He is good.

I don’t know where to start, because my thoughts are all so fresh on this one, and each one feels so delicate and raw.

On Saturday, we were sledding with good friends, and had been for hours, when it all came to a halt. I’m typing this late on Tuesday, our fourth night in the hospital.

I’ll start here. You know your child has had a serious injury when:

  • She’s found limp, unconscious, lying in the snow face down.
  • No one will look you in the eye as you rush to your child’s side.
  • Her eyes are rolling back in her head, and your husband is trying to keep her from biting her own tongue.
  • The (for lack of a better term) mountain man who you’ve seen skin a just-shot raccoon, and who can problem-solve his way through virtually any challenge, says to call 911.
  • Every step/question along the way is answered with “yep, we’d better” (i.e., “should we call 911? should we call a helicopter? should we go to the better hospital? should we do the CT scan? should we call the neurologist in on a snowy Saturday morning? etc. etc. etc.)
  • Though you’re the gal who normally keeps her cool in high-stress situations, you look back to the moments in/around the time of the injury and you can’t quite remember half of what you said/did.
  • You are incomparably alert for 36+ hours, even through sleep, though you normally sleep like a rock.
  • You are inexpressibly grateful that she’s… simply… still alive. 

And she IS– she’s alive. And not just alive, but she’s HERSELF. And here’s the thing, y’all. I honestly did not know how it was going to go. 

M6

She has a depressed skull fracture in her occipital bone (it’s the one immediately behind the center of your ear; that thing is HUGE and it is nutso crazy to me that she cracked it).

Looking at her that day, I’ll spare you all the details, but it was plain to me that the rushed, panicked words we were exchanging (in my effort to keep her from going unconscious again) could be some of our last conversations on earth. I deeply felt that I was not guaranteed even another 30 seconds with my sweet daughter.

And then… I was up in the helicopter, strapped in. Couldn’t see her. Couldn’t squeeze her hand. Couldn’t help her. Couldn’t talk to her. Couldn’t control a single dad gum thing.

And there was such beauty in it.

It is such a gift from God for me to have moments where I’m aware of my complete powerlessness… to have Him nudge me toward God-confidence rather than self-confidence, muscle-through-it-confidence, figure-it-out-confidence, or just-do-it-wisely-confidence. Nope. None of that will do when the rubber meets the road.

Only God-confidence gets us through.

For me, Saturday was all about entrusting Him with my precious daughter’s LIFE, fully and without a single strand of control in my grasp.

I looked ahead of us, just past my boots and the glass, and there was Mt. St. Helens… rising up to our left was Mt. Rainier… beneath us were houses and subdivisions and cars going places and then the airstrips and travelers and people going places… and our God is just breathtakingly good, y’all.

He sovereignly wills and works all things for His glory and our good. I mean… in that very moment that the paramedics were working on my daughter in a helicopter over the Columbia River… He was working in the lives of husbands on airplanes about to take off, and little children playing in backyards beneath us, and in conversations in the cars going every which way. Do you hear me?

His goodness and bigness and grace is astounding…. even in the moments when we are (understandably) laser-beam focused on what is happening in our own corner of the world.

And I want to be clear because this was clear-as-a-bell to me on Saturday even as I was living these things: His utter grace toward us would have been true, no matter which way things had gone. I had to counsel myself about that… reminding myself of the truth… up in the helicopter.

  • No matter what, He’s good.
  • No matter what, He’s dependable.
  • No matter what, He LOVES. 
  • AND… no matter what, He is GOOD and dependable and LOVES MeiMei more than any of us do.

He made her. He knows what she’s made for. He knows exactly the number of days He’s planned out for her. He’s got the birds’ eye view on life, and He knows His plans for her… they are bigger plans than I can know or even see when I’m down here living in the hills of life.

M5 M3 M4 M2

This time, His grace, goodness, dependability, and love showed up in granting us more time with our precious Maranatha, and I am so very very grateful. But His grace is always there, unchanging, no matter which way the path turns for us, or for our children.

I am not saying He is good because He gave her back to us.

I am saying He is good.

  • “He is good” was true when we planned the day of sledding, and He already knew.
  • “He is good” was true the very moment her head hit the rock.
  • “He is good” was true in every second of my fear when we didn’t know how it was gonna go.

He is good. And I am so grateful to Him that He gently leads me through this wild ride of life… rocks and all.

 

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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast (momonpurpose.com). I write and wrangle kids.

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39 Responses

  1. Amy T says:

    Amen.
    I am so sorry you went through this with your daughter. I am glad you are Praising God in the mess anyway. When my youngest was 3 months old she did something she shouldn’t have been able to do and ended up face down in her bed. I found her in time but barely. She was blue.
    I was in a dark place of self blame for a long time, and a horrible fear settled over me. I kept trying to cling to God but it was literally by a fingernail. Slowly God brought healing. He removed the blinders that I had put on my eyes that brought self-condemnation and fear and gradually he taught me to hold my children again with an open hand trust that HIS best is better than anything. No matter how painful or messy.
    Your post is beautiful. Yet painful as memories come flooding back.
    Praying that the Lord continues to bring healing for ALL of you.
    God Bless.

