Storms, fingers and what I know about the grace of God

Storms come up quickly sometimes, don’t they? Real storms and life events that make you feel like the sky is crashing down.
I have had storms. Big, loud, fierce, long-lasting storms. You surely have as well.
Your perfect love is casting out fear…
Even when I’m caught in the middle
Of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back, I know You are near
If you have been tracking with me for any time, you are aware of ongoing financial litigation. For a number of reasons, my mind has been incredibly scattered lately by the immense pressure, by how the lack of resolution affects every part of my life…sometimes down-trodden and hardly able breathe…sometimes so unfocused I can’t watch TV or read a book, never mind writing.
And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare,
There will be an end to these troubles, but until that day comes…
This situation has opened my eyes and heart to the amazing grace of God. I knew about it before…but I didn’t really know it.  When I look back at the past 3 years and think about the number of times the world seemed too heavy, there is no doubt that God’s sustaining grace was very much at work.
Perhaps you understand. We all have something we carry, don’t we? At some point, each of us goes through a stormy season.
But there is another kind of storm…more like a tornado than a hurricane. It comes with no warning, does great damage, is over quickly, but leaves life-altering change behind.
I have been blessed to have only two tornado-like moments that sprang from nowhere and changed my life forever. Nine years ago our beloved Christopher left this earth too quickly, too young.
Then Tuesday happened. The day I was blessed beyond measure.
I mowed and trimmed my yard, then walked three houses down to help my dear friend Nancy who has been quite busy with family needs. I cut her grass many times in the two summers she defeated cancer. Same riding mower, same yard. Except for the new tree with mulch around it. Near the bank that slopes into her neighbor’s yard.
Have you had a time when you debated something, made a choice and almost immediately knew it was the wrong one?
Yeah, me too.
I remember the mower starting to slide. I leaned as far as I could toward the top of the hill…
The next few seconds are a blur – falling, a loud sound, up on my feet again. Then I looked at my right hand.
Have you heard it said that paper cuts hurt worse than serious accidents because the body goes into shock and protects itself. I am here to tell you it is true.
It is also true that moments become surreal. I looked at my hand and thought, “My fingers aren’t supposed to look like that?”
With my arm held above my head, I walked up 12 steps to the neighbor’s porch and banged – no, BANGED – on the door. No answer. Back down the steps, up the little hill, into Nancy’s house, wrapped a rag around my hand, took my water bottle, locked the back door, walked to the front porch and began making calls to find someone to take me to the hospital.
The mind has a way of shutting down everything but what is necessary. It enabled me to remain relatively calm through all this. What I didn’t think to do was call 9-1-1.
After several calls, much crying and screaming, I reached a friend for a ride to the hospital.
The next six hours involved two emergency rooms, an ambulance ride, many doses of IV antibiotics and pain meds, lots of tears and shouts and stitches.
I walked out at 10:30pm with partial amputation of two fingers and a palm held on by sutures.
BUT HEAR THIS: I am blessed beyond measure. BLESSED.
I was riding a lawn tractor that rolled down a hill. I was in the back yard, unseen from the road. When the neighbor found the tractor, it was still running.
I truly shutter to think about what could have happened.

Am I sad about losing most of two fingers? Of course.
Am I aware that it could have been much worse? You bet I am.
I know there are rough days ahead. I know the full impact of losing most of two fingers has not hit me.
I also know the grace of the God I love kept me from further harm, perhaps from death.
I know that. I am grateful beyond words. I am indebted and obligated to share.
I also know hurt or pain is not wasted in God’s Kingdom. He has a plan to take my bad choice and use it for good.
I will miss my fingers.
But I can’t wait to see what God has in store for the eight fingers that are left!
Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me
We will talk again soon,
Beth Painter is a writer and motivational speaker. You can follow her on Facebook on the “Think Big focus small” page.
Beth is available to speak to your group about how to make your dreams and desires come to life!