Monday, December 31, 2012

Improve Your New Year: Live in Covenant With Christ

This is a special post for the New Year. I’ll have my regular post up on Wednesday, January 2.


            It’s evening in the Middle Eastern desert, and an old man stands watch over the carcasses of a heifer, a female goat, a ram, a turtledove and a young pigeon. He cut the large animals in two and placed the body halves on either side of a trench, which now runs with their blood. He drives the vultures away as he awaits nightfall, when he expects the King to arrive to seal the promised covenant with him.
            The old man looks nervously into the darkening sky and murmurs, “How can I possibly keep the promise I am about to make with this King? What will He do to me if I break it?”
            As night falls he’s tormented by a vision and the King’s voice telling him what will become of the man’s descendants for hundreds of years. Then, as the sky darkens and becomes saturated with twinkling stars, the old man sees a smoking oven and a burning torch pass between the animal bodies, right through the blood soaked trench.
Then the man hears the King say, “To your descendants I have given this land…”
            The King seals the covenant – alone – while the man watches.
            Hundreds of years later, the King renews this covenant with the man’s descendants at the base of a smoking mountain. The King gives them laws, and the people agree to them. “If you obey me fully and keep my covenant, “ the King says, “then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession…a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” In this covenant, the people agree to be the King’s servants, and He agrees to care for and protect them. They enter into this covenant not only for themselves but also for their children’s children.
            Hundreds of years later two young men stand before one another in a palace. One is the son of an earthly king, and is the next one in line to the throne. But the prince knows that the man in front of him, the one he loves as much as he loves his own soul, has been chosen – anointed – by the King of the Universe to ascend to the throne. Without malice, guile or jealousy, the young prince makes a covenant with his sheepherding, giant-slaying friend and gives him his royal robe, his armor, his sword, his bow and his belt. This act symbolizes his submission and unfailing loyalty to his friend. It is a covenant that will surpass time and death.
            Hopefully those stories sound familiar to you, and you can give names to all of the characters.
            In the first story, it is with Abraham who God, the King, makes a covenant. Yet God knows that as much as Abraham wants to keep his promise, he won’t be able to do so, and God has let him know through a disturbing vision, that his descendants certainly won’t be able to keep it. This seemingly brutal act of cleaving animals in two and walking through their blood was a standard way of making what was called “cutting a blood covenant,” when both parties would walk through the blood to show that they bound themselves together in agreement and, when they did so, were obligated to follow the terms of the agreement, or risk facing death at the hand of the other person. By walking through the blood alone, God agrees to keep His side of the covenantforever – no matter what Abraham or his descendants do.
            In the second story, God gives the law to the nation Israel through Moses at Mt. Sinai. It’s a renewal of the covenant with Abraham, with some variations and rules added.
            The final story is of Jonathan and David, the story of a human friendship that seems to exceed all others in history. The story of two young men whose love for one another is so deep that after Jonathan is killed in battle and David ascends to the throne, David hunts down Jonathan’s surviving son, Mephibosheth, not to kill him, as everyone thought he’d do because of the potential threat to his rule, but to invite him into his house – “for Jonathan’s sake” – so Mephibosheth can be treated with dignity and respect, like the son of a king. In addition, David restores all of Jonathan’s family property to Mephibosheth, so he has an inheritance to give his descendants.
            Throughout their history, the nation of Israel makes covenants with God that they break. Over and over again, they suffer because of their unfaithfulness to Him, and then, when they seem to have learned their lesson, He restores them to Himself. It is the longsuffering love of God that restores them.
            It is this longsuffering love that caused God to send His only Son to Earth to join Jews and Gentiles alike into a New Covenant with Him.
