One of my responsibilities with the SBTC is in Facilitating Ministries. Here I work with a large number of pastors and directors of mission from Wichita Falls to Georgetown.
One of those pastors, Doug Helms (Crowley, TX) and his family are going through a very trying time. Their 17-year-old son, Peter, was severely injured (head trauma) in an auto accident 4 weeks ago. He is in a coma at John Peter Smith Hospital in Ft. Worth.
There is a page on Facebook with continual updates. Peter’s mother, Selah, posted this yesterday. I emailed Doug and asked permission to re-post. He has given permission in the hope that God will be glorified in all this.
These are Selah’s musings as she waits by her son’s side. May God strengthen the Helms and us as we learn through the grace in which this family is living. And please pray for Peter and the family.
From Peter’s Mom:
Today marks the beginning of week 4 since Peter’s car accident. The doctors and nurses tell us that, though it seems like a long wait to us, it’s actually still very early on in the recovery process for an injury like Pete’s.
My husband reminds me often (and I’m thankful) that we are not just waiting on Peter to wake up, but that we are also learning to wait on the Lord, and that there are promises in Scripture for those who wait on the Lord. I really like C.J. Mahaney’s definition of waiting on the Lord. It showed up in a post by Sunny Shell on the group wall: “It takes faith to wait tranquilly for something for which we have a promise from God, but no date. . . . Waiting is not resignation; waiting is active trust in God to provide fulfillment in His perfect timing, according to His ultimate purpose of glorifying His Son.”
As we wait on the Lord “more than the watchmen wait for the morning,” He promises to renew our strength. He also promises that He will give what is good to His children, just as an earthly father would – that if we ask Him for bread, He won’t give us a stone. So we come to Him fully trusting His character, asking for bread. Then, we wait. But we know while we wait that in whatever manner God chooses to give to us, what he gives will be bread and not a stone. We cry out to the Lord, asking for many things regarding Peter’s healing, and we know His answer will be good, and it will come in His perfect timing.
People ask me how I’m doing. Well, as I’m learning to wait, here’s what I am doing: the duty of this particular day. It’s a discipline included in waiting – that I learn what my duty is only for the day at hand, without giving in to speculating on future days.
What is trust and what is obedience for this day? I’ll tell you what it looks like, practically speaking. For one thing, I am learning much about physical therapy and respiratory therapy. We do Passive Range of Motion (PROM) exercises with Peter throughout the day, along with talking to him about things he is familiar with. Here’s the schedule we have been loosely adhering to around the interruptions that typically happen in hospital-life:
7:00 a.m.–Family member who spent the night with Peter wakes up. Miriam Simmons (dear friend who was once an ER nurse, now homeschooling mom of Peter’s good friend Caleb) arrives. She goes through PROM with Peter, talks about date, time and weather, sings “Give Thanks” to him and reads Isaiah 40. Nurses come through and give him meds.
9:00–PROM with Dad. Doug reads through questions #1-5 of the Shorter Catechism with Peter, including Scriptural proofs. Peter memorized the Shorter Catechism in high school. Doug sings “Before the Throne of God Above,” prays with Peter and talks to him. He also reads James 1, as Peter memorized the book in the past.
11:00–PROM with Doug again, then questions #6-10 of Shorter Catechism. Doug then sings another hymn, reads James 2 and talks to Pete. Then we put on YoYo Ma playing the Unaccompanied Bach Cello Suites in the background. It’s soothing.
2:00–PROM with Mom. Then Mom reads James 3 to Peter, talks to him and sings “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” Often I also read Shakespeare’s version of King Henry’s speech before the battle of Agincourt to him. As Pete is an avid history buff, this was another piece of memory work he chose a couple of years ago.
4:00–PROM with Mom again. Then James 4 and “Great is Thy Faithfulness” again. Then I either put on “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” and some other Mozart, or some of the pieces he has recently performed in piano recitals.
7:00–PROM with Andrew. Then Andrew reads James 5 to him, and we all sing “Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken” around his bed. This is often the song Pete chooses for his turn during family devotions. When Caleb, Hope, and Beth are there, it really sounds good because they sing in parts. We miss Pete though, because Peter is the only one in the family who sings the bass line, so it doesn’t sound as fully rounded out without him. We hope he can hear the difference, and that it will prompt him to wake up and help us out.
Last night, Andrew and I were trying to be creative in coming up with some things to talk to Peter about. “Twenty Questions” has been an old family favorite from the time the kids were young. So we played it over Pete’s bed. Andrew guessed Knight Roland and Neville Chamberlain from my clues. I guessed Bede, but got stumped on King Hrothgar from his clues. So he won. Pete would have guessed King Hrothgar.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14