Gary and Marie have been blessed…… they have 7 children, 23 grandchildren and live on 5+ acres in Utah. It is here that Gary has a small shop to tinker with his motorcycle and Marie enjoys gardening and cooking. Gary and Marie decide to take a little vacation so he and a few friends decide to take their motorcycles to Texas for an outing and Marie heads off to California to visit some of their grandchildren.
…….. and so this is the way things go in many of our lives….
It is during this time, in California that Marie gets the unexpected call that her husband of 31 years has been in a life-threatening motorcycle accident. The doctors do not expect Gary to make it and strongly urge Marie to come as quickly as possible.
…….. and so begins a journey that none of us can ever be prepared for….
Gary has suffered multiple fractures, head injuries, has a tracheostomy, collapsed lungs and the list goes on. For the last 3 weeks Marie has been able to stay by his side praying and caring for him. Having seen much improvement but, with still a long way to go, the doctors have given the OK for Gary to be transported to a hospital back home.
…….. and thus begins mission 330 for Grace on Wings …
We arrive in Gary’s room and the first thing I notice are the tears of joy and gratitude in Maries eyes. She has been looking forward to this time not sure that it would ever come. So now with great care and precision we transfer a very fragile Gary along with his many tubes from hospital bed to plane and secure both he and Marie aboard Abe.
Our flight will be long and require a stop in Colorado for refuel. During the flight as we care for Gary he begins to move his right arm up (which is the only extremity that he can move) and we fear he is about to pull on hi
s tracheostomy. As we quickly jump into action, Marie informs us that he likes to lay with his arm above his head and she was absolutely right…. that is all he wanted. Matter of fact had it not been for all of his tubes and drains he looked like he was just someone laying back enjoying the flight.
Before we could land for refuel we hit about 15 minutes of unexpected very rough turbulence yet even this did not seem to bother Gary. It did however offer me a great opportunity to pray for God’s continued guidance for both Hal and Ethan as they safely navigated us through the weather. After a quick refuel we continued on uneventfully to Salt Lake City. Once we arrived at the hospital we were greeted by a group of new staff who will now begin to help both Gary and Marie with his continued recovery. These people too will become like family, just as those at the hospital in Dallas did and we too with the short time God allowed us to be together. So after a prayer, some tears and a few hugs we leave them in these new capable hands as Marie continues to thank us, referring to us as her “angels”.
…….. and so continues the road to his recovery…
As for me, I love these flights because they allow me to see God’s glory in creation from a perspective that I do not get everyday. The majesty of the clouds, the mountains, the snow, the stillness, the peace and yes, even the turbulence. These things make me long for heaven, an everlasting eternity that I cannot begin to fathom nor do I deserve. (His Word tells us in Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and I am definitely no exception!) It is for me, during such times as this, that I find it so easy to remember that I am in the presence of God and that I am called to be His hands and feet. It is so easy to be conscious of this when I am at church, at a Christian concert, or here in the ministry of Grace on Wings.
But how quickly it is for me to forget about that and what He has called me to do when I am in the world. Ahhh yes, the real world, full of temptation and people desperately seeking something, anything, many times not knowing what it is that we are even searching after. We look for it in many ways; material possessions, money, cults, relationships with other people and list goes on. Many times I myself am no different. Romans 2:8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. How much time do I spend looking at myself and to others? I can guarantee never enough time on my knees looking up to the only One who truly holds all the answers?
How often do I disappoint God both knowingly and unknowingly?
How about you?
I must say when I take the time to stop and really think about this it gives me a great sadness in my heart.
HE GAVE ME LIFE !!!
I gave NOTHING-EVER!!!
It is all because of His shed blood that I can even take my next breath.
But despite all of the times we disappoint Him– He has given us hope. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. There it is, our hope!! ” whoever believes”
And so I ask you… Are you hesitant to completely sell out to God for fear of what you may have to give up? Look at what He gave for us. Aren’t you glad that He did not hesitate? I know I am and I owe all that I have to Him.
Rev. 5:13 “to Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise, and honor, and glory and power for ever and ever.
Thank you to Hal, Ethan, Lisa and Stephanie for sharing in this ministry with me.
God uses each and every one of these missions to teach me something about myself and reveal my weaknesses to me. I feel very blessed to be able to share them with those who read these reports and continue to be a part of this ministry. God is good !
Shelli Engle RN