            But do you really understand the significance of this covenant you ascribe to when you take Communion, or understand what Jesus meant when He initiated it in that upper room?
            During the Passover meal, four cups of wine are blessed. And it is the third cup – the Cup of Redemption – that becomes the special cup Jesus raises and refers to as His blood. So let’s take a close look at that third cup, the cup that signifies the New Covenant we entered into.
            When a young man wanted to marry a woman in Israel, a bride price needed to be decided upon between the young man’s father and the woman’s father. This price wasn’t to “purchase” the young woman, but to replace the great loss of a daughter. It was a high price, like buying a house.
            When the price was agreed upon, the young man’s father would pour a cup of wine and raise it to his son. His son would turn to the young woman, lift the cup and hold it out to her, and say, “This cup is a new covenant in my blood, which I offer to you.” In other words, “I love you, and I’ll give you my life. Will you marry me?” Will you become my bride?
            The woman had a choice. She could take the cup and give it back and say no. Or she could choose to answer by not saying a word, and take the cup from him and drink of it. Her way of saying, “I accept your offer, and I give you my life in response.”
            During the last Passover meal Jesus ate with his disciples, He took that third cup – the Cup of Redemption – and blessed it with a traditional blessing.
            Then He probably shocked the disciples when He interjected the marriage proposal into the service. Jesus said, in essence, “I love you,” and compared His love to a passionate, pure love of a husband for his wife. Jesus said, “I love you, and I’ll pay the price for you.”
            First He says, “This is my body, broken for you.” Then He says, “This is my blood, sacrificed for you. Drink of it so that you will be My bride and we may covenant together for eternity.”
            Instead of a blood covenant made with the blood of animals, God’s Son became the covenant sacrifice. Christ was the sacrifice; His blood paid the redemption price for you and sealed the covenant.
            When someone enters into a marriage covenant, they promise to love, honor, protect and serve the other person – forever. When we partake of Communion, we are saying that we, His bride, willingly enter into this kind of covenant relationship with Him, our bridegroom. You say you accept His offer and give Him your life in response.
            This new covenant of grace is based on faith that brings life and righteousness. If you have stepped out in faith and accepted God’s grace, then you are a legitimate child of God; son or daughter – a treasured possession – of the King. John 1:12 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” Then in his first epistle, John remarks, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” Exclamation point! That the King of the Universe calls us His children. It’s why Peter says in his first epistle: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who…have obtained mercy.”
            But what do royal priests look like? What are their responsibilities? Jesus paid a high price for you. How do you – the bride of Christ, a child of God – live in covenant with Christ and return His love?
            As one writer put it, “We look to Jesus’s teachings, and the teachings of His inspired Apostles, to see the way that Christian faith should work in our lives. As the Apostle John says, ‘“…let us not love in word and tongue, but in deed and in truth.’”
            We are children of God’s promise, and we are free. But our freedom does not give us permission to sin – it gives us permission and the privilege to serve Christ. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6); love shown in our good works.
            And what are those good works? They are our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service and our witness.
            Of all of these, prayer must come first. Prayer helps us accomplish all that God wants us to do. Through prayer we acknowledge that God is our Father, a loving father we are so close to that we can call Him by the intimate name, “Daddy.”  We remember His rightful place in the universe and in our lives by acknowledging that His throne room is heaven and that only His name is holy. We ask that His will – not ours – be done, and we ask Him to show us His will. Then we ask Him to help us obey it.
