As sure as the sun rises, he will appear; He will come to us…..like the Spring rains that water the earth.
Springtime is my favorite season. Not only is it the birthday season of 2 of our children, it is the season that led me to The Cross.
Our firstborn son celebrated his 13th birthday on March 24 by inviting 2 buddies and their Dad’s to join him and my husband, his Dad, for a weekend in the wilderness. The plan was to load each Dad and son into a canoe of their own and travel as far into the wilderness of Florida as possible for a camping adventure. The three canoes filled with TESTOSTERONE made their ways down the Little Manatee River until they were far enough from civilization to feel the “FREEDOM” in their veins.
After setting up tents and making a little “man camp”, the boys asked for permission to go for a swim in the river. The Dad’s, weary from the day long paddling journey, willing obliged.
Just as the Dad’s popped their Coke tops and reclined into lawn chairs, their heard screaming son’s headed their way.
Our son Tim, had dived into the river and crashed his skull into a tree trunk. Blood poured from the open gash in his head.
The Dad’s went into action, wrapping Tim with every towel and shirt to be found. They loaded the boys back into canoes and began to paddle back towards civilization with our bleeding son hunkered down in the boat.
They arrived at the first interstate embankment, jumped from the boats, climbed towards the hi way and began to flag down cars.
You can imagine THAT scene. Three bloody men and three bloody boys, waving down cars.
Two elderly ladies stopped and picked up my son and my husband and took them to the nearest hospital, dropped them off and left. Never to be seen again.
It turned out that our son had not only slashed his head open, he had actually broken his neck in three places.
My husband stood by his side while our son was strapped to “Halo Traction”.
I crumbled to the floor in the hallway pleading with God to be “REAL”.
Four screws were drilled into our son’s skull as the medical team wrapped his head in a band of medal to secure his spine and prevent any movement.
Just a few months prior to this event, God had been miraculously restoring our very broken marriage and had led me back to the church of my childhood where I was teaching 5th Grade Sunday School, from a 5th Grade (at best!) knowledge of the Bible. I was actually using a Childhood Bible to TEACH FROM! (desperate churches will use ANYONE to teach Sunday School:)
As Easter approached, I watched my son walk around with nails driven into his skull.
I saw the watery blood ooze from the flesh that was sliced by the screws. I watched my son wince in pain as he moved certain ways and tried to sit, stand or walk.
During those weeks leading up to Easter, my curriculum had me lead my 5th Grade children in an Easter play for their parents.
As they presented, I sat in the front row “Director Seat” and cried my eyes out.
That was the day I SAW The Cross.
That was the day I got it. I understood what Jesus did for ME—Not just for the World. Not for somebody else—FOR ME.
That was the day I surrendered my messed up self fully to Him.
Since that day, I have never left His side. I have messed up. I have failed Him. But I have never turned back and I never will.
How about you?
Have YOU encountered The Cross of Jesus Christ?
3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3-4
Have you Surrendered your heart to Him?
BTW—Our Son, Tim, fully recovered by the Grace of God and has 2 adventurous sons of his own now. God is good.
Leah Adams says
Oh Yes, I have seen Him on the cross…suffering, dying for my hideous sin. I still cannot believe He did it for someone like ME. I’ve also seen the tomb in the garden. Praise God, it is empty. Posted about that today.
Happy Resurrection Day, sweet Pat!!
Leah–How can we imagine life without Him? We would be the “Empty Tombs” for certain.
Happy Easter, sister!
Tammi Tidwell says
Wow Pat that is an amazing story! Thank you for sharing it.
I too have touched that cross…On May, 1, 2004
the day I got the phone call of my sweet Naomi and her two friends were in a tragic car accident they were 16 years old!!! What?! How can this happen!? Naomi and one of her friends died that day..The other friend walked away from the accident but lives with those nightmares every day.
God is soveriegn and almighty and never ending he had a plan and it was a good plan for our family, He spared us of seeing things that day that no family should EVER have to see..He was there every step of the way.
The day of her funeral was the worst day of a mothers life! Saying goodbye, so innocent so young ..but He was there in every word, every tear, every life Naomi had ever touched, every story that was told and every song that was sung.
It was life changing that day and our family would never be the same..but God still had a plan…even though we could’nt see it.
I wasnt feeling good thought it was stress so that Monday…I went to the doctor..I was pregnant.. I didn’t understand didn’t care didn’t want …But God was there. Blessed with a wonderful nurturing doctor who cared, heard my story, and helped me stay healthy…had a very hard pregnancy..was confused, and angry bitter BUT on that day of Jan 9, 2005… 9 months later.. Jeremy Nathan Tidwell was born..weighed and measured exactly the same as Naomi and for a split second when we looked in his eyes and saw his sister.. today he is a thriving healthy 6 year old.. has Naomi’s crooked smile, sense of humor, and strong will.
He gave Naomi life and he took it but Jeremy is the promise that he loves me and does trully want the best for me.. If it hadnt been for Jeremy I would never had had any reason to get up in the morning and on that day I held him in my arms… was the day I touched the cross.
Thank you Lord for always being there, even when we cant see you.
Because of HIM,
Happy Easter Pat to you and your family.
Pat Layton says
This post is beautiful. All the makeup I just applied for the day is now on a tissue. There is no greater pain than a mothers loss of her child. I honestly do think about that with Mary, Mother of Jesus. The Passion Of Christ movie brought that to my core.
Thank you for sharing your Touch the Cross moment my friend.
You have blessed us with your transparent heart.
Easter Blessings to you and your family,
Carol Weaver says
Hi Pat. Don’t remember if I ever logged onto your blog before, but I am glad I did today. What a beautiful story (not the traumatic head and neck injury :-)) but the precious way Papa God came searching for you and your family. I must say, I think I am more in love with Jesus than ever, but I know there is even more and I commit to surrender my life to love and obey Him. Even though you are in FL and I am in PA, we meet at the cross and worship our Savior and Lord together. May your Easter be full of joyous celebration.
Pat Layton says
Thank you for visiting my blog home :). I always feel like a friend or neighbor has stopped by to say Hi and have a glass of sweet tea with me!
I agree, today, we worship the Risen Saviour…at the foot of the same cross. Looking up towards the same Heaven. Awaiting the same Glorious Return!!!
I love you sister and look forward to seeing you next month.