Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Tears

"Hear my cry, O God,
Give heed to my prayer.
From the ends of the earth I call to Thee,
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For Thou hast been a refuge for me, a tower of
strength against the enemy(cancer)
Let me dwell in Thy tent forever.
Let me take refuge in the shelter of Thy wings." Psalm 61:1-4

After our Thanksgiving day, my husband had opened the Word of God to this is titled "A Prayer When Overwhelmed." Everyone else had gone to bed and he was turning to some comfort..he left his Bible open on the couch and the next morning I found it when I got up before everyone else did..
The words I read were like a balm of healing to my heart. They assured me once more, that my God is available to help me. Powerful metaphors of God being a refuge and a tower of strength washed over my soul, like healing medicine.
God is a refuge.
God is a strong tower.
God is a shelter from stormy circumstances.

When I went to Walmart yesterday, I saw some friends who of course asked, "How was your Thanksgiving? Last year I said it was "good", "relaxing" and "quiet."
This time I had to say, "bittersweet," "painful" and "sad."

The day began with me all hyped up because of the new snowfall. I got on my hunting jazz and was out in the woods..I wasn't really hunting, I was sitting there, in God's amazing creation, feeling the wind and snow on my face and also feeling the cold seep through my was awesome! I came in seeing nothing but full of gratitude for a new day. We ate a late breakfast together and reviewed our Thanksgiving blessings from the previous years. We laughed much and enjoyed one another greatly..we were anticipating going over to friends later in the afternoon, something we have never done before but in light of chemo woman's maladies, it was actually a blessing..

Nathan was asked to run an errand for us. He asked Hannah to go. She declined. He decided to take Christi, at the last moment, because he was only going to the "corner" store, 5 miles away.
Off they went, in the suburban.
Minutes later we get a phone call and I'm hearing what any parent never wants to hear..he had been in an accident and his beloved dog was dead..he was literally a mile from home too.
Apparently he was headed up the hill and another car crested the hill from the opposite direction, in Nathan's lane. He swerved to avoid a head on and the car bounced off his side of the road and turned around and landed on it's side(passenger) Then as it slammed into the other side of the road, it flipped over..Christi was thrown through the passenger window and would have been ok, but when the car flipped she was crushed..Nathan had to stand on Christ's body to get out of the car..
The other car never stopped.
So there is my son. My only son. Dazed, standing on the side of the road taking it all in.
Some lady in a cadillac tried to stop but the road was snow covered and slippery and she just slid down the hill..then a young man from college stopped and Nathan told him to take him home..
He started to and said, "No, you need to stay here. Call your parents, I'll stay with you Nathan." Praise God for kind people willing to stop and help! This happened only minutes after, so he wasn't there long by himself.

He only has bruises. His heart is broken because his dog is dead.
Yesterday he dug her grave. It is at the top of the hill, by an apple tree.
Today we will bury her.

We realize this all could have been different.
If he had left seconds earlier, he would've met the car sooner, at the top of the hill and had no time to react..if he would've persuaded his sister to go, she could have been seriously injured. The passenger side of the car took all the brunt of the crash..
We are praising and thanking God for His protection. He was there with our son, he wasn't really alone for one second.
The sheriff deputy told me we had a lot to be thankful for on Thanksgiving.
I knew he was right but I was so sad for Christi..

If ever there was a faithful, obedient dog, it was Christi. She had her bents, but overall, she was a gem. I already miss her on my walks. She brought a calm to Jack I didn't realize until I took him yesterday alone. He doesn't know quite how to act now. She always squeaked and whined when people pet her and she was always glad to see you, even if it was minutes later.

So we had a sad, bittersweet Thanksgiving here at the Zowada home.

Like I said earlier, in moments like these, the only place I can run to is to God.
He is a refuge.
He is a fortress.
He is a strong tower.
He is a very present help.

Please pray for Nathan as he grieves and considers all this.

Pray too, for a replacement vehicle. It was "totaled."
The picture doesn't do justice to the damage. It was a good car for 7 years..

I'm not worried about a car. If God can have the hospital let go of a $30,000 debt for us, He can provide us with a car.

We are trusting Him with all our hearts.

He is faithful,


Sarah said...

Praise God that Nathan is ok!!
Will continue to pray for peace and comfort for him. And all of you.

The bird picture is wonderful ;-)

Ephesians 5:20
Giving thanks always for all things....

Hard, but important. Love, Mom/Ama

Linda said...

Whew! That was MORE than dang scary! I'm SO glad Nathan is OK and that his sister wasn't with him. And I'm so sorry about the dog--I've lost more than one and it's very hard. Do you guys know the tale of the Rainbow Bridge? It's where our pets will wait for us until we meet them in heaven.

A car/van/what God says you need right now is going to come your way.
Love you guys! Linda

Daddy Dylangrr said...


I decided to change my "creepy" picture to a less conceptual and more starightforward picture before I commented. I knew thanksgiving would be bittersweet for you this year, but I was not expecting this twist of events. The David (and mystic) in me cries out "Why God? Why this ... why now ... why the Zowadas?" The answer I get should be comforting, but it doesn't feel very comforting. So all I can do is grieve with you. There are many things that I could say (and my pious self is telling me that I SHOULD say them), but the Spirit within is telling me no. My pious self, in love with all of its religious trappings, wants to gloss over this tragedy and "comfort" you with pretty words that are shallow and hollow and devoid of any substance of healing this great wound. I fight that pious man daily. I am more and more convinced that Christ came to do away with religion, not to set up a new one. And why would he be sent here to do away with religion? One reason alone. Our God is a relational God. This God, became one of us. We are made in His image, YES. But he also entered our brokenness by becoming broken humself. So as I grieve with your family, I also am pouring a cup of cyber wine and breaking and crushing a piece of cyberized matzoh bread that is marked by its stripes from baking. As we break this bread we thank God for it and His provisions, and we dip it in the wine, which cleanses our brokenness. We do it because our Lord himself told us to do this until His return. And through this we remember that the Christ's sacrifice is what allows us to enter freely into that presence that loves us so much ... that desires relationship with you Bonnie Zowada ... that desires relationship with your son Nathan ... and Tim, Hannah, Rachel and Theresa too. May His presence be real, present and sustaining during this time of loss. I do want you to be happy and free from all of this mess, but I am purposefully not praying that prayer ... Grieve because it is proper to do so and because our God is right there grieveing with you. A new day will dawn, but it is not this night.

- Daniel, tearing his camel skin rags.

Daddy Dylangrr said...


I know it was probably a typo, but I was amazed at God's grace even in this. In describing Nathan's exit strategy, you mentioned him stepping on a body. Even though I know it was supposed to say "Christi's body", it instead says "Christ's body". As I read the story, it is this one statement (mis-?) that kept me reading for a grace transcended the unbearable grief that I was reading. As I have contemplated this odd thought, I realized that there is truth in that statement and a reason it was written that way. I had the sense (before I realized the typo) that Nathan was being lifted in a pushing fashion from that body.

No, I am not so much as a mystic as to think that Christi's body was symbolic of Christ or the Church. But I do think those words were "breathed" on purpose as a reminder of the saviour that reclaims us from the jaws of death, and as a reminder that we, the church, are to be available for you to step on ... to lift you out of the miry clay. So step away on Christ's body!! GRACE and PEACE