            In prayer, we ask God to supply our needs, not just ours, but the needs – both spiritual and physical – of others, particularly our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are humbly reminded that we all struggle in this life – to provide for our families, to forgive people who have sinned against us – and that we need God to forgive us for the sins we commit so our relationship with Him will in no way be hampered. We also remember that there is an evil one in our midst who desires our destruction, and only God can protect us from him.
            Through our presence with others, particularly through weekly worship together, Bible study and small group meetings, we give strength, hope, and joy to one another. We weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15). We spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24). Paul tells us to gather together so that we may encourage on another…(Hebrews 10:25). And that includes joining with brothers and sisters outside of your immediate church community to worship, such as when you are traveling, just as the apostles and disciples did.
            We give monetary gifts, striving to tithe as cheerful givers for God’s work in our particular congregation. We give extra, as believers sacrificially did in the First Century Church; to meet others’ needs both outside of our own congregation and around the world. This is the one area in which God tells us to test Him. In Malachai 3:10 He states: “Bring all the tithes into the storehouses, that there may be good in My house, and try Me now in this, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.” I can tell you from personal experience that God faithfully upholds this promise.
            To serve, we identify our spiritual gifts and talents so we are able to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God (Romans 12:1). As members of one body, working together, we demonstrate and use our spiritual gifts of mercy, teaching, helping, serving, relieving burdens, exhorting, giving, leading, administrating, and greeting people in hospitality. We do not strive to “be everything” but to perfect the specific gifts God has individually bestowed upon each of us. Utilizing your gifts glorifies God and makes the body of Christ healthy and the congregation rich.
            Finally, we can witness to others. Through our prayers, words and actions we can invite people into a relationship with Jesus Christ. Like David who went looking for Jonathan’s son, the physically crippled Mephibosheth, to bring him into his house to treat him like a favored son, with all of the rights granted to a prince, we need to look for the broken and broken-hearted, to bind up their wounds, to help make their spirits whole; to make and treat them like treasured possessions, the treasured children of the King; to bring them into God’s eternal family; to give them a heavenly inheritance.
            Remember, you are an ambassador for Christ. The way you act, dress and talk affects people. Someone is always watching you.
            As my pastor reminds us, Christianity is a team sport, and love is an action. Love helps us run this difficult race together. Christ’s love compels us; our foremost goal should be to please Him in everything we say and do. All of these labors are our way of working out our salvation. Not “doing” to get saved, but doing because we are saved; because we are grateful.
            Yet, we ask ourselves, “How can I possibly measure up and keep this covenant with Christ?”
            It is a serious, important question. God does not want you to enter into a covenant lightly – with Him or with anyone else. He says He’ll call us to account for any oath we utter with our mouths. So we count the cost and enter into this covenant soberly, but joyfully, after much prayer and repentance, for we know that He, by His mercy and grace, will always be with us to help us keep it. And we also know, that by His mercy and grace, He will forgive us when we fail, as we all repeatedly do.
            As the United Methodist Church Litany of Thanksgiving states: God remembers us when we forget Him; He follows us even when we try to flee from Him; He meets us with forgiveness when we return to Him; and He does all of this with unfailing patience and overflowing grace.
            Today, as we look forward in anticipation of a new year, and all that God will bring into our lives, it is the perfect time to reflect upon how we have upheld the covenant this past year, to ask forgiveness for our failures, and to step out in faith into the future by renewing our commitment to follow the Lord where and in the way He alone will lead us.
            May God give all of us the wisdom, strength and discipline to do it.
            May we live wholeheartedly in covenant with Christ.

