Kari’s Divine Encounter with God
continued........If you are not familiar with Colorado weather, you know that one minute you can have some really nice sunshine and think the forecast for the day is clear and sunny, and the next minute you look out the window and snowflakes the size of softballs are coming down. It’s one thing I love about Colorado, the weather is never boring and you can always count on it changing. We have a saying here in Colorado that if you don’t like the weather just wait 10 minutes. Anyway, this particular day we were having one of those nice sunny afternoons and as soon as the sun began to set, snowflakes were coating the ground like a child’s birthday cake is drenched in frosting.  The kids and I happened to be at a cardio class down in town and my husband was not going to be home in the evening due to Fire station duties . My husband is an amazing man with so many talents and gifts. My nickname for him is Superman, because to me he is Superman. Anything he sets his mind to, he will accomplish and he always makes it look easy. I just had to add that in there about him, he is a volunteer firefighter at our local fire station near our house. Prior to this day, he had taken the kids to do a practice training on saving children in emergency situations. The kids had so much fun putting fake bruises and scrapes all over their bodies and pretending to be hurt. They got to know each of the firefighters and looked forward to the next training that they could be involved in. This all does pertain to my story,  I assure you, this is not a bunny trail in my thoughts. So, back to the kids and I at the cardio class. We decided to leave early, due to the quickening snow that was accumulating rapidly. We drove home in a white cloud of snow with very difficult visibility. As we rounded the corner to our driveway, I had to blast through the wall of thick wet snow that lined the entrance to our bridge at the entrance to our driveway. I breathed a sigh of relief at making it home and said a prayer of thanks for the blessing of making it home safely. Well, almost home. Our driveway is about a 1/3 mile long, so we still had to drive up the mountain to get into the house. As I began to drive up, I kept getting stuck and soon realized that I wasn’t gaining any ground. The car kept sliding backwards. I called Brian as soon as I could, because I knew he would be heading to the fire station and I hoped that I could catch him before he got there. I knew I needed help. He happened to be driving up the hill to the station and noticed me slipping and decided to call me and make sure I was alright. I quickly told him I needed him to help me. I didn’t think I  would make it up the driveway. He drove straight home and helped me get the car up the driveway, well almost. The last bend of the driveway, the tires just refused to move another inch and were wedged in with snow on all sides of the tires. We pulled the emergency brake and hopped out of the car and went into the house. We would deal with the car tomorrow and try to get it out of the snow drift then. We settled in at home, ate our dinner and drifted off to a good nights sleep. As the sun crept through my window that morning, my eyes squinting at the bright white snow and the sun’s blazing glow. Piles of heavy snow frosted the driveway and left no trace or sight of ground below. The morning was very similar to many other mornings. As Brian showered and got ready for work, I made his lunch and prepared for my day to begin.  The previous night, we left Brian’s car at the bottom of the hill, so we could just drive him down on the 4 wheeler to get him down to his car. There was a path just the size of the 4wheeler in the middle of the driveway with walls of snow on either side of it. I drove Brian down to his car and he was off to work in the morning. I went back inside and glanced out the window and felt sort of helpless with so much snow surrounding our home. I decided I would plow the driveway myself. I first tried to get the 4 wheeler going with the plow on the front, but the snow was way too heavy so I didn’t get more than 2 feet and I had the 4 wheeler stuck. I then decided it was time for me to get the snow blower out. I got it ready and my daughter Allysse mentioned to me that she wanted to come outside so she could play in the snow. I told her that was fine, a mistake I would soon regret and have nightmares of. The engine began to whir and the blades began to spin and the snow blower was now in motion. I walked no more than three feet while  Allysse was running and happened to run ahead of the snow blower.  She slipped on some ice and the force of the snow blower had pulled her into the blades.  Ruby red coated the ground and I could see where her hood of her coat was tangled up in the blades.  She was screaming at the top of her lungs, “I feel like I just died! I want Jesus to do a miracle, I want Jesus to do a miracle” . My only thought, was “Jesus, Please don’t take my baby”. I frantically tore off her coat, as it was mangled in the mess of bloody blades . As I freed her  from the twisted metal, I realized the top of her skull was sliced at the top, to where I could see her skull and blood was everywhere.  