All Zipped Up -- (Part I)
I spent a year feeling like that little fuzzy dude up there. PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME.
Adulting is hard.
I'm not one to really measure a year. I mean, calendars are essential and there is a certain buzz about New Year's Eve and January 1st, but most of my memories aren't marked by four digits, with a few exceptions... loss of loved ones, graduations, marriages, divorces, babies being born, horses being adopted and African Princesses moving in.
2015 was a booger. It began like any other year. I fell asleep on 12/31/14 before the ball dropped and I woke up to my sweet family. But in February '15- things began to crash. I'm going to be a bit more candid in this post than I have been about my car accident.
It shouldn't have happened. On February 26th (2015), all of the public schools in our county and in neighboring counties were closed. Students had missed a week or more of school due to snow, but on this particular day, the ice had melted. Well - sort of. Marlena's high school (private) made the decision to be open - and to open on time rather than a less risky late opening. Everyone was antsy to get back and administrators didn't want the end of the year calendar to have to be adjusted. We got the notice by text that school would be open - so she got ready and off we went. I dropped her off at the school and then headed home. In a 5 minute span, the roads re-froze. (<------ turns out that had been predicted). Another student from the same school lost control of his vehicle and hit me head-on. I've not been mad at that kid for one second - but details are important. That sweet guy was barely 16 and was driving a large vehicle. Considering his very fresh age, it's safe to assume that he had never driven in bad weather before. My car was totaled and my back was severely jacked. I endured a solid year of pain, medical treatments and intense emotional imbalance. PTSD, General Anxiety Disorder, Panic Attacks, Depression and a myriad of side-effects. I now have a pill-box for days of the week.
Hold that thought.
My mother had emergency surgery in March '15 due to an 80%+ blockage of her carotid artery. After she returned home, other medical emergencies followed. As an only child (with painful injuries of my own), I faced the real possibility of losing her. I watched her have a series of TMI's (mini-strokes), took her back to the emergency room and waited. Many descriptive sentences could be worked in here, but let's just agree together that 2015 wasn't looking too hot. Mom has new medical worries now, but in all she is doing very well these days!
Hold that thought.
While I am not at liberty to go into detail - I gotta say - being a Mom is hard. One of my children walked through something devastating and my heart experienced a soreness unlike anything before. Take the brevity of that sentence and multiple it by one zillion. It weighs enough to open a sink-hole and swallow the earth inside out.
Then..... (deep breath)..... my cat died on my birthday.
Back to thought one. Due to the auto accident, I missed more than a year of work. Additionally, as if that isn't enough, I wasn't able to be productive for BFGO and our donations lagged by more than 10%. A business partnership that had been in the works for a year went drastically south and due to non-performance, I had to cut ties with someone I care about.
Who's in the mood for cake?
In September, the super special experience of negotiating a settlement with an insurance company began and for 5 months I navigated that sickening journey while balancing both physical and emotional agony. I dealt with crappy attorneys.....and.....I had to make some very difficult decisions. If you're bored yet, hang in there, it's about to get worse.
After a year, a settlement with the insurance company was finally reached. My mind equates the outcome with radical injustice. My loss of wages were not recouped. If I sit here and try to type the details of being "awarded" for pain and suffering, I will spit swords ... but here is the deal.... I didn't want to sue the family. I mean, I did want to, but I didn't want to want to. They have a nice address. A really nice address. They probably could easily have afforded to replace my car. I wanted my car replaced but I didn't want to "punish" a family for sending their kid off to school, even though he had no driving experience. They were simply doing what I did.... they responded to the school's decision to be open by going. At a minimum, 5 students were in car accidents that morning. To my knowledge, I'm the only one who suffered injuries and significant loss.
I called the school right away that morning and asked them to close - to send out the mass emergency text that would keep kids at home. They didn't agree. They also didn't check on me. They also didn't offer us any hot meals or a get well card. But they were kind enough to send us a tuition bill.
So, the attorneys wanted me to sue the family and sue the school (for negligence) so that I might receive a fair settlement. I am not going to sit here and lie to you in the eye. I saw dollar signs. I saw my house being paid off. I saw justice. It was a constant, nauseating struggle for me to get through this. To sue or not to sue? I knew beyond the shadows of doubt that I would win. But my stomach couldn't handle it. The culprit for my intestinal turmoil - greed. I grew in greed by about a foot per day. I knew that it was legal and ethical to pursue retribution and I begged God for permission, but His Holy Spirit sat pretty firm in my heart with a a telling look in His eyes. He wasn't going to stand in the way of my free will, but He wasn't giving me permission, and I knew it.
All I had wanted from the school was for them to acknowledge their role in the matter and to cut us a break for the orphan from Africa considering I had zero wages. In reaching out to them, only crickets replied. And I have lost all respect. Still.
For several months, I wrestled with God. I wanted SO badly to go against Him. I wanted financial justice. I wanted what was fair. Through a series of Holy Spirit convictions, it came down to two choices for me. I could serve myself or I could serve the Lord. That sounds awfully spiritual and holy, but I confess, I was the exact opposite of giddy when I allowed the clock to tick out on February 26th of this year knowing that I would never get the chance again. I didn't sue the family with the healthy address and I didn't sue the school that never came to our side in our crisis that they initiated. A school that probably should have welcomed the orphan, at zero expense, in the first place.
They are still sending me invoices for the $14,500 we still owe in tuition for the orphan from Africa. They are not sending me the (way more than that) that we've lost. They're calendar was protected. My calendar has blood stains.
The 1 year statute of limitations ran out and I asked God if He was happy. Not really. I raised my hands to the Heavens and I loudly pointed out to Him that I had obeyed. I'm sure He chuckled. Because if you have walked a similar road in hearing the Spirit but wanting to cover your years and la-la-la-la-loo straight through it, you know that the only way, the ONLY WAY we can persevere in trials is in the strength that He provides and the direction He provides in paving the way of obedience.
From February 26th 2016 until today, April 16th .... the grace He has poured over our lives has been immeasurable. It feels like a miracle per day.
All I've wanted is closure. Lord, help me move on. Help me Tay Tay and Elsa. ((1 million points if you get that.))
The Lord heard my prayer.
Part II coming soon. And it will be the exact opposite of Debbie Downer.
P.S. Welcome to my new little blog.
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