  2. Kelli Motzkus says:

    Praise God she is still here on earth! Praise God she is doing so well! Praise God He is good all the time! Thanks Jess for this reminder! Many struggle daily with things. In the end God always loves us!
    Romans 8:28
    And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, those who are the called according to His purpose.
    I have been thinking some of these very thing in this time of unknown with my current pregnancy. God is good no matter what! He is in control of all things. No matter His plan He is good and still loves us! Thank you for an amazing article and reminded of this! I am so happy Mei Mei is doing well and on the road to recovery! He is so good! Continued prayer for you, your family, and Mei Mei! ❤️You all!

  3. Diana says:

    Will be praying for your daughter and your family. Thank you for such a wonderful post.

    Diana

  4. Candice says:

    Oh my goodness, Jess; what a crazy accident! I am so very thankful that all is well with your daughter after that scare. And thank you for this beautiful affirmation af God’s grace, given at the right time and in the right way. What a marvelous gift He gave you of peace and trust in a crisis.

  5. Tracy says:

    It’s a rare post that has me tearing up at the beginning and flowing at the end. Love this post, Jess. Yes, He is good, all the time. Praise God.

  6. Jen says:

    God’s sovereignty and God’s goodness are what we clung to in our own trial. It brought so much peace to us to know that not for one second did God turn away or lose control and that there was purpose in all that happened (even as it all felt so chaotic and traumatic and a terrible, terrible accident). I don’t pretend to know all God’s purposes and reasons for what happened to our family but I know the ultimate good will come of it all. I can’t imagine walking through all this without that assurance of a sovereign, good God. Lots of people push back to this (surprisingly!!!) but it’s been our “pillow” amidst our trial…like Spurgeon said.

    So encouraged by your heart in all this. I can relate!

  7. Charisa says:

    Thank you so much for your words on God’s sovereignty. It is all so true. HE is so good. Always.

    And I am so happy to hear that Maranatha is doing well. Praying she has a smooth recovery. (And love that picture of her surrounded by all the guys in her life – so sweet. So much brotherly love for their sister.)

  8. Deanna says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and pictures…a blessed way to start my day! We love sledding, too, and as a momma of 7 risk-taking kiddos, I have to tell myself every time that they ARE in Gods big hands! Your words are encouraging…its important to share when things like this happen so others that experience “accidents” like this can be helped and remember that through it all, GOD IS GOOD.
    So happy it all turned out well and that your daughter is herself!

  9. Dawn Mast says:

    This is so moving, real and heartfelt and the way you tell it helped me feel every moment. We lived this frightening event last year with our son and it was terrible. I knew the Lord was going to see us through and I could see His faithful hand even in my fear in our first ever ambulance ride. I’m so thankful both your precious girl and our sweet boy are safe, well and healing. Glory to God! Thank you for being vulnerable. Lord bless!

  10. Kelly Foster says:

    Yes indeed God is good. Just wanted to touch and agree with you on that awesome truth! Blessings to you all, Amen.

  11. Jesse says:

    Praising Him with you. I too know how quickly life can change. Hugs from across the country. Jesse

  12. Jesse says:

    Praising Him with you. I too know how quickly life can change. Hugs from across the country.

  13. Kondwani Kondwani says:

    Your testimony is powerful – like you said, however things had turned out, God’s goodness never changes and never fails. I had always wondered whether my faith would prove a veneer if I faced a trial, and it was actually as my daughter died that I knew for the first time, without any shadow of a doubt, that God was amazing, good, kind and true. 1 Peter 1 talks of this – that your faith is of greater worth than gold and purified like in a refiner’s fire.

    I am so absolutely delighted to hear how she has progressed – and as a medic, I can see just how absolutely terrifying this all must have been because I have seen people do badly in the first couple of days after this kind of injury. I am delighted that you are spiritually encouraged. It is wonderful to see the sweet smile on her face with her little brothers.

    Keep writing, keep processing, keep sharing – I am sure there will be plenty more that God does though this accident. And your readers will keep on praying for you!

  14. Christy says:

    Praise God for His nearness to you in this time of trial. He is good – all the time. What a blessing to be able to say that not just in the good moments, but also in the hard moments. Praising Him that Maranatha is doing well!!

  15. Michelle says:

    Oh my, what a wonderful post. I’m so glad your precious girl is okay. You made me cry. I was in a similar situation with one of my sons several years ago, and I didn’t have nearly the grace you did. I was terrified and nearly faint with fear. But that powerlessness you describe, knowing it’s in God’s hands alone – I know that feeling so well. I never thought of the beauty of that before, but you are right. Thank you for the beautiful post.

  16. Cynthia says:

    I am a mother of three and grandmother of eight. Years ago when my own children were young I asked a friend how she kept from worrying each time they went out to play in the woods and creek behind her house. Her answer freed me from the agony of worry about my own little ones. “I just place them in God’s hands”. To this day I continue to place them all in His hands. I have also done the same with your precious Mei Mei from the moment I heard of her accident. I’m continuing my prayers for healing for her and peace for you and family. God bless you.

