Saturday, July 11, 2015

Prayers for Kenna

 One of the biggest spiritual challenges for me is being able to sincerely say to the Lord in times of challenge: "Thy Will Be Done".  Especially when I am praying for the well being of someone I care about deeply, I want with all my heart for God to intervene.  I want Him to take away the pain, to fix whatever horrible or difficult thing has happened.  I know that He CAN do exactly that.  I absolutely believe in a God of miracles.  However, just because He CAN fix any set of hard or painful circumstances we face, does not always mean He will.  

Sometimes we must face terrible, awful things that no amount of praying will remove from us. Sometimes bad things happen as a consequence of our choices, or from other people's choices.  Sometimes things occur simply as a result of living in this fallen mortal world.  We will suffer.  It's part of the plan.  How we choose to respond to those challenges is something that defines each one of us.   Those of us who live by faith wrestle with the paradox of putting our trust in God, asking Him to take away the thorn, but loving and trusting Him all the same if the pain is not taken away.

Last night a member of our family was in a very bad roll over accident.  Makenna Bennett is the daughter of Elder Bennett's nephew.  She is a beautiful girl full of passion for life.  She is 17 years old and had just graduated high school.  She was excited about her upcoming 18th birthday and her plans to go to college.  Then, while coming home from a trip to Lake Tahoe with her boyfriend, they had a tire blow out. The vehicle they were in rolled three times.  Fortunately, they were both wearing seat belts.  Her boyfriend had a concussion, but was able to walk away.  Kenna did not. Her neck was broken.  She is awake and coherent.  But it appears her spinal cord was severed.  She has had some feeling in her arms, but nothing much beyond that.  This is a very, very serious injury that will most likely impact her and all of her family for many years to come.

For anyone who feels prompted to donate for her care you can use this link:  GoFundMe

Jerid feeding chicken broth to his girl
As you can imagine, we have been praying with all our might for this girl and for all her family. We are extending our faith and hope in her behalf.  We recognize that we do not know what Heavenly Father's plan for this beautiful girl's life is. In the coming days and weeks we will learn more about what she may be facing.

But stories from our family in years gone by like the following give me confidence that she CAN be healed:

In the Bennett Family book compiled by Mabel Williams (published 1979) there is a story by John Ambrose Hunter, (1891 to 1980) who was a cousin to my husband's grandfather, Edward Bennett Jr.   This tale is relayed under the title of "Answer to Fasting and Prayer"  
(pages 27 & 29)

"One day two of my neighbors and I decided to fix up a light wagon; Then the children could all go in one wagon.  Mardella Carter, about 16 years old, was to drive.

We cautioned the children to all sit still and not fool while the wagon was moving, but one day my son, Roscoe, and some of the boys got to fooling around. (This was in 1925). Roscoe's leg slipped over the wagon box and got into the wheel as it came around.  It twisted the leg and broke it an inch below the hip, turning the toe to the back and the heel forward.  His school teacher rushed him to Delta to Dr. Wright, and someone came to the farm and told us.  So we all got ready and went to Delta.  

When we got there the leg was swollen very badly with the toe turned backwards.  the doctor said he couldn't do anything with it and said we would have to go to Salt Lake to the hospital.

We had five children, so we phoned to Holden for my mother to send for three of the children to stay with her, LaRue, Sidney and James and we took Madge, the baby, with us. 

We were very poor and did not have enough money to buy a train ticket from Delta to Salt Lake City.  On our way home to McCormick from Delta in our old Model T, we asked the Lord faithfully to open up the way that we might get the money to take Roscoe to the hospital. As we came to the school house in McCormick where a bunch of fellows were building an addition to the school, they came out and inquired of Roscoe's condition.  Then they asked how we were fixed for money for expenses. I said "I guess we will get along". A friend said, "While you were gone to Delta, we have gathered $100 to help you".

When we arrived at the L.D.S. hospital, the doctor took X-ray pictures. They showed the break was splintered like a twisted green willow and they would have to get the swelling down before they could set it. So they put it in traction with a rope from his leg to the ceiling along to another pulley and down to a sandbag for the weight of his body to pull the leg into shape.

I had to go back to McCormick and take care of things there.  Three weeks later, my wife called. She felt very bad and said the doctor's couldn't draw the leg around in position to set it, and they had ordered the operating room for Monday at 8:00 a.m.. I said "Don't let them take that leg off!  I'll come up Sunday night".

After I finished talking to Henrietta, I went to the Primary President and told her. We decided to hold a fast and pray that everything would be alright.  Word was sent to all forty-six families to fast and pray for the Lord to heal that leg.

Sunday morning the doctor came in and said "Mrs. Hunter, I can't understand, this leg has gone and set itself in almost a perfect set.  I will put a cast on it and you can go home. Phone your husband to meet you at the train in the morning".  

A miracle was performed through fast and prayer and is a most wonderful testimony to me that God lives and answers prayers for those who live worthily and puts their trust in him".   

We don't know if the miracle Makenna will get will be to one day walk again or simply to be given the courage and strength to endure whatever limitations she will have.   It is hard to be so far away from our family while all this is going on.  Even though we could not FIX anything by being there, we could help care for the younger siblings, we could prepare meals, we could do the practical things like clean the bathroom and do the wash.  While Kenna's parents are locked into the grueling ICU vigil to learn what  their daughter's status is or can be expected to be, I wish we could be there to give hugs, to hold hands, to share both love and tears.

But no matter where we may be in this world, we can and do send up our faith and prayers.  We fasted today for their family, just as Larry's relatives fasted for young Roscoe all those years before.  We will stay connected through emails and facebook posts. We will help with expenses to the extent that we can.  Then, on a personal level, I will practice again that dance of trusting in miracles AND learning to let go and accept, to say "thy will be done".  

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