Terrie: My husband, Greg, was shot during an attempted armed robbery in the men’s restroom of a North Carolina rest stop while our two children and I waited just outside the building. We heard the gunshot. We saw the guys run out. We heard Greg’s screams. We found Greg on the floor of the restroom. While my son, Jacob (19), called 911, my daughter, Laura (6), rocked herself on the floor, saying, “My Daddy’s dead, my Daddy’s dead.” She was looking at him in a pool of blood from his nose that he had busted on the tile floor. I was hysterical. Greg was awake, calling out to Laura that he was not dead. “It’s okay, princess!” he yelled out, “It’ll be okay! Daddy’s still here!” Over the next 24 hours, we tried to make sense of everything. I would tickle his feet: nothing. When a tech said, “paraplegic,” I broke down and wailed. The gravity of his condition hit us both hard. He held my hand, tears streaming down both of our faces.
While we were at the hospital, our Church was lifting up prayers for us and a wave of peace washed over us. We felt the presence of Christ. Even as Greg cried out in pain because the nerves from the waist down were firing and shutting down, we experienced the Holy Spirit calm us both. Greg fell asleep. I knelt on that sterile hospital floor, praying in gratitude. My soulmate, the love of my life, was paralyzed, but alive.
It’s been one year now. While this year has had an enormous amount of pain, it has also been a year of abundant grace from God. It has only been His strength that has sustained us. Isaiah 40:29 says, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” In His mercy, God was, and still is, enough for us – His grace is all we need. Jesus wrapped His arms around Greg in the trauma ICU and around me as I walked the hallways on the night Greg was shot, crying and praying. Now, as Greg winces in nerve pain that takes his breath away or I have to help him in unimaginable ways, we know that Christ sees and holds us tight.