Experiencing Blessing After Tragedy

Just a little forewarning, this one’s a bit downcast, the first part of it anyway.

July 8th, 2021.

When I wrote my post last week, I thought the next one I’d be sharing would be me telling about my crazy, spontaneous Texas purchases (which I plan to do tomorrow) but feelings spur and I can’t skip sharing my heart through a blog post today.

Twenty years ago, to the day, my dad passed away—July 8th, 2001.

I’ve shared that story and thoughts through past posts.

For those who don’t know, my dad ran a bit on the wild side through his teen years and most of his adult life. He provided well for our family, adored my mom and us kids but he struggled cutting loose from longtime addictions with alcohol and marijuana.

Finally (in his mid thirties) my dad broke away from the toxicity and traded it for church attendance and an old time hobby of dirt bike racing. Races usually happened on Sundays so church was typically bypassed in the summer months.

My dad had almost two years of racing in (along with no alcohol or drugs) when tragedy hit.

He was racing (October 10th, 1999) at a motocross event and miscalculated a double jump that left him a quadriplegic and ventilator dependent. Nearly two years went by with him living in rehab facilities.

Taken late in 2000

Over the Fourth of July in 2001 we brought my dad home for a visit not knowing it’d be his last. He had an amazing time visiting family and friends, almost as if it were a set up…

I was seventeen at the time and although I called myself a Christian, my life choices were far from a Jesus-like example. I partied like it was a vital necessity to my self-absorbed teenage life. And during my dad’s unbeknownst last visit there was no exception from my obnoxious traits. I just wasn’t present and I couldn’t see past my vain greed.

On Sunday, July 8th 2001, (with my mom and youngest brother along) I was to drive my dad back to Lincoln, NE where he lived for temporary rehab.

Too naïve to recognize how tired I was I fell asleep behind the wheel. I still have flashbacks of my dad yelling my name, “Alicia, Alicia” as he tried to get my attention, that was the last thing I heard him say. My dad didn’t make it—a blessing in disguise I’ve always thought. My mom and brother suffered severe injuries. I was fine but the mental toll still wreaks havoc at times.

There are so many other details and events wrapped up in all of that, it’d honestly take a book to share all of it.

I look back at that time and boy I wish I could’ve shook sense into that teenage girl I used to be. We don’t physically get those opportunities though but that’s where mercy and grace step in.

Tragedies that we are completely unprepared for happen in life and we’re left with a choice—to sulk in misery or surrender to Jesus with confident hope.

When we choose the latter of the two we’re met with peace, comfort, and direction.

It took me a long time to learn that I would need to fully give my life to God in order to feel true contentment.

Yesterday I began a demo project in my home which I’ll share in a future post and the song Broken Vessels by Hillsong came on as I was reflecting on thoughts of my dad and prying up old ceramic tile from our dining area…

My dad was a carpenter and a darn accomplished one at that, I share the same love. Wearing my ridiculous looking safety glasses tears slipped from beneath them as the words from the song echoed in the background…

All these pieces

Broken and scattered

In mercy gathered

Mended and whole

Empty handed

But not forsaken

I’ve been set free

I’ve been set free

Amazing Grace

How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

Oh, I once was lost

But now I am found

Was blind but now I see

Those words have never been truer and more life captivating to me than now. I feel the power in them and the love of Jesus stronger than ever. I indeed once was a broken vessel, without a shadow of a doubt, but God has collected, mended, and filled this vessel with an abundance of beautiful hope and for that I am ever grateful.

I miss my dad as much today as I did twenty years ago but my choices and my mind are so much more clearer and healthier now that I’ve gained Jesus as He helps me navigate.

