.

One church family did decide to take me in: a family with four young children, two in early elementary school and the other two - ages 3 and 2. I wondered about that - especially about how I with my brain damage would get on with the two munchkins. On the other hand, there were no other offers - so I chose to trust my dear Lord.

After entering my new home and sitting on the sofa in the living room; John-John, the two-year-old, welcomed me with a gift-spoon from the kitchen. The living room soon became my post for listening to Christian music, and John-John and his 3-year-old sister would often join me there - one sitting to my left on the sofa and one sitting to my right in the sofa chair. We talked about easy things for someone with recent brain-damage to handle socially - matters such as discomforts, boo-boos, and day-to-day stuff. And - I came to enjoy those chat sessions with the two munchkins.

When I was able to leave the home of this hospitable family and the Phoenix area for a place closer to New York State; the mother requested that I not tell the munchkins I was leaving, as they would cry - and so would I. This family and their little ones had given me a home and fellowship that met my need at a time when I was too weak to help myself. Only God could have known the healing experience these in-laws in-Him would be to me.

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This article has been read 357 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/15/08
I like the idea of "in-laws" in Him and appreciated how you showed that they welcomed you into their lives.
Holly Westefeld05/15/08
I, too, like this concept, and enjoyed the story of God's special working in your life.
Gregory Kane05/17/08
This is the line that creased me up: ďAll I remember about the accident is waking up to a kind nurse who held a dish for me to vomit intoĒ Of course maybe it wasnít meant to be humourous! But itís good to see the comical even in the tragedies of life.
Marilyn Schnepp 05/19/08
As I read, and continued to read, I kept looking for the topic - but at last! I found it in the last sentence, and indeed...I found it to be delightfully different, and also very creative and touching. Stories of sickness, hospitals, surgery and operations usually bore me, but you made this quite lively and interesting. Thanks for sharing this truly miraculous story.