How a Virus, a Car Accident, and Septic Shock Changed Our Lives

I haven't told you our story, have I?

Some of you very loyal readers walked our narrative with us, but some of you are brand new to Preschoolers and Peace and may not know about our most trying period of 18 months that turned us entirely upside-down and pulled us closer, closer, still closer to Christ than we'd ever thought we needed to be. Because we thought we were pretty great stuff.

I found our 7-week-old in a coma. 

Just like that he was rushed to Children's Hospital where we were told to sleep with our cell phones that night because he probably wasn't going to make it.

He was so bloated, he looked like a different baby than the one we'd arrived with.

He was so bloated, he looked like a different baby than the one we'd arrived with.


The short story includes liver failure, kidney failure, heart damage, and brain damage. The long story includes a brain full of massive dead spaces and a boy who can see even without the part of the brain that sees. His story is a miracle, and God has been glorified through our Mighty Joe.

Somewhere in that ICU, I cried out for more of Jesus. I defiantly stood against the folks who were telling me He wasn't enough, that I had to add my works into the glorious grace He already performed, and the rumblings of a personal earthquake rolled underneath the surface, threatening to upend what was upside-down.

6 months later I ran over our 5-year-old with our 12-passenger van.

In our driveway. And she lived, but CPS accused me of trying to - what? - kill her, I guess. Because what a mother needs most after her worst nightmare comes true is to then be accused of behaving like a hideous monster.

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She lived. She stood up in that driveway and walked to our front door. She sat in a tiny wheelchair recovering from a fractured pelvis for 6 weeks, but she was alive. Is alive. And she, too, felt a miracle.

Closer, closer to Jesus. No more Jesus + me.

We were recovering. I still thought I saw the people from child protective services peering in my windows, threatening my love and good parenting, and my hope was askew. Should have been in God, not my good mothering or the government.

We found Caroline in septic shock.

It wasn't the flu. It was a ruptured appendix that had filled her body with infection. 15 minutes of surgery to remove the appendix; 45 to clean out the pus. It was everywhere. Another surgery to place drains deep in her abdomen. And again another that skirted her femoral artery, threatening her life. 3 weeks in ICU.

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The earthquake was in full amplification. We couldn't stand on our old foundations of religiosity or knowledge or theology or our view of God and the church. We could only stand on Jesus because all the rest was crumbling around us into the faults that caused the great gaps that had once threatened to swallow us whole.

I'll take Jesus, just as He is. Because through a virus, a car accident, and a case of septic shock, Jesus steadily and quietly pulled us in and reminded us through the chaos that He is the only hope we have.

've written a book about our story, and it's coming this year with New Growth Press. Thank you for encouraging me to write it.