            In this next year, may you embrace your life-giving covenant with Christ with joy and thanksgiving. May you prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. And may God make His face to shine upon you and grant you peace!

Thanks for joining me! Have a Happy (and safe!) New Year celebration!



Note: Some of the information for this sermon was derived from Ray Vander Laan’s “That the World May Know” video series produced by Focus on the Family.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Placenta Previa Turns Deadly

For the beginning of this section of the story, when my placenta previa first ruptures, read the December 17 post. 


             For several minutes Chris stood in the driveway, watching the firemen leave in their trucks and cars. Bewildered and shaken, he walked slowly into the house and wandered around aimlessly upstairs, murmuring to himself. “What am I supposed to do now; what if she’s not alive when I get to the hospital?”
            The paramedic’s succinct, sober comment to my husband, before swiftly closing the ambulance door, was: “I don’t know if we’re going to make it in time.”
            That comment shocked Chris into reality and forced him to consider the possibility of being a thirty-one-year-old widower with a little boy – a little boy who'd be three in twenty-nine hours.       
            For fifteen minutes Chris dragged himself around the upstairs, and then stopped to gaze at our peacefully sleeping son. Reluctantly, he returned to our bedroom to stare at the blood puddles soaking into the carpet, recoiling at the idea of staying in the house but terrified to go to the hospital. Knowing he couldn’t allow Parker to see the blood, he labored to remove all physical evidence of the catastrophe.
            After what seemed to him an eternity of wandering and cleaning, he awakened Parker, placed him in his car seat in the car, and drove the ten miles to the hospital. Parker questioned him repeatedly as to my whereabouts, and Chris struggled to maintain his calm while explaining to Parker that they were going to see me, quietly fearful of what might confront them upon arrival.
            My ride to the hospital was uneventful, apart from the increasing discomfort, escalating fear and deteriorating physical state. The aggravating elbow pain intensified and kept me awake, yet my fear intensified as I silently wondered whether our small village hospital could care for me.  
            My regular obstetrician practiced at a hospital fifteen miles north of our home, in another county. Since patients aren’t transported across county lines in California, I’d automatically be taken to the closest hospital in San Diego County where we lived. We’d heard plenty of negative rumors about our local hospital’s reputation. To suggest that I was terrified of going to a hospital where the quality of care was in doubt, and where I knew no medical staff, would be an understatement.
            Meditating on God’s care and control didn’t cross my mind since my ingrained, fighting survival mode had kicked in. But meditating on anything became increasingly difficult. Everything seemed to be spiraling frightfully out of control. My control.
            In an instant the pretty, pristine blueprint I’d hastily fashioned for my destiny slipped from my hands. If I were powerless to save my unborn baby, who else could intervene? Pride, habit, a weak faith, and a significant lack of oxygen restrained me from seeking God and the peace He could provide.
            I did what came naturally: I lapsed into a stoic state of mind, and, predictably, emerged a woman harboring scant hope.
            I had volumes to learn about God and His perfect ways, and He was about to begin the lesson.

            Next Week: The hospital arrival – the pain, the fear, the humiliation.

Note: I will have a special New Year post on Monday, December 31. My regular post will be up on Wednesday, January 2.

Thanks for joining me!



Monday, December 24, 2012

Without the Cross, There is No Christmas

(Today's post is a special Christmas message. My regular message will be posted December 26.)

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;…
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NKJV
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear
of the LORD. 
Isaiah 11:2 NKJV

            This is the time of year when Christians recognize and celebrate the first coming of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ – the long expected, only Son who carries the titles of God and Everlasting Father.
            It is the time of celebrating when God, the Father, came to Earth in the form of a human baby, so that when Jesus is fully seen and known then the Father is fully seen and known.   
            It is a time when many of us set up a Christmas tree – either fake or real – as a symbol of the holiday we recognize. Do you know why you put up a tree? Do you know what that tree symbolizes?
            When you look at the tree of Christmas, do you see the cross of Easter?
            For without that cross, there is no Christmas to celebrate. There is no reason for the tree.
            It is the cross of Christ and His resurrection that gives the Christmas tree its symbolism of hope and eternal life.  
            Let me repeat this: When God, the Father, came to Earth in the form of a human baby, so that when Jesus is fully seen and fully known then the Father is fully seen and fully known. There is no explaining it away. The Scripture is clear: This Jesus, this Son, this baby, is God. The King. Our King.
           We can’t have it any other way.
            The point is clear: if you look upon Jesus and do not know who He is, if you do not see Him as anything other than a special baby or a wise, prophetic man, if you do not see Him as the redeeming Savior of the world, then you do not – cannot – truly understand or embrace Christmas. If you do not understand and accept the sacrifice of the cross and the resurrection then you do not know and cannot glory in the fullness, wonder or splendor of Christmas and its symbolic tree. The meaning of it remains shallow and fleeting. As much as you try to grasp Christmas’s significance, you miss out on its joy and its promise. You miss out on its eternal hope.
            You see the pine tree as just another luscious, aromatic conifer that holds pretty, twinkling lights and family heirloom decorations to enjoy.
            If you do not know the cross and receive the sacrifice Christ made for you there, then you do not know and have the Son.
            If you do not know and have the Son, then you cannot know and have the Father.
            You live without the hope and promise of God.
            The Christmas tree is just another tree; the day really is just another day, except that you enjoy getting paid to stay home from work and appreciate getting presents for no special reason.
            This Christmas, like all others, Jesus asks again: “Who do you say I am?”   
            It’s a question none of us can avoid; it’s a question all of us are asked.
            What will you do with the Savior this Christmas? How will you answer His question?
            When you look at the tree of Christmas, do you see the cross?

