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I Will Never Leave You

Brenda Palmer


This is the emergency room in Amarillo, Texas. There has been an accident and your husband was air-lifted to our hospital.” Somehow the last words penetrated my sleep and suddenly I was terribly awake.

A year ago, in September, Brent was measuring a construction job in Texas when he hit a landscape timber going 70 miles an hour on Interstate 10. Seven cars were involved. No one was hurt, but our car was totaled.

Later, in January, when his crew went to install the Texas job, a teenager hit his truck broadside, spun them through a fence and into a house. Again, no one was badly hurt, but our truck was totaled.

In May, making a Friday town run, Brent was hit by an intoxicated driver. That Sabbath afternoon I had a long talk with God. “Why? Is this just a coincidence or is something bigger going on?” I struggled as I walked and prayed. Finally, I felt at peace. “He’s in My hands. Whatever happens, I will be with you always.”

It was the morning of June 23. Now, reality kicked in. This was for real. My life had changed. Forever? No! I was so thrilled when the nurse passed the phone to Brent and he assured me he was alive, though badly hurt. God’s promise is tangible! “I will be with you always.”

Brent had been driving I-40 westbound through the night to check on an Arizona job. He enjoys night driving and had just refreshed himself by napping at a rest area. The right lane was rough, so, given it was open country, he shifted to the left lane. Eventually he noticed a truck coming up fast in his rear view mirror. The truck’s speed dictated that it was safer to let the trucker keep the right lane. Unbeknownