I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted. I had even made a commitment to post more often, but circumstances change things a bit. Well, I’d like to update you on some things going on in my life, though that sounds almost egomaniacal to say.
Most of you know that I was in a head-on collision last Tuesday along with Anna, Elizabeth, and Lydia. What happened was pretty simple, but crazy fast. A person in the oncoming inside lane was rear ended and that shoved their car into our inside lane and before I could even touch the breaks, there was a deafening sound and shock. The next thing I knew the suburban was filled with smoke and airbags had deflated. I checked on the girls and they were upset to say the least. However, I’m so proud of how they held it together and worked to get out of the car.
After staggering round a bit a few people helped me to lay down on the ground, and the quick to arrive paramedics had me restrained on a flat board. Well, to speed this up, I spent only about 3 hours in the hospital in Springdale. After CT scans and x-rays, they let me go with Jan, who had arrived while I was being examined. Besides bruising, some serious whiplash, and what appears to have been a mild concussion, we are all okay.
I’m still battling some headaches and neck pain, and have discovered new places that were injured since then. I’m so grateful to the Lord for His mercy.
The morning after the wreck, I got a call from my mother that she had taken my father to the ER. It turned out that my father had a stroke that, while minor, is still going to require 3-6 months of recovery to work on the areas of paralysis. Now, we were scheduled to be in Fort Worth during this time anyway, so we were blessed to be able to borrow a car and get to FW by Thursday evening.
The initial purpose of the trip was for me to begin work on a book (transitioning my dissertation to book form), and the girls to see family. With dad in the hospital, plans have changed a bit. I am grateful for Our families and their understanding. The girls have been able to have a good time. My time, honestly, has been quite a struggle.
I have felt so pulled and conflicted on what I should be doing with my time. I have had to face the humility of having little faith and joy in the midst of these circumstances. I’ve had to admit that the wreck has affected me emotionally and mentally a bit. To say the least, I’ve been frustrated. I think I’m most frustrated with how long it’s taking me to rejoice. I’m afraid I’ve made it a bit difficult on the girls as well. They can see how distracted I’ve been.
I have, though, found great solace in the prayers of the saints on our behalf. I have wanted to recluse. The nature of my job and life doesn’t allow for that in times of crisis so much. I’m not complaining. In a sense, I believe that the nature of the job is a dear friend, keeping me near to things that matter.
After 6 days in the ICU, my dad was moved yesterday into a regular room. There is some progress. He has been diagnosed with high blood pressure and diabetes. He is in for a long haul physically. He has always been the rock-type guy in every venue he has lived in (home, work, church). For Jim Lumpkin to go down, has been sobering to many, including me. We are hopeful that he will regain much of what he has lost, and praying for a joy filled faith to envelope him and the family.
For me, I have two days left and I have written only part of a preface. My sweet wife has given great effort to encourage me, but I’m not the easiest to encourage when I feel I haven’t had time to process what’s gone on around me…that’s called pride.
As well, I’ve faced my selfishness with all of it’s ugly grins. There were people hurt worse than me in the wreck. My dad can barely move his right side. My wife has had to carry the emotional load of keeping the family moving. Essentially, this ain’t about me. I do know that. I just don’t think I’ve felt that. My “ought to” comes through under many difficult circumstances, but this time the circumstances have caused realities to surface more.
This is where Truth comes in. Only the Spirit of God working through the Word of God can kick down self and exalt Christ in me at times like these. Therein lies my only hope. Therein lies my resuscitated joy.
I do want to thank the dear body of UBC for their prayers and tangible service. You are a dear, sweet people who deserve a stronger pastor than I. However, that’s the joy in serving with other pastor / elders, they under-shepherd you as well, and with a particular strength when a brother is weak. Love you all!
3 Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.