…then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. 
Zechariah 12:10b NKJV

Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
Revelation 1:7 NKJV

May you feel the love and hope of Christ this Christmas Day!

May the tree of Christmas remind you of the cross.


My regular post will appear in two days, December 26. See you then!

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Placenta Previa Ruptures

So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.
‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’
“But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ Luke 12:19-20 NKJV


            After grocery shopping, a gas station stop, and a physically uncomfortable drive, I arrived home at 11:30 PM, the evening of April 8. Chris had walked through the door only fifteen minutes earlier. After washing and dressing for bed, I sat down on the bed to talk to Chris about Carol and her husband, David.* Chris had arrived home just as Carol, David and Parker were driving away. Parker wasn’t in his car seat, and Chris described David as “smelling like a distillery.” David had picked up Carol so they could go home, and she could then return to our house with their car in order to drive herself home later.
            Though angered by Chris’s narration and his dismissive attitude and refusal to recognize how his actions contributed to the event, I only had enough energy to thank God that Parker lay safely in bed, sleeping peacefully. I’d bring the topic up for a discussion at a better time.
            Just one more trip to the bathroom, and I’ll be able to sleep, I thought. That ride home was miserable. I reluctantly rolled my bulging frame out of bed and trudged wearily to the bathroom.
            That’s where our nightmare unleashed itself in a hellish convulsion.
            Startled, I chilled at the sight of bright red blood on the toilet tissue and tried to blink away the sickening vision. Panicking, I clutched at more tissue as the red river streamed from my body.
            I must be going into labor! My heart plummeted while my head swam in a psychological swirl of panic and disbelief.
            “Chris, I’m bleeding, really badly!” I called from the bathroom. I struggled to maintain a sense of calm, but my thoughts resonated with bewildered agony. Chris raced into the bathroom as I stood, attempting to gingerly maneuver my way into the shower area to lie on the floor.
             Unable to glimpse the vast amounts of blood deposited on the carpet, I remained unaware of the horrifying emergency unfolding before my husband.
            “Should I call 911?” Chris asked in almost a whisper. Nodding my head, I took deliberate, slow breaths to calm myself while he sprinted to the phone.
            I could hear him rapidly articulating information to the dispatcher while I lay on the cold bathroom floor tile, legs propped against the bathtub wall. I stared at the ceiling, praying fervently for the salvation of my pregnancy. 
            “Bring me a towel. Maybe applying pressure will slow or stop the bleeding.” Chris promptly located a hand towel and gave it to me. I imagined the blood to be coming from within my uterus – blood normally lost during labor. I was utterly ignorant of the fact that it was my arterial blood pumping rhythmically onto the floor, and that I was rapidly bleeding to death.
            Chris squeezed my hand as he crouched beside me. “This may be the end of the road, “ I whispered with an edge of apology.
            His eyes revealed a fusion of love, fear and sorrow as he nodded and responded tenderly, “That’s okay.”
            I meant the end of the road for the baby, not for me. Neither of us realized that was a strong possibility, but the look on Chris’s face suddenly betrayed his nervousness. Never before had he looked so frightened.
            From our house we heard our local volunteer fire department alarm sound, and, within minutes, one of the fireman arrived, looking concerned and authoritative in his big yellow coat, pants and black boots. Instantly, I felt secure, until he squatted next to me, slowly, nervously raked his black hair with splayed fingers and blurted out a confession. “I can take care of a burning building, and I can get you out of a car in a freeway accident with the jaws-of-life…but…I don’t have any idea what to do in a situation like this!” He seemed close to tears. His hands shook violently as he rose to pace back and forth in our bathroom.
            My heart sank. Then I collected all of the courage and remaining strength I possessed to try to calm him. The three of us waited anxiously – silently – for someone else to arrive.
            Mercifully, within moments, another volunteer fireman appeared. He immediately took control, talking rapidly to the fire and emergency units en route to our house from another station, while simultaneously talking to me. Speaking concisely and confidently, he busied himself with taking vital statistics: blood pressure, color, and general assessment. Then he led Chris into the bathroom to – out of my hearing range – to question him. Annoying, uncontrollable shivers and drowsiness crept through my body. I was going into shock. Hemorrhaging has that kind of effect on you. Lying half-naked on a cold tile floor doesn’t help.
