I Gave Up “normal” for Lent

Fourteen weeks after the accident, I face the exact same struggle after coming home from a mission trip…returning to normal. It’s a fact once people experience God on the mission field, as well as walk through a traumatic event, they can never be the same again. We can never be normal because normal is never the same as it was before, it’s no longer good enough, or fulfilling enough. There’s more to life than just being normal. This morning as I was reading Numbers, which has got to be one of the most boring books in the Bible, I realized the children of Israel were far from normal. They were God’s chosen people and set apart, yet they constantly fought God to be like everyone else.

As always when the Holy Spirit begins to pour into my spirit truth, I tend to post some contentious things on Facebook & Twitter, which always results in losing friends and followers. Anyways, I want to restate a few post here:

  • “Fighting normal with a vengeance! Don’t like the company he keeps: contentment, complacency & comfortable. Prefer peculiar & extraordinary!”
  • “Normal & ordinary people are no threat to the kingdom of darkness. Peculiar people storm gates, raise the dead & turn the world upside down.”
  • “The kingdom of darkness attempts to assassinate those who are a threat. If satan’s not coming after us, we’re not a threat.”

Although I am not Catholic, I decided to give up “normal” for lent this year. I choose to be peculiar and extraordinary, or better yet strange, odd, unusual or remarkably great“. Like my mission trips, the accident has forever etched its impact into my physical, emotional and spiritual DNA. I am forever changed, yet I am most grateful for the God’s grace. He allows me me to live, so I can love; serve, so I fulfill; and fight, so I can turn the world upside down.

Normal people don’t live, they exist. Normal people don’t serve, they consume. Normal people don’t fight, they conform.

The Princess Speaks

This is a repost from the “Warrior Princess” herself, Becky Miller.

November 19, I embarked on a journey known as the Warrior Dash.  This journey was several months and some severe arm twisting in the making.  When I first read about the 3.1 hellish mile, 12 obstacle course, I thought, “sign me up!”   What I really meant was, “wonder who loves me enough to agree to run this with me?” Enter little brother David Crumpton.  I’m still not sure why he agreed, but I have a sneaking suspicion it was to get the nagging to cease.  I can kind of be a pain in the hind parts when I set a goal.

Race day dawned warm, dry and clear.  We arrived at the race site early enough to watch the other racers.  I felt slightly nervous about the obstacles, but I was determined to complete each one successfully, and together, we did just that!  I’m a stronger runner, but at a slim 6’2” David was much more compete navigating the obstacles, together we were a formidable pair.  Dirty and tired we crawled through the barbed wire, mud bath finish line to have Warrior Dash medals hung around our necks.  Sporting our new bling we gobbled down turkey legs and chugged Gatorade before heading for the group shower.  Prior to that day showering had always been a solo event, usually indoors.  Relatively mud-free we changed into clean, dry clothes and headed for home chatting about the super nacho celebratory feast I planned to prepare.

Less than one mile from our front door we were rear ended by an eighteen wheeler.  The truck crushed my side of the car and shoved us into oncoming traffic causing an SUV to drive up and over the other side of the car.  Here is all that’s left of my little Dodge Caliber. I awoke at Breckenridge Hospital with broken ribs, a broken clavicle and scapula, lacerated liver, four breaks in my neck and absolutely no memory of the accident.  Initially, I had no recollection of even being back in San Marcos after the race.  My first memory is of three beautiful angels named Holly, Christina and Jessica visiting my room and brushing out my hair.

Some may wonder why God allowed this accident to happen, but I do not.  The why is irrelevant, what matters instead is how God’s signature was extremely prevalent throughout the entire trauma.  I know that God chose to spare my life and that of my family because our work on earth is not yet complete.  There are still orphans to be rescued, widows to assist and hurting people who need to experience the love of Christ.  I am a broken vessel willing to be used in whatever capacity my Lord desires.

Daily I thank the Lord for the first responders who pried my broken body from the car (the door on my side would not open so I had to be removed another way) without causing permanent damage.  Daily I thank God for an amazing/skilled surgeon who studied at Johns Hopkins, and showed such compassion and care regarding my neck repair.  Daily I thank the Lord for use of my legs and for no permanent damage to my neurological system.

God has been gracious through the recovery process as well.  Despite all my injuries, I was released from the hospital and returned home a week after the accident, no rehab center for me, straight home.  No one, myself included, expected that.  The home health nurses, and physical/occupational therapists who visited me at home, after reading my file, expected to find me bedridden and down trodden.  Instead they were amazed by my mobility and good spirits.

My broken heart, a result from hurts inflicted in the past, has been completely restored through this process.   So many people reached out through prayer, hospital visits, phone calls, flowers, balloons, meals, home visits, and Facebook/Twitter posts that I no longer feel insignificant or invisible.  Not only am I secure in the love of my Savior, but in the love of my fellow man.  I do matter and it has been made obvious that my presence on this planet would be sorely missed.

A mere twenty-one days after the accident, my surgeon granted her permission for my return to work, halo and all.  I stand in awe of a magnificent God who carried me through. (More information on the accident can be found at burntflesh.com)

The Warrior Princess AKA Becky

Broken, but not destroyed

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (ESV)

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted and several have asked for an update. This week Becky began her regiment of home health visits. On Tuesday, the home heath nurse and occupational therapist came to do their evaluations. With no surprise to us, they were completely blown away at how far along our “Warrior Princess” has come in such a short time. Becky has no and I mean NO mobility limitations, except those her family and friend continue to impose upon her. If it wasn’t for the blind spots, extra weight and bulkiness of the halo, she would be 100% back into her normal routine. The physical therapist came yesterday and gave her resounding agreement to the home health nurse and occupational therapist evaluations. I believe she is scheduled for one more follow-up from each and then will be released from home care to outpatient care. This woman of mine may be a little broken, but she is definitely not destroyed.

As for us guys, David returned to work on Monday and is doing light duty in the office. Chris was challenged to return to school Monday, but went Tuesday and is navigating the halls and pain like the true champion he is. He has his sutures removed yesterday from his wrist. I am still amazed with all the damage to the car and broken glass everywhere he is the only one with a laceration from the accident. As for me, I intended to return to work Wednesday, but certain HR related policies have delayed my return until I am fully released from my doctor. I took x-rays yesterday and await the results.

We begin our first of several follow-up appointments today. Chris will see the orthopedic surgeon about his pelvis. Please agree with me in prayer for his complete healing with no limitations to participation in sports. He is blessed with amazing physical ability and he uses it to shine the light of the gospel on the field of play. He was anointed from the womb for this purpose and trust the Holy One to complete the work in him.

Thank you to all our family and friends who continue to send emails and post comments to our Twitter and Facebook pages. We are especially grateful for all of you who have brought and are bringing food, and who come to sit with us during the day. You have no idea how much of a blessing it is to know we are loved and cared for, as well as keeping us engaged in what’s going out outside our four walls. Our journey is well in progress, but not over. Your continued prayers, encouragement and support are most welcomed.