Saturday morning, we were sitting on the couch when Aaron looked up from his phone and said, “how does this sound? I’m posting it on Facebook.”
Okay… Aaron hasn’t posted anything on Facebook since our pregnancy announcement (with Rylie), maaayyybbbeee he posted something the day she was born – but that’s it. So when he told me he was going to post something, I was surprised.
For those of you who are curious, this is what Aaron posted:
I was reading in the one year Bible this morning, and it hit me square in the nose.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Shavers need some prayer, we have had a rough second part of this year. My accident, needing hand surgery, going through physical therapy, having to pay for all of that, girls have been sick, Emmaline was diagnosed with bronchiolitis, and just yesterday Rylie got her leg fractured.
We have had a joyful attitude through most of it, but now that our kids are being attacked it has been a little harder to keep the joy.
So if throughout your day while you pray or if you think of us, just give a little prayer for us to count it all joy.
So get ready guys, because I’m going to word vomit on this post. I’m going to tell you about all the stuff that happened in between the church events, the weddings, the cute toddler and baby moments. Because those things were awesome, but these last 6 months have been hard. Really hard. Not just on my family, but on me. I’m going to go deep, so if you don’t like that kind of stuff, you can come back tomorrow and I’ll have something lighter on the blog.
It was July. We were a week past Summer Blast and Aaron had just gotten over a nasty cold that we were sure was the devil’s attempt to distract him from his crucial part of leading the lesson at Summer Blast. Aaron went to play basketball with some new friends so I was home alone with the girls. I got Rylie down to bed and was soothing 3-month-old Emmaline’s to sleep when I got a call from a number I didn’t recognize. It was late, so I was going to ignore it but I small voice told me to answer it. “Hello?” I was answered by a shaky voice saying, “it’s Aaron. I just got in a car accident. I don’t know where my phone went. Can you come to get me?”
I jumped out of bed, called my friend Kendyl (who was renting our basement from us at that time) and told her what happened. I told her I just put Rylie down to bed and asked if she could listen for her in the unlikely event that she might wake up while I was gone. Thankfully, she agreed and I got Emmaline in the car seat and drove to where Aaron told me his wreck was. I prayed the whole way there, having no idea what I was going to find. When I pulled up, it was about as bad as I had pictured it. Our car was completely totaled. Airbags deployed, the center console crunched towards the radio, and a mix of glass, car parts, and plastic in the road. The other guy’s car was crunched but not nearly as bad as ours. I took one look and knew we would never drive that car again.
Aaron was shaken up as anyone who had just been T-boned in a car accident would be, but the fire guys checked him out and said he and the other driver were okay. Praise God!
That was just the beginning. Our insurance agent had misled us and we were not as covered as we had originally been told. This caused us to have to pay out of pocket for way more than we thought, and it was frustrating, to say the least.
Aaron also got some serious bruising where his seatbelt was, and his ring finger on his left hand had swollen so much that he had to break his wedding ring off (after hours of trying every trick in the book to slide it off).
He thought it was just a jam, but as time went on, we noticed it wasn’t getting better, so he went to the doctor, who referred him to another doctor, who told him it was fractured and needed to be splinted. We did this, and his follow up appointment was after our trip to Seattle. When we got back, his finger was doing things it shouldn’t be, so they referred him to another doctor who told him he had two choices – they could lock it in place and he would never be able to use it again, or he could get surgery. Surgery was the obvious choice for us, so they made the appointment for the next day.
Thursday, September 6th first thing in the morning. That was when we went in. I told my office about the last minute surgery (they knew Aaron had been in an accident) and that I would be in later that day because the doctor was really nice and very confident that it was going to be a basic procedure. In the middle of surgery, some of the nurses gave me an update and said they were halfway done and everything was going great. Looking at the clock, I knew I wouldn’t make it into the office that day and finally realizing that it might be hard to watch 2 under 2 with a wrapped hand, I said I wouldn’t be in the next day either. Good thing, because we were at the doctor’s for 12 hours and didn’t even get home until 7 pm.
When the procedure was over, the doctor met with me and told me that the procedure went well, but Aaron’s finger was a lot worse than he originally thought. The bone wasn’t fractured, it had completely shattered. He had to take bone from the back of Aaron’s hand and screw it into this finger. He told me Aaron would never be able to fully bend or use that finger again.
Honestly, I was completely unphased by that comment. I knew and trusted that God would 100% heal his hand and it would astonish the doctors.
Recovery was much worse than any of us had anticipated. Aaron was in so much pain for the first few days, and I was gone at the ReCreate conference for a couple of them and then had to go back to work that Monday. Aaron started physical therapy right away and has been doing that twice a week for the past 2 months. His doctor was shocked at Aaron’s quick progress and told Aaron that he was kicking butt multiple times. 2 ½ months after surgery, Aaron can use his finger in ways the doctor initially told me he wouldn’t be able to which is so amazing! Praise God!