            Soon almost a dozen more paramedics and firefighters paraded in with their bags, phone, and arsenal of emergency lifesaving equipment, and engaged themselves in their procedures as though being timed for Olympic trials. They synchronously assessed, inserted, questioned and reassured; they solicited Chris for answers, and I responded – in medical terminology.
            “Is she a nurse?” someone asked.
            “No,” I responded before laboring to take another breath. “Certified athletic trainer.” They started questioning me directly. I was grateful since talking helped keep me moderately alert. “Any other problems with the pregnancy?”
            “Yes.” A litany of difficulties and complications we’d encountered up to that point spilled from my lips.
            “Any pain?”
            “No…well…yes.” I winced as I spoke. Cramping and shock had begun to affect my concentration, making response increasingly difficult. While I struggled to answer that question, one paramedic started an IV in my elbow while another scribbled answers in medical abbreviations on his hand. Another patrolled my bathroom, attempting to calculate the amount of blood loss, while one communicated by two-way radio with the nearest trauma center, twenty-five miles away. Concurrently, the trauma center conversed with the emergency room physician at our village’s small, isolated hospital. She then contacted their on-call obstetrician. Chris listened attentively to the rapid dialogue exchanged among the three, not appearing to be reassured by the conversations.
            The Life Flight helicopter was in the air, but two problems confronted them: the time was 12:15 AM, and we lived in a rural area surrounded by acres of avocado and citrus groves bordered by canyons and hills – all without street lighting. The pad on the lower part of our four-acre property, graded flat for our future dream pool, was large enough to safely land a helicopter on. During daylight hours. But landing the craft in a remote area blanketed by coastal fog presented a significant safety concern. Firemen who arrived in a hook and ladder truck illuminated the pad with their massive spotlights, and another three-way conversation ensued. Even with the substantial arc lights dousing the pad, the pilot was unable to see it clearly through the thick, misty coating. They were so close Chris could hear the chopping blades hovering over our house. In my increasingly dazed state, I was unaware of their presence.
            But Life Flight would not be arriving on our property that night. The pilot made the decision against a landing attempt and returned to the Escondido hospital without me. When the tone of the discussion between the paramedics and doctors darkened, the speaker was snapped off so Chris was unable to hear what transpired between them. Feeling as though he’d lost the small vestige of control he acquired from sharing in the dialogue, he became more visibly alarmed. Finally, a decision was reached that the local hospital’s obstetrician could handle the emergency. Everyone rapidly switched gears and prepared me for ambulance transport.
            That moving procedure proved to be more difficult than anticipated. The Fallbrook hospital doctor gave strict orders that I was not to move a muscle or sit upright, so they lifted and anchored me onto a special full-length appliance used for emergency evacuations. Then I was transported downstairs – head first – into the waiting ambulance. The paramedics performed the conveyance with careful precision, bearing me gently, quickly down two flights of stairs, head first, into the waiting ambulance. It always looked so exciting and dramatic on television. Dramatic it was, but at that moment, the drama unfolding in our house was a real life and death nightmare Chris and I were living.         
            The paramedics worked rapidly in the ambulance, obtaining vital signs, applying EKG pads, and bundling me in warm blankets. They were methodical and solemn, quickly, efficiently performing their duties while softly conversing with me to keep me alert. I strained to keep my eyes open, to remain attentive enough to answer their questions. The cramping worsened, the precariously placed elbow IV sent shock waves of pain through my arm with each tiny movement of it, and I drifted in and out of consciousness. One of the men climbed out of the ambulance to speak briefly with Chris, and I heard Chris say he would meet us at the hospital. The paramedic quickly returned to my side, closed the door, and we departed.


Next week: Chris’s shock, and the ambulance transport and arrival at the hospital

*Name changed to protect privacy

Note: I’ll be adding a special Christmas post on December 24 and then adding my regular post on December 26.

Thanks for joining me.

Make it a great week!