Counting Gifts


The last month has seen a barrage against my family. Nearly two weeks ago, my parents had an accident on their tandem bicycle, leaving my mom with several broken bones, and rendering her mostly immobile. The following week, Dad collapsed at work and was admitted to the hospital overnight for monitoring of an irregular heart rhythm. Last night, my brother wrecked my motorcycle and broke his leg.

Emotion brings words best left unsaid to my lips as I process these events from afar. Shock, sympathy, fear, and anger course through my veins and I sometimes desperately wish I could do something to help. But no amount of inner turmoil can bridge the thousands of miles that separate. No amount of worry can heal the broken bones. And no amount of anger will fix my once-beautiful bike.

I know that being angry is altogether the wrong response; that I should be praising God that I still have a brother at all, that he is alive and relatively unhurt. The broken leg will heal. The bike can be replaced or repaired eventually. But that is not what I feel. Yet, staring me in the face is a poster that I’ve kept at my school desk(s) for the last year, and on it, in large letters, the words: “Count Gifts.”

And so I realize that there are two ways of looking at this past month: Either my family has seen a barrage of pain and trial, or we have experienced a barrage of blessing.

I know that I have been blessed here by new friends who have shared meals with me, offered transportation, and given encouragement when clouds obscured my view of God’s gifts. My family has been overwhelmingly blessed by church members and friends who have joined them in hospital rooms, faithfully made meals each evening, and offered assistance in a plethora of areas. Some even offered to feed the horse and dog! My dear brother’s life has been spared…something that cannot be taken for granted where motorcycle accidents are concerned.

There are many more gifts to be counted.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Seven Sisters says:

    Hey Abby!

    I just wanted to share this quote a friend posted on their fb page the other day. It was really encouraging to me because I feel like I’ve been attacked emotionally lately, and then it seems like our church is getting a beating 😛

    “Hello My Precious Gem in a Crown,

    Beloved, when you see a garden, do you see the heat, the storms and the weeds of summer as a punishment for inadequate growth from the plant? Why then do you believe the refining in your life is punishment or discipline or worse yet, My disapproval of you?

    I long for you to see it all, as a season when I am extra near and carefully allowing things into your life, as a provision of My protection. As the all wise God, I know what is coming in your life and My love constrains Me from allowing you to enter a new season, without being prepared.

    Just as you’d not pick your produce, before it was fully grown, I’ll not place you into situations until you’re ready. So instead of seeing a time of refining as discipline, see it instead as a pause – an opportunity to be prepared, by My hand, for the next thing to come. I love you so very much.”

    I love how you put it, about experiencing a barrage of blessing. I can’t understand why we’re being attacked (and now I’m really praying protection for our church family!), but in all of it, we can see the blessings!

    Praying for you and your family! HUGS!



  2. wordsoflife says:

    Hey Abby,

    Wow, I am *so* glad to hear that your parents and brother (Nathan I’m guessing?) are okay (aka: alive) – in spite of some pretty serious experiences.

    I understand your anger in regards to your motorcycle… It is about perspective isn’t it? If there were more loss than a broken leg, you wouldn’t even think about the bike (well, not really). In spite of all that you are feeling, I appreciate you remembering to hold on to the Truth that you and your family have been spared, have been blessed. Indeed, count gifts.

    Under the Protection,
    ~ Jody

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