Hand Over Mouth Thankfulness and Awe

by | Nov 22, 2012 | Uncategorized

We’re cozied up together with family tonight, pulling bread apart, pushing the spoon around a skillet of sizzling onions and celery for the stuffing while pumpkin and pecan cool on the counter. Passing the box of cookies sent with love to Murielle as she recovers from the accident. All rubbing our eyes at the end of some fast and furious days of fielding interruptions by claims adjusters and junk yard dogs, ironing tables cloths and standing in line at the grocery store for the third time.

The story I wrote about Murielle’s accident, the way God saved her life that night, it was selected to appear on Freshly Pressed, the WordPress.com home page where 390 million people view 3.8 billion pages a day. When there are 31.7 million new posts each month, I’m feeling a bit humbled. We’ve stood with our hands over our mouths, shaking our heads in the glory of it all. How God can take a horrific event and redeem it into a thing of beauty.

Hundreds say it’s beautiful over and over again in the comments, like a book of days declaring His faithfulness. And you just can’t plan that kind of awe.

Tomorrow, when I scoot my chair into the table of steamy turkey straight from the oven, flayed open white, I won’t worry if the gravy is lumpy, the potatoes undercooked, the decorations perfect. I will remember the day I nearly lost my only daughter. We’ll hold hands around the table and thank him that we have life, that miracles aren’t  just for fairy tales.

And I’ll thank Him for each of one of you too. For the way you’ve buoyed us in bending your knees on our behalf. Giving thanks takes on new meaning for us all this year. I’m not sure we’ll ever be quite the same. At least I hope not.

Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

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  1. Jennifer@GDWJ

    Happy Thanksgiving, Shelly. So grateful for you … and for the miracle. In awe.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      To you Jennifer too. I am so very grateful for you and the way you impact my life through your words every week. Honored to know you.

  2. Holly

    I read once that “thanksgiving is the soil in which joy thrives.” I believe your Thanksgiving will be filled with a deep, abiding joy. May it be so.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Love that quote Holly and I’m thankful to have met you this year. Your words are rooted in rich soil and they inspire me to be better. Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. engimarestoche

    God is good. We should thank him all the time.
    God thank you. 🙂

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I’m committed to that, to thanking Him more often.

  4. Diana Trautwein

    I want to say congratulations, Shelly – so I will. But I’ll admit it feels just slightly off-center after what you and that lovely girl of yours have been through!! It is so good that this story of ‘salvation’ is getting a wider audience – but I’m guessing that somewhere deep down, you might wish that it had never happened in the first place. So terrifying and so.dang.close. So very grateful with you for the way things turned out, though. And praising God for all of it.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Oh Diana, I’m grieved by your comment actually. The point of this post is to testify to the way He uses the most unlikely things to point people to Him. I’m in awe that he would transform trauma into joy. Even my girl is smiling at what God is doing here through her story. And of course I wish it never happened, I shudder to think what kind of person wouldn’t think that. This is just one way He is using her accident to reveal Himself, turning sorrow into dancing joy. I could go on and on about the small miracles that have transpired through this over the past few days, truly. I’m not interested in accolades more than my daughter and I’m sorry you took it that way. I shared this here because many of my followers aren’t on Facebook and I knew they would be happy to know that God is using her story to touch lives this way. I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving Diana, I’m so thankful to know you.

      • Diana Trautwein

        I am so sorry, Shelly! I think maybe you mistook my meaning. I rejoice right along with you in this and hope the story goes far and wide. It is just always a reminder to me that we walk the rail in this life, holding hard things and wonderful things in tension all the time. We don’t get to choose how things like this happen and I am entirely grateful that this one turned out so beautifully on so many levels. It is not always so, and I guess I was (pretty feebly) trying to say that somehow. We can both rejoice in the good news and shiver with the hard part of this, right? This was terrifying and hard and has been redeemed in wonderful ways. And for that I am truly grateful. Did not mean to grieve you AT ALL and for that, I apologize.

        • Redemption's Beauty

          Thanks Diana, sorry I took it the wrong way and know how grateful I am for you, your wisdom and your friendship.

