Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Giving Thanks

I wish I had more time to keep my blog updated. I mainly update it when a big event happens.

Anyways, I've been very emotional this week as we have been doing a family study called "Thanksgiving Treasures". It's the same story we always hear about the pilgrims and the indians. My children have been learning it at school in the past week, so it is very fresh to them. It's been nice because they can relate. What they can't teach in public school, however, is that the pilgrims were Christians and that God led them to America, how they prayed about it, and how God answered their prayers. We have the opportunity each night to say what we are thankful for, related to the story. For example, tonight's story was on health and how some of the pilgrims became sick and died. So, we said what we were thankful for, health-wise.

We received a letter in the mail today that reminded us of what we are thankful for. I have been hesitant to share this story so publically, but felt compelled to today, after the letter and the bible study.

My husband (Scott) had an accident on October 17th of last year. He had just purchased a motorcycle a few weeks earlier, something that I and his parents were very worried about. He wanted to use it to commute back and forth to Atlanta, with the gas prices being so high. I was teaching when I got a call from him. He was frantic, the paramedics were there and they made him hang up the phone. I didn't even know where he was or what hospital he was taken to. My mom called around and found out that he had been airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center. Although this was a very emotional time for us, we are very lucky that Scott was not hurt worse. He had some head and neck injuries, several cuts and scrapes on his arms, and the pedal tore his leg up. He had to have internal staples and 30-40 stitches. Thank GOD, that was it.

Scott was in alot of pain for months. Honestly, he was extremely bitter at the man who had pulled out in front of him. The man and his wife called a few times and Scott was very short with them.

Then came the bills. The first bill we received from the hospital was over $32,000. We quickly found out that the man had the minimum insurance, $25,000 liability. We were panicked, so we asked a lawyer to represent us. Several months later, we sat down with our attorney, who told us that the other man's attorney wrote a letter stating that he was a retired, 76-year-old minister, with no assets, other than his house. This really hit me. 76 years old and worked all his life. Scott's dad is 76. I kept thinking of his parents. I would even ask Scott "what if this happened to your dad?"

We let our attorney know that we did not want to keep pressing. On August 24th, our attorney called and told us he had settled. He had asked for the man to give a certain amount, in addition to the insurance. Scott said that was fine and that we were just ready to get it over with.

The next morning, on the way to church, I told Scott that I had something on my mind. I asked him to take me seriously. Scott was still bitter and I was worried he would be upset with what I was about to say. I told him that God had layed it on my heart that we could not accept this man's money. It was his money. I asked Scott to please pray about it and not to answer me right away. I also told Scott that God didn't want us to mail the money back. He wanted us to go to the man's house and take it back. Scott said "you're not going to believe this". I asked him what. He said "not even 2 minutes after I hung up with the attorney, I had this feeling that we shouldn't keep the money". I was shocked. Really shocked.

Our preacher was doing a walk through the bible at this time and the sermon was on Philemon. Jeff specifically talked about branding with your tongue or your thoughts and about setting people free. Scott and I just couldn't believe it, we were like "OK GOD".

As soon as we received our portion of the check from the attorney, Scott called Raleigh, the man who hit him. He asked if we could come over. Raleigh was so nice and said he couldn't wait to see us. It was an amazing night when we went over. Before we even mentioned the money, Raleigh apologized profusely and his wife told us about how they had prayed for Scott for all of these months. The most amazing part was not when we gave them the check, but when Scott told Raleigh that he was the one was sorry, sorry for branding him as a bad person. It was very freeing for all of us. We stayed for awhile. They gave us a tour of their house, which had been handed down for 5 generations. It was a really neat evening.

So, back to the letter. We received a Thanksgiving card from Raleigh and his wife, Sybil, today. There was a letter inside. Here is what the letter said:

"Hi, Happy Thanksgiving! We've got so much to be thanful for. One of the many things to be thankful for is the generosity you have shown to us. We thank God for young Christian people like you. We have shared our story with so many people. They just can't believe it. Thank you so much. May God bless you and restore Scott to his best of health is our prayer. We always remember you and your family in our prayers and will continue to. You have renewed our faith in humanity. There are still alot of good Christian people out there, but we don't want to meet them in the same way we met you. Thank God it was no worse than it was. Raleigh was so upset. All of us were. We give God the praise for everything. We hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving filled with many blessings. Come to see us when you can. Thanks again, again, and again. You don't know how thankful we are. God Bless You! Sybil and Raleigh".

What amazing people. Who would have ever thought that an accident would have led to such a blessing in our lives.

God is awesome!! Happy Thanksgiving!


Kim said...

Such an incredible story. Totally made me cry and I rarely cry! Thank you so much for your faithfulness. Your story is a true blessing to all who hear and read it!

Love you,

Moderator said...

This remains a powerful testimony to Gods work...in all of you. As a former pastor, I am so proud of you. You made my day.

Beth said...

Such a sweet and inspiring story. Thanks for sharing! And I'm so glad Scott is okay.

Kama said...

Wow, sadly I wasn't going to read it b/c it was so long but I'm glad I did! Thanks for sharing! And haven't the loving spirit in you which is needed now more than ever in this world!