We made it to the top of the garage where I ran inside and grabbed the telephone as quickly as I could.  The 911 operator on the end of the line had to remind me to slow down and talk so they could understand me, because I was talking so fast. “My daughter has been in a terrible snow blower accident. “  The operator on the other line spoke in a calming tone and guided me to how I should address the wounds.  She had two wounds, the head which I mentioned and a large gouge on her left leg. She still was saying how she wanted Jesus to do a miracle, and it was during that phone call with the operator that I realized that He was doing a miracle. My daughter was here and was alive! As I got towels on the wounds and sat on my garage floor, in a state of panic, I realized that  the firefighters and EMT’s would not be able to drive up my driveway. I asked the operator on the phone, “Is it going to be Indian Hills Fire Department that is going to come. They are not going to be able to make it up the driveway, tell them it’s Brian’s house, so they know where it is.  Our driveway can be hard to find if you don’t know where you are going.” The operator assured me that he was not going to hang up the phone until the firefighters got there. It seemed like an eternity, but I soon heard the crunching of snow and saw the Yellow jacket of the firefighters.  Once they reached us I hung up the phone and they began to guide me on what to do. “Go get a sheet so we can carry her down the driveway in it, also call Brian right away.” My mind was so flustered when I began to dial the phone, I for some reason, my hands dialed my friend Alivia. All, I could speak was , “Sorry Liv, I dialed the wrong number, I need to call Brian, but please pray for Allysse there’s been a horrible accident. “ I hung up the phone and dialed Brian, who heard the urgency in my voice and left immediately. He told me to let her go in the ambulance with the  Fire Department and he would meet them down there at Swedish Hospital. That was so hard just letting my injured daughter get into the ambulance without me. I wanted so badly to be in that there with her. My tears would not stop flooding my eyes, especially when I had to walk past the eerie snow blower. As I walked past it I noticed her hood tangled up in the sharp bloody mess, and to say the least I shuttered. I wanted to collapse right there and just cry, but my adrenaline kept me marching to the house like a soldier in battle tuning out the hurt and pain that was beginning to take root inside.  Finally, I reached the house and told my two other children that we would be leaving  soon and I would be going to the hospital and they were going to Aunt Dre’s house while we were at the hospital. The ride to the hospital felt like a slow motion movie with no sound.  My heart sank and was torn in two. “How could I have caused this horrific accident to take place? Why didn’t I just wait until Brian got home to try and clear the driveway?  As I walked into the hospital room and saw my little girl, I was amazed at her patience and peace upon her face. She was not hysterical, she just sat there with her Daddy by her side. The staff at the hospital would come in from time to time to check on her, but it seemed like forever before they actually took care of stitching her up. She even witnessed to her faith in God and her love of reading the Bible on the hospital bed. The hospital staff seemed touched by her tender heart even in this difficult time.  Those moments of waiting began my battle with myself. A darkness surrounded me and whispered those coal black lies in my ear. The lies I soon would have to battle through the night with. “You are worthless, such an idiot. How could you possibly have allowed this to happen to your own daughter? What kind of mother are you? Your daughter is going to hate you. “ Like ferocious barking dogs, my mind was powerless to fight their snarling and growling. All I could do was watch my little girl and cry as they stitched and patched her up. I couldn’t keep my composure even with my greatest effort. The guilt of that one moment seemed to overshadow any good qualities I might have had.  There were many hours of cleaning and stitching and finally our little girl was bandaged up and we were sent home with instructions on how to clean the wounds.  On the drive home I couldn’t sit close enough to her. All I wanted to do was hold her and be near to her. I didn’t take a second thought when she had to throw up on the way home. I just collected her throw up in my jacket and continued to hold onto her. It was as though I was given a second chance at life with my daughter. She was my walking miracle in so many ways. Miracle number one was that she was alive. I knew that was a miracle because as the weeks went on and I dressed her wounds and sponge bathed her I realized there was a scrape right on the back of her neck at her spinal cord. Had those snow blower blades continued ripping through her they would have torn out her spinal cord and killed her. So if I am counting miracles, that is miracle number one. The second miracle is the fact that she had met with the Firefighters the week before. She had confidence in them and didn’t feel scared going down in the ambulance down to the hospital.  