Have You Ever Welcomed The Struggle?

Some of you that know us know the struggle that we’re facing right now. But the first thought that came to me was that I’ll welcome this struggle with open arms because it is far better than any alternative we could be facing.

I once heard someone say several years ago, “Don’t get angry when you are awaken in the middle of the night by a call that is the wrong number. Be thankful it wasn’t the right number.”

On Monday morning, August 28th I had just gotten to work and settled in for a hard days work when I got a call. Sadly it wasn’t a wrong number it was the right number. The young lady on the other end had a soft, mellow voice. “Mr. Tadlock, this is ——-, a nurse here at DCH Hospital in Tuscaloosa. I wanted to let you know that your son, Josh was in an accident but his injuries are not life-threating. He is alert and talking.”

My first thought was that he was going to need a ride home so I might as well get ready to go up there and meet him. Even though the nurse told me not to do anything until I hear back from them I was preparing to make the hour-and-a-half drive to T-town to pick up my son. I called my boss and told him that something had come up and that I had to leave. I stopped and topped my truck off on fuel and headed out. I wasn’t quiet halfway to Tuscaloosa from Montgomery when the nurse called me back. She said they knew I was on my way up there (I knew I was on my way but how did they know I wondered.) Anyway, she told me there wasn’t anything to worry about but he had injuries in his lower extremities and they needed a orthopedic surgeon to look at him. She told me they didn’t have the surgeon nor the equipment there so they were flying him to the University of Alabama hospital in Birmingham.

So originally I was only an hour away from home when I first got the call, now I’m almost two hours away from home and another three hours away from UAB Hospital. Thanks to a good friend I was able to meet my wife and future daughter-in-law closer to Montgomery and we were able to make the trip to Birmingham in a lot less time. Of course my wife, his mother, was visibly upset but I told her not to worry, “God’s got this.” (Thank you Tamatha for that phrase.) Being a loving parent you can’t help but worry. I told my wife not to worry, but I was telling her not to do the same thing I was doing myself. It’s the emotions I had to keep in check. I knew I needed to be strong for them.  I didn’t tell them they were flying him to Birmingham. I knew if I had told them that they would have been more distraught than they already were. I simply told them they were transporting him to UAB. Not until we got to the hospital that my wife and future daughter-in-law found out that he was flown in.

Well, his injuries were four broken ribs (two on each side), a fractured pelvis, fractured femur, and a broken and dislocated hip bone and joint. Our son had hardly ever been sick except for some sinus problems from time to time. He had a torn ACL his senior year of high school and some other minor injuries playing football throughout the years. He has never had a broken bone. The last time he was in the hospital was when he was about two years old and he had pneumonia. Now he was getting more than what we call a ‘double-whammy’ of it all.

Even though his injuries weren’t life threatening his nerves were becoming another issue. He couldn’t slow down his breathing, even though they kept telling him he needed to, it was causing his heart to beat way too fast. They finally decided to move him to an ICU unit and sedate him until at least after the surgery on his hip.

Well surgery went well and they kept him in ICU for a few days until they got him off the ventilator. He was moved to a room then to rehab. By then he knew what he needed to do and it was all up to him as to how bad he wanted to get back on his feet though the healing process would be slow.

We knew it was going to be a long drawn out thing from the very beginning. Considering the circumstance I wouldn’t trade it for all the gold and silver in the world and I welcome it with open arms. He has a great testimony that he started telling from the time he was able to start talking. After contemplating the situation of what could have been we all know he is very blessed to be alive. There is no such thing as “Luck”.  Every time someone tells us he was lucky we tell them he was blessed.

On August 28th I didn’t have the usual morning conversation with my son like I did most every morning. I always tell him I love him and to drive careful. That’s why I encourage everyone to look at the positive things in life. I encourage it in myself, my family and all those around me. That’s why I try to tell everyone around me that I love them all the time.

Through this whole ordeal I quickly realized that I couldn’t do what God did. I too only have one son and it’s hard to bear to see the suffering he is going through. God could have intervened in his son’s suffering but he didn’t. The Son could have stopped it but he didn’t. And it gives me a lot better perspective of the pain and hurt, not from the son’s view, but from the Father’s view. I am thankful every day. I am thankful that God’s ways are better than our ways and His thoughts are better than our thoughts. I am thankful every day that He is still in control.

If you don’t get anything else from this, know this one thing: Always welcome the struggle before you as it is sometimes better than the alternative.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9 (KJV)