Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Not by Accident

Blake and I pulled into our drive this afternoon.  Safe again.  Home.  Again.

Years ago when our sweet Ashley Kate was so tiny that she fit in the palms of our hands, and she lay in an incubator hours down the highway from our home, we sat across the desk from our pastor in his office.  Dave and I had  taken our burdened hearts to him.  Our fearful, frightened, unsure, broken and burdened hearts to him.  We shared the story of our tiny girl, so fragile, so new, so promised, so loved, with the only one we knew to trust in those days.

As our tale spilled out before him I remember the look in his eyes as we explained the many hours I spent driving to and fro between our home and the only home our tiny girl had ever known...that NICU...that incubator... that hospital.  At the end of our story and the unloading of our hearts he began to pray in a way that I had never known before.  In a way that I have never forgotten since.  His prayer changed me that day. His words to our Father changed the way I pray to this very day.

He spoke such genuine words as he prayed and somewhere inside of that prayer on that day I remember these words, "Father...we KNOW it is NOT by accident that Trish arrives safely to hold sweet Ashley and we KNOW it is NOT by accident that Trish arrives back home to care for the family day after day and week after week.  It is by YOUR hand that she is protected on those highways and by YOUR hands that she is safely delivered."

I can't tell you why that part of his prayer for our family that day meant so very much to me.  So very much that it changed my life...forever.  Perhaps it was because during those days all I did was drive those highways.  Perhaps it was because I for the very first time realized it was NOT BY ACCIDENT that I was being safely delivered back and forth between my three children.

There is not a drive that I take, a trip I set out on, or an errand that I run that I do not remember that it is NOT BY ACCIDENT that I am kept safe on those roads.  So as I pulled into Longview this afternoon with my 16 year old Blake asleep in the seats behind me that I smiled as I whispered my gratitude and my realization that He had once again delivered me home.  Safely.  Not by Accident but by His very hands.

In the years since that day our pastor has gone Home to the Father.  I am often reminded of him and how he loved our sweet Ashley Kate as I turn the key in the ignition.  I'm grateful for his words that day and the prayer he prayed over us.  I'm grateful for the lesson he taught me and how his heart felt prayers for a young set of parents as they set out on the beginning of what has proven to be a very, very long road changed the way I look at my life.

So again tonight as I lay down my head I will acknowledge that is is NOT by ACCIDENT that I am home.


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