One year ago today my oldest daughter Maggie was thrown from her show-horse April. She and April were practicing walking backwards, when persnickety April had simply had enough. She suddenly reared upwards and backwards, throwing Maggie forcefully first into the air, then down into the ground. April followed suit, falling partially on top of Maggie.
When I think back on this day, believe it or not, my heart still floods with thankfulness. I know God’s hand of protection was wrapped around my daughter. So many “could have’s”… “didn’t” happen. Many of these kinds of throws end with broken hips, backs, or necks. While Maggie did walk (very slowly) away from the accident, she wasn’t completely unscathed. Somehow, she broke a tiny bone behind her eye; this snap then pinched her eye muscle, entrapping it so that she could not move her eye at all. This, of course, was severely painful until it was surgically released two days later.
During these two days, Maggie lay on the couch basically “blind”, as it hurt to open either eye. Also during this time, our family was inundated with love and support from people who “walk life” with us. As Maggie lay there, hearing all the sweet voices come and go, a bible verse kept coming to mind:
Taste and see the Lord is good. Psalm 34:8
She now understood this in a deeper way. Although she couldn’t see physically, she could feel God’s love and goodness pouring through His people.
Another surgery a few weeks later was ordered by the reconstructive eye surgeon, who inserted a plate in place of the broken bone in order to support and position her eye. The remaining “marks” from the accident are: physically, she still has double vision in the right periphery, and emotionally, she is no longer a competitive rider.
Maggie’s grandmother VeeVee gave her this verse during the “blurry vision” days which ironically represented Maggie’s future. College riding was now off her radar, but God was not:
Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth…I will make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19
On March 2, 2009, Maggie’s life did turn upside down. But I have loved watching the same Hand that protected her in her fall, also guide her as she walks into new and beautiful things.
Through this accident, I too have learned much. One thing concerns my faith walk: I must walk steadily and obediently by faith in God, knowing and trusting that at any moment, He can change my direction–for my good, not harm (Jer.29:11). He is for me, not against me. I must believe this, so that I, too, can walk away with hope and peace, if my life were suddenly turned… upside down.
Thank you, sweet Maggie, for your life-lesson to my heart. You have beautiful eyes, that see truth. I love you and celebrate YOU today.