I think the first time I really felt like an adult was when I closed on my house in October. And, I knew that those moments would be more frequent versus less in the days, months and years to come. I was ready... I was confident. Bring on adulthood. But then came a random day, a random accident and a sobering and humbling lesson...
On February 22nd, my dad, a friend from high school and I were all set to drive up to Henderson together. Derek and I had meetings in East Texas and Dad had been at a conference here in Austin. Our plan? Derek to pick me up at my house at 11 and we would pick up Dad on our way out of town. The day before, I "randomly" decided that I would work from home the next morning. So, I did. Got up, made some hot tea and settled into working remotely. Dad texted at 9:45 and said that he was done with his conference, so I decided to go ahead and pick him up. I did... we were gone around 10 minutes. I pulled into the garage, walked across the street to say hi to my neighbor, walked in the front door and then closed the garage door. Dad and I were sitting in the living room for about 5 minutes when there was a loud POP and the lights flickered. We jumped up and my garage door opener (hanging on the ceiling of my garage) was on fire. Flames were on the ceiling and on the top of my car. Dad went to swat at the flame on my car with his right hand. Instead of it being a flame, it was a burning piece of plastic. It stuck. To his hand. His hand was on fire. He got it out, one of us got a towel and he beat out the rest of the flame with a towel. I took a look at his hand and immediately got in the car to go to the ER.
Once at the ER, the doctor looked at his hand, said that there were probably 2nd and 3rd degree burns and that we should go to a burn unit. Just FYI, but there are only 3 major burn units in Texas: San Antonio, Galveston and Dallas. We decided to get in the car and drive to Dallas... because we didn't know what the extent of the damage would be and what the recovery time would be. We stopped by my house to grab all of our stuff, I kissed Layla on the head and we headed to Dallas. Dad, on morphine. Me, having to be the adult.
I made tons of phone calls. Insurance. Contractor. Family. Friends. But once things calmed, I cried. Not boohoo-my-life-sucks crying. The "oh my goodness... I'm so blessed" cry.
Had it been any other day or even our original plan, my home would've burned down. My car would've exploded. My LaylaBug would be gone. Had my dad not been there, I would've thrown water onto an electrical fire.
--- Before I get into the serious part of this blog, before dad was given his shot of morphine, he looked at me and said, "I'm not responsible for anything I say in the car." I told him he would be... 45 minutes outside of Dallas - "Dad, you just quoted Shakespeare while on morphine." ---
But here's the thing. God is Sovereign. He REIGNS over decisions, outcomes and circumstances. Had it been in His plan to lose my house, I would have. But it wasn't. He took my "everyday", tweaked it and made it so. I couldn't get over that. I still can't. I feel like there are a whole lot of people that have trouble wrapping their heads around God's Sovereignty. That some things are just chance. That we are lucky. They feel like we are puppets in this show that God puts on. And that's fine if you do... or know someone that does. I struggled with this a lot at one point. I still, from time to time, struggle and wrestle with that thought. But that day, February 22nd, I wasn't struggling. It was clear. It was evident. It was a "Sarah. I'm ALWAYS here. My plans are BETTER than yours."
I also couldn't shake my dad's injury. I felt guilty that I a) didn't have a fire extinguisher (which I own 2 now) and b) that he had to get hurt over this. But, he wanted to help me... he wanted to save the house. He wanted to do whatever he could to protect me. Sound familiar? And, he was hurt. Sinking in yet? This small incident made me see more clearly how the love of our Heavenly Father is portrayed in my earthly father. How when I become a parent, I'll be able to experience what it feels like to love a child the way God loves me. But, how as a child (even an almost 30 year old child), my dad will always treat me like his girl. My mom too. I will always be loved... even to the point of pain. How precious is that to see so clearly? It still rocks me... 2 weeks later. The days following I stayed home in Henderson with dad while mom went to work. (She had been out sick the whole week before with the flu... and we all know the awesome sick-leave time teachers get!) I tried my best to serve my dad... not because I should, but because I wanted to. He had done something for me, something I never asked him to and I just wanted to thank him with service. So I tried. Just like I try to do so with Jesus. Not because I should... but because I'm moved to. Wow. We really do live out the Gospel more often than we think!
If you are still reading, Dad is doing well. We got to Dallas and after a follow-up appointment, it looks like the burns are mostly 2nd degree. HUGE PRAISE! He has to clean his hand once a day (at that time he takes some pain meds), and mom and I think the bandages make his hand look like the Hamburger Helper glove. And, in true Terry-form, he'll say over and over again that in college his fraternity volunteered at the kids wing of the Galveston burn unit... and this is absolutely nothing compared to what those poor kids had to go through. Perspective. He's got it for sure :) The insurance companies are on top of things. The garage door company is offering to pay for damages. God is providing. God is good. And He is Sovereign.