Surely there were parenting days when the angels showed up –God-to-the-rescue- but the reality is there were those days when we wondered about God’s plan for good for our lives.
Like the summer when Emily was just two years old and I was 8 months pregnant with daughter number two. As we left our much-loved library, Emily walked close beside me. My right hand leaned on my cane and my left held a bag overflowing with 13 library books. Out of the blue, I crashed to the ground. My artificial limb had broken at the ankle. My foot lay in an irregular position close by. I couldn’t move. Little Em began to scream hysterically, drawing a man in the library to our aid. He lifted me into the driver’s seat of our van and Em into her car seat. Off we went to the legman in San Francisco where my limb was refiberglassed and fixed in a flash but it took Emily one month before she wanted to come near her mama. Those were lonely days.
Legs, legs, legs. Ironically there’s more fuss than the average about legs: my legs not developing in utero; seven sets of artificial limbs in the course of my lifetime; our family song going something like -“May I borrow your legs, I have need of them, mine don’t work so well…” Then there was David’s knee infection shortly before our 20th anniversary landing him in a wheelchair, meaning we both used chairs on a Carribean cruise.
But David’s biggest setback came in 1990 when he fell from 12 feet up a ladder onto our asphalt driveway. No, not just a broken leg. Actually his ankle (lower tibia) shattered into 70 pieces. “You have to save my leg”, he told the emergency room nurse, “my wife doesn’t have any.” She thought his compound fracture was making him delirious. Three operations followed within the week. Poor Papa. The girls were ages 6, 9 and 11. We were also beginning a mega-remodel, the transmission went out on our car while David was in the hospital and Judy was beginning the ominous assignment as the elementary school’s PTA co-presidency.
Bob Bonner once said “When we live in our sufficiency, we MISS who God is.” That was the autumn we met El Shaddai – the All-Sufficient-God. Stripped of our sufficiency, we relied on His and found Him so dependable that David and I agreed that the name El Shaddai, not The Squiers earned the place of honor above the front door of our home. And that was the year Emily chose Michael Card’s song El Shaddai for her piano recital. Mom’s favorite line was “Your (God’s) most awesome work was done through the frailty of Your Son.”