Sweet friend I don’t know whatever your struggle may be but turn your eyes and heart to the Father and allow Him to soften the rough areas. He will guide and provide. Precious healing is found in the midst…

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.’ —2 Timothy 2:21 ESV

Author: alimw2013

About For His Purpose~ My name is Alicia and I'm a thirty-something year old who loves Jesus. Only through God’s amazing grace and mercy I have been redeemed from past regret and shame. Reading His word has allowed me to look past Satan’s forceful lies, to see myself for who Christ says I am in Him. Through writing I have learned why I made the choices I made in my younger years and I now have a better understanding of why I desire to love God like crazy these days. Despite my daily failures, God remains faithful always. I am reassured of His unconditional love for me by every ink-drop spilled out on paper, each committed prayer as I cry out to Him, and deep understanding reflected through reading His word as truth. Yes keeping a blog will make me vulnerable to others’ opinions- there will be some who don’t understand, some who may criticize or judge, but on the other hand if just one piece expressed through my writing grabs someone’s attention and directs them to God, then pouring out my heart in a blog for the world to read is worth it. I choose to glorify Him alone through words streaming across a glowing screen. And it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t reveal the fact that I’m incredibly quirky; I’m my loving husband’s best friend, my vivacious kids’ craziest cheerleader and spiritual trainer (3 John 1:4). I love anything farmhouse and rustic style. I think cupping a warm coffee mug in the palm of my hands is more satisfying than the contents within. I share a common obsession with my husband for the mountains, but I would (without a doubt) settle for waves crashing against my legs at the Atlantic Ocean just as well, and I almost always have a Yorkie curled up on my lap while writing. *All photos are photographed by forhispurpose.blog and therefore may not be stored or photocopied in any manner.

39 thoughts on “Experiencing Blessing After Tragedy”

  1. My dear friend, I am so sorry. I can only imagine how much pain you had to walk through. But what a beautiful reminder that, no matter what we face, we can find healing, through Jesus. Sending hugs and love your way. ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  2. So sorry for your loss. I lost my dad three years ago, even as an adult, it’s still so hard some days. Like you, it’s crazy how God can work through that time of grief, healing, and really make us stronger and more reliant on Him in all things. It sounds like your dad was such a wonderful man, and I’m sure those memories will hold strong with you forever. God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amber thank you, I’m sorry for your loss also.
      I’m thankful God steps in to help fill those voids when we experience loss. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes praise God!! Thank you Mandy for those sweet words.

      Ugh ripping up tile has been a yucky chore, the tile is coming up easier than expected even if it’s in small pieces at times…it’s the thinset underneath that is giving the most trouble!🤪

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with Mandy (and the rest). Well written Alicia. I cannot imagine the mental toll possibilities as both sides of the spiritual warfare want to leverage this all your life. You have framed God’s Amazing Grace well by your trust in him

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ” … but that’s where mercy and grace step in… “. Thanks for the precious reminder that He knows our grief and is always there to see us through it.
    Be blessed sister, a blessed reunion awaits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhhh I love your sweet words!! You are so right and what sweet comfort those thoughts bring!❤️Thank you for reading and for your encouragement!!

      Like

  5. Little sister you have such a tender heart and spirit. I am sorry for your loss at such a young age. I am proud of you for following Jesus and letting him work in your life to bring healing for your soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh Alicia, what a story of hope and redemption you have! I’m so sorry for the tragedy, pain, and guilt you have endured. But what a walking example of God’s grace and love and hope you are. And this that you said: “Tragedies that we are completely unprepared for happen in life and we’re left with a choice—to sulk in misery or surrender to Jesus with confident hope.” I’m so thankful that you surrendered to Jesus and are a powerful testimony of what happens when you walk on that path.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Patty🙌I’m so incredibly thankful for the work God has done in my life, it’s an amazing blessing. Thank you for your kind words, and encouragement always!❤️I always enjoy ‘visiting’ with you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Alicia! Your message of grace, mercy, hope, and courage even through tragedy, trauma, and loss filled me today. Your testimony puts His power and goodness on full display. Thank you for your Bravery in telling your story and I praise God for your courage to place all the tragedy in His Hands so that He could make beauty from it all. Both your dad and your Abba Father are surely so proud of you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Our dear Alicia. I remember reading a bit about this tragic event before & even though it’s been awhile, I still feel clipped on healing words. Yet, with that said, I am comforted in remembering how Jesus told us these times would come in life. They do. Still, although He always doesn’t keep us from harm & sorrow, He did promise He would be with us throughout these times. Hugs & love toward you and yours. Alan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Alan, yup we are warned that in this life we will have trouble but we’re also told to take heart because Jesus has overcome the world. (John 16:33) love the hope in those words, I wish I would’ve known them back at that time but better late than never! Thank you for your kind encouragement always.😊❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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