  5. jaxchaplain

    I thank God for you! Many blessings to you and yours!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I’m so thankful for you, for the way God has allowed our paths to cross. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  6. altarofheaven

    Beautiful Shelly I am so thankful for you and for how God has given you eyes to see His Truth in everything…to see beauty in redemption and in ashes. I love how you praise God through the storm and you allowed us a peek into your heart even through a heart-wrenching tragedy as this.

    And about the ‘small miracles’ that you can go on and on about–I would love to hear about these stones of remembrances He has given you to share with us. He will continue to use this for His glory–you are doing well in bending to Him. Today we are going to the hospital to spend time with a family who has a son still in the hospital from a motorcycle accident two years go–one month before my husband’s accident. I don’t know what it feels like to have a child in an accident or for that long in the hospital, but I do know what it’s like to have my husband in one and how God comforted me…going to them is His doing not ours:

    “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

    I know you understand. I love you and your family and will continue to pray.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I love that portion of scripture, thank you for sharing it. It speaks to my soul today. And I’m so very thankful for you Arcelia, for your tender heart and listening ears to the voice of the Holy Spirit and the way you share yourself so generously with others, like going to the hospital to visit someone who is suffering on Thanksgiving. I pray your heart be full today with all that He is. Happy Thanksgiving.

  7. Jillie

    Hi Shelly…After seeing this photo of your daughter’s car, I am even more amazed at God’s protective hand over Murielle! “One more inch”, Oh God. I thank Him and praise Him for His goodness over you and your family. When I think of my own precious (only) Daughter, I can’t imagine the horror of it all. Continuing to pray for all of you. And to give Thanks!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Jillie, I added the photo after she took it because I knew it would tell the tale of the miraculous even more than my words. I’m glad you went back to see it. One this day of giving thanks, you should know you are on my list. I’m so thankful that God brought you here, that our hearts have connected in Him as we walk on this pilgrimage together. Thank you for your love and prayers, I treasure them.

  8. Dea

    Just about two weeks ago, I went with Jeff for a heart cath. He had been having some rhythm problems that the docs had identified two weeks before when he felt a flutter—-just a flutter, no pain, no tightness. The cath was to rule out blockage since no other test indicated one. They found one in the the main artery, blocked 80+. It is the artery that is nicknamed the “widow maker.” We celebrated as a family last night, all my kids around the table, and my man thanked God for life. He meant it and I felt it deep. We got our miracle too because with no pain, no high blood pressure, no high cholesterol there had not been a sense of urgency that he was in danger. The truth is he was and truth is God knew. And why he does this for us and not another I don’t understand. We can only take this life, and the reality we face every day of losing it to heaven, as gift and an opportunity.

    It has been such a privilege to pray and praise God for M’s miracle. So grateful that God is answering prayers even in this wreck. What if you got a million plus hits to read of the miracle? Dreaming Big!!

    Happy Thanksgiving Shelly — much love on this day…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Oh my goodness Dea, what a testimony of God’s hand over this situation. I’m thanking Him with you right now. We will enter this day with new eyes won’t we? You just don’t know how much your prayers and encouragement mean to me, thank you so much. Hope you have a wonderful family gathering today. Happy Thanksgiving, sending you a big hug and lots of love.

    • lynndmorrissey

      Oh Dea, I read your story with tears. Nearly thirteen years ago, my beloved Michael had a heart attack and also died. He was pretty much like your husband–symptomless–until he actually did start having pain in the back of his arms and went to see his doctor. The doctor virtually dismissed him, except he did schedule a stress test. But before that appointment, Michael ended up flat on his back, writhing in pain. He was having a heart attack, and mercifully, I was home and could call for help. It was MIRACULOUS that he survived, b/c he had 97% blockage in all major arteries and in others as well. He ended up having sextuple bypass surgery. Just like God spared your beloved, He spared mine. His cardiologist said that that doctor should have hospitalized him immedidately, b/c all Mike had told him indicated severe blockage. She said, though, that the stress test would have killed him. So I can truly understand what you are saying about God’s intervention.Forgive my personal long response on *Shelly’s* blog,….but I was just so moved by your testimony here about how God presided over your husband’s miracle. I think THanksgiving itself is a miracle…..that we realize just how much God has done for us in ways too numeous to count, great and small. I rejoice with Shelly and you over the miracles that are so personal and extraordinary in your lives this Thanksgiving!! God bless you both, and your precious families.