  17. Julie says:

    Praying! And thankful!!!

  18. Katie says:

    Jess, I have been reading your blog for maybe six months now. It’s the only blog I read. I have been meaning to say ‘thank you’ for the huge encouragement you have been to me as I begin my motherhood journey ( I have two precious boys, almost three and nine months) for a while now and after this post I finally got my act together. Really, what I want to thank you for is your faithfulness. When I saw ‘ He is good’ as the title of an email from your blog in my inbox, I instantly knew something ‘not good’ had happened. Six months of reading your thoughts and I have come to expect such faithfulness. I don’t, of course, worship you (!). I worship OUR FATHER and praise him often for the faithfulness of my sister in Him, Jess. I will pray for MeiMei as she recovers. Love, a sister in Sydney, Australia:) Katie.

  19. Kathleen says:

    Jessica..ya’ll have been in our prayers..Sweet Jesus….ever since Shannon was diagnosed with all her issues at 3 years of age….even just last August over thirty five years of the Lord guiding the doctors, HE still places HIS HANDS on my shoulders and guides me through the halls of the hospital…I have never questioned his route for me…gently pushing on my shoulders and feeling HIS PEACE even when the Dr’s where explaining Shannon ‘ s prognosis after all of her surgeries….I felt HIS LOVE….I am so sorry your family had to endure this un-certain outcome…but the PEACE you felt will be reminder of HIS PROMISE. …Love to all My Connell Cousin’s. …

  20. Leslie says:

    Jess- Just want to say personally we are praying for MeiMei. I am glad to hear of the healing and agree totally that He Is Good – no matter what or when or how. Thank you and thank God.

  21. Valerie says:

    So relieved she is alive and well! Keep us updated on her progress.

    And please let me print these words!

    It is such a gift from God for me to have moments where I’m aware of my complete powerlessness… to have Him nudge me toward God-confidence rather than self-confidence, muscle-through-it-confidence, figure-it-out-confidence, or just-do-it-wisely-confidence. Nope. None of that will do when the rubber meets the road.

    Only God-confidence gets us through.

    Such a good reminder. Your faith in this Spurs mine on.

  22. Jodi Franzman says:

    Jess, MeiMei and family,
    My friend sent this link to me and I am so glad! I am the Paramedic who was in the helicopter with MeiMei. I have been thinking about her every day. I was able to call the hospital later that day to get a follow up about her injuries but after that we never really know what happens to our patients. I tend to worry about them and your sweet girl has been on my mind. I am so happy to know that she is going to be ok. What a relief to see these photos with all the smiling faces! I will let my other crew members (pilot and RN) know how she’s doing as I know they are thinking about her too. All our best to your family!
    Jodi

    • Jess Connell says:

      WHOA! How wonderful this is!!!

      Thank you so much for the attention and care you gave my daughter. What a gift! Thank you for your continued concern- and yes, she is doing absolutely great! (We got home tonight, actually, and just tucked her into bed.) She made mounds of improvement today and they thought she’d do her best improving at home.

      Thanks for checking in and leaving a comment; this brings a huge smile to my face. Thank you, Jodi, for your kindness and service to our daughter, and to us. God bless you!

  23. Melissa Couch says:

    WOW! WOW! WOW! OUR GOD IS AMAZING! PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME! Love, Melissa <3

  24. Deborah says:

    I’m so glad Maranatha is doing well! Thank you for sharing the beauty and faith of a time that must have been so terrifying.

  25. Elizabeth says:

    What a wonderful perspective you give! Thank you for glorifying God even in a time of heart-wrenching hardship! This is such an encouragement to my faith!

  26. Caitlin L. says:

    That was beautiful. Thanks for sharing ❤️

  27. Carly says:

    We are praying for your daughter and we are curious how she is doing.

    • Jess Connell says:

      Thank you so much for asking!

      She is remarkably better! Every day brings new progress. Walking alone. Now starting on the stairs (with us behind or in front of her). She’s off her meds completely now (which means no nausea & no pain anymore– hooray!).

      Thanks for your faithfulness in praying. Her recovery has been amazing. She still has a few doctor’s appointments, and we’re still waiting for full recovery of her hearing (they said it would be 4-8 weeks), but on the whole, she’s healing tremendously well; thank you!

  28. Jess Connell says:

    To anyone reading this and wondering, the accident happened 26 days ago… and she is almost entirely “back to normal.”

    In fact, last week, she asked “if I go really slow, and wear a helmet, can I go rollerblading?” (The answer was “NO! And don’t ask until after March 1st. And even then, I reserve the right to say ‘no’ and ease back into stuff like that.” She smiled and said, “OK.”) But that shows how she feels, anyway.

    The only remaining factor is that she is still having some hearing loss in the left ear, but it does seem to be slowly getting better, so that is encouraging.

    She’s on restricted activity, but (at present) does not show any other long-range concerns except for the stopped-up hearing in the left ear.

  29. Celina says:

    Praise God for His help in this situation and that your daughter is doing so well. May. he continue to give you strength and grace each day with each child and all the struggles that you may face. :)

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