I would not have been able to leave the other two kids in the house alone, and had to wait until my parents arrived to pick me up or them up. I would say the third miracle is that her wounds were in very inconspicuous places. The wound on her head is hidden under her hair and cannot be seen, except to me, because I will never forget where they are, because I had sponged them and soaked them in Neosporin.  Had she been positioned any other way, she could have had her face disfigured or she could have had her leg cut off , had the leg wound been any worse. Her wounds though traumatic, they were minimal to what they could have been. Another miracle would be that the snow blower stripped one of it’s bolts which caused the blades to stop spinning and my hands were guided to shut down the machine quickly. I truly believe my hands were guided by God’s Mighty hand. For a fifth miracle would be that I dialed the wrong number before I dialed my husband at work. I found out later that my friend Alivia, could hear the sheer terror in my voice and she thought to call as many people as she could to get prayers going for Allysse, family members and friends.  She called a few people and soon, it was like an army was surrounding us with God’s great love. The few people that she called, called people they knew, and those people called people they knew until later we realized that even a little girl from Australia was praying for Allysse. The family of God is huge and is a miracle in itself how we are all connected as family across continents and countries. God amazed me one night when I was having a conversation with my sister over the phone. I told her about my struggle to sleep the night after the accident, and what she said shocked me. She had a dream of us growing up, in the dream I was a little girl with all these barking, snarling dogs all around me and I was standing next to a castle door. Inside the castle was Jesus, but I was powerless to get to him on my own. I was frozen in fear. The barking dogs were all I could see or hear. My sister who was next to me began to yell at me, “Kari, you have to get into the castle. Stop listening to the dogs.” No matter how hard she  pleaded I would not budge from the spot where I was standing. In desperation my sister grabbed me and dragged me with all her might into the castle. It was there that she woke up from her dream. As she explained her dream to me tears streamed down my face because I believed God had used my sister to pull me back to Jesus. When all I could do was listen to those dogs, she had brought me to the only shelter that would truly protect. At the time that worship song titled “Mighty to Save” was very popular and was on the radio several times a day. It was a perfect reminder of something I had just witnessed firsthand, God’s mighty saving power. Over weeks and months after Allysse’s healing and recovery from her accident we started to realize she had been given a gift. She was giving us messages that could only have been spoken through the Spirit of God. When it came time to pray in the evening before bed she was challenging us in ways that split the very marrow in your bones. I only wish I had a video camera to record some of the profound things that came out of her mouth. Also, as Flowers and cards came in,  we realized just how intricate the web of Christ’s love is.  That would then bring me to the final miracle attributed to Allysse’s accident, the healing of my heart. As I stated earlier that I was surrounded by a darkness of doubt and lack of self worth because of my horrible mistake. For the longest time I beat myself up and would not let go of the nightmares. I felt that if I somehow relived it in my mind and beat myself up enough then maybe somehow it would right the wrong.  In my mind I deserved to be punished for my mistake. I refused to believe even my daughters own words, and I quote, “Mom, it wasn’t your fault, I know you blame yourself, but it wasn’t your fault”.  When God’s gentle whisper, finally drown out those barking dogs of doubt, it was like a fresh crisp breeze surrounding me. His soft voice spoke to me and said “Forgive yourself, because I have forgiven you. When you choose not to forgive yourself, you are going against my will. I want you to live freely and be set free from all this doubt and fear.” New life, and grace surrounded me and the rain physically came down and gently fell on my head. I was baptized in God’s healing rain. I can now say a year later that I have finally looked at the snow blower and have listened to it’s whirring sound. The tears came down but this time they were tears of thankfulness at all the miracles that God performed in my life. He had healed my shattered, and broken heart and he had kept my daughter alive when all hope seemed lost. God is good , he is truly so good.  I will leave with a thought that has helped me tremendously after this accident. That thought being that we can either choose to dwell on the negative what if’s of the past or we can dwell on the grace of God’s gifts lavished on us today.  I’m forgiven, I am free and I have tasted the gift of resurrection through my own daughter’s life.
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