      • lynndmorrissey

        Wow! It prayers to proofread. I meant that Michael ALMOST died!!!!!!!!

      • lynndmorrissey

        Can’t believe that I just did that again!! It PAYS to proofread. On the other hand, it might pay to pray as we do! 🙂

  9. lynndmorrissey

    Oh Shelly…….what a wonder this story is…….of God’s providential care, of His amazing power, of His redeeming a horrific accident and turning it into a hallelujah acclamation! I am over here in ST. Louis, lifting my hands and bowing my heart to our magnificent God who spared your beautiful Murielle and who now is using the ability He has given you to express it so well to reach literally milliions for Him! This is truly a demonstration of thanksgiving! You are giving Him thanks and this thanks keeps on giving and giving and reaching many for Him. Especially when readers get a good look at that smashed heap of a vehicle, knowing your daughter walked away well and whole, how could they *not* know that this miracle was ONLY BECAUSE OF GOD!!!! Oh truly, He works all things together for good to those who love Him, He brings life out death, light out of darkness, redeems locust years with bounty…..He is continuously bringing about His glory in a topsy-turvey world, where Satan is bent on destruction. I can’t believe how He is using this incident–Murielle’s near-death collision–to bring glory to Himself! I can sense in what humble awe you, Murielle, and H are worshiping Him this Thanksgiving Day. And I LOVE what you said here–one of the most profound and humbling things you have ever written at Redemption’s Beauty: “I won’t worry if the gravy is lumpy, the potatoes undercooked, the decorations perfect. I will remember the day I nearly lost my only daughter.” You have captured here one of the greatest gifts derived from what Satan meant to harm…….you are helping us all to see that the greatest gift for which we can all be grateful is life, itself, and that, frankly, all those petty things that we think matter, don’t mount to a hill of beans or a bowl of gravy. Oh, how I needed to hear this. And as our family gathers today, may I be ever mindful of how He has brought us through, year after year, straight through all the trials and testings, and that our lives matter….that even with one of the greatest trials of my dear brother’s life (when he has lost his wife and house and possessions), we still have him and he still has us, and we still have life. When we gather today, I will remind our family, that the fact that we can gather at all–that God has given us life and breath and the ability to share and love–is the greatest gift of all. And I will tell them about Murielle and you. Oh, Shelly, how I thank God for you! (And I also want to say, writer to writer, I especially appreciate your putting this “out there.” Had I just experienced all you and your family had, I don’t know if I would have had the strength just now to share it coherently. I’m so glad for your courage, and I think that this too is a gift of thanksgiving from God!) Ok……SO SORRY *YET AGAIN* FOR THE LENGTH OF THIS AND RISKING WEARING OUT MY WELCOME! ugh. 🙂

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I know Lynn, surprised I could write it too but I think it actually helps me process it all and I need to write it in order to remember. I know you understand that with your journaling experience. So thankful for you Lynn, you’re on my list of thanks this year. Thank you for comments, always. I don’t care how long they are. They bless me.

      • Lynn Morrissey

        WHat a dear thing to say. Thank and God bless you Shelly. *I* am so thankful for *YOU*!

  10. dogear6

    I am so thankful your daughter is alive and able to spend more holidays with you. I know the emotions that happen with that call, but mine thankfully was okay. When the phone rang at 4 am with her on the line, my first words were “are you okay”? She was. I asked where are the cops? Just left. Then I calmed down enough to let her tell me what happened. It was unfortunate her parked car was mangled so badly while parked on the street, but so thankful that’s all it was. Cars can be replaced. People can’t.


    • Redemption's Beauty

      Nancy, I’m amazed at how many have similar stories of grace. So thankful and inspired by the stories of others. Thanks for sharing yours here, I appreciate it.

  11. Clark

    The sermon I heard Thanksgiving morning said – You cannot both worry and be thankful at the same time. Great lesson to live by every day.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Great perspective from the pulpit, thanks for sharing it.

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