While we were in Seattle, Aaron got a new ring (thank God for warranty!) and has been wearing it around his neck on a necklace until his finger lets him put it back on. It still swells occasionally, so we’re not sure when that will happen, but he tells me often that that is his #1 goal when it comes to his hand recovery at this point haha.
In October, our insurance called us and told us that the other guy involved in the accident was looking to sue us. Turns out, he wasn’t okay. He had broken his femur and needed surgery, a 3-day hospital stay, time off work + recovery. The waiting period for this was rough, but Aaron and I were so trusting that the gentleman was going to accept the settlement the insurance company offered him. By the end of the month, we heard he accepted the settlement and we got to avoid lawyers, court, and all that other stuff. Praise God!
As I’m sure you can imagine, all of this sucked a lot of money, but we’ve still been able to pay all of our bills and have a full fridge. Praise God! But don’t ask me the last time we had a date, because I have absolutely no idea!
By the time November came, we were hopeful that the worst was behind us. Aaron’s hand was doing so good his therapist released him early, we’re finally getting to a point where we can stop living paycheck to paycheck and get some savings built back up, and the holidays are coming which is such a special time for our family.
And then Rylie woke up Saturday morning after her party with a cold. And not just a cute, little cold. I’m talking the worst cold she has ever had in her life.
It didn’t take long for Emmaline to get something as well and Aaron wasn’t far behind.
They were pitiful, and somehow I didn’t catch anything – even though I had a 2-year-old coughing in my face. We got Rylie some medicine which seemed to help kick it. Praise God! And then, right when Rylie started getting better, she fractured her leg.
Aaron and Michelle took her to the doctor and they took x-rays (which she did an amazing job staying still for) and made an appointment for her at a fracture clinic this Wednesday (11.21.18).
At the same appointment, they looked at Emmaline because every breath rattled with congestion and she had a 100.4 fever. After some examination and a breathing mask, they diagnosed her with bronchiolitis, which is basically bronchitis but for infants. They encouraged us to get a humidifier in her room, otherwise, the worst had passed but it could take up to a full month for her to be 100% again.
Aaron went to the doctor yesterday and was diagnosed with walking phenomena, so he has antibiotics which hopefully will help him kick it quickly.
This story hasn’t finished yet, but I know no matter the result, it’s going to end with me saying, “Praise God!”
So that’s what happened in our lives July through November. Now, let me be transparent and tell you about how I handled all of it.
I’ve pretty much spent the last 6 months overwhelmed and exhausted but still confident in my trust that God is more than capable to resolve, heal and provide for us.
Aaron’s car accident was hard on me, but I was just thankful he was alive, unharmed (because we didn’t know about his finger yet), and that the kids were not with him. My coping statement was, “I can handle the money, even if it’s annoying. I cannot handle losing you or the girls.”
It was hard to be out so much money, especially when we didn’t have a lot in the first place. But we always had enough to pay our bills, have food in our fridge and we found a great replacement car for $1,600 cash that fits exactly what we need.
As I’m sure you gathered from the story, Aaron’s hand surgery happened unexpectedly, and the recovery completely caught me by surprise. I had underestimated the surgery, the recovery, and the limitations he would have in the beginning. Meanwhile, I was stressed out about work (September – December is my company’s busy season) because I was sucking my “paid time off” tank dry. It was hard to take care of Aaron, the girls, work and my busy schedule (because remember – September I was in 2 weddings within 3 weeks of each other).
My lunch break twice a week was spent killing time for anywhere between 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes, mainly visiting Target, thrift stores, the play-place at Chick-Fil-A and entertaining a 1-year-old + an infant in a plain doctor’s office lobby that plays Judge Judy on TV. But the girls made the receptionists smile every time, and you could tell they looked forward to seeing our family.
It was a lot for me, and I jokingly (but seriously) would tell Aaron, “my life is not conducive to a full-time job.”
I hate it when the girls are sick, and I feel like I’ve been surprisingly calm about Rylie’s fracture. I also think I’ve gotten to that point where I just shrug my shoulders and say, “okay, let’s tackle this” and run at it head-on.
So yes, I am exhausted. I feel emotionally bruised and most days I come home from work feeling overwhelmed. But there are a couple of things that even in the craziest of time, I can hold on to:
We’re doing something right.
We’ve had some good conversations with close friends of ours, and after they say, “wow! That’s a lot, you guys. I am so sorry!” without even thinking I’ve noticed I shrug my shoulders and reply, “I just figure we must be doing something right if the devil is attacking us so much.”
God has equipped us
1 Corinthians 10:30 MSG says, “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.”
I think it’s so easy to look at these past 6 months and say that God doesn’t care about us. But I don’t think that at all. I know God cares – a lot! And I know He’s really upset that the Devil is messing with His kids. And I know that even if we don’t get any earthly reward from enduring these last few months with positivity, we’re collecting Heavenly ones. And I know God cares for us because of how tenderly He has taken care of us admits the crazy.
So there you go – my super long post. I realize this was probably more of a Shaver Crew Life Update vs. an encouragement, but as I said, check back tomorrow and it won’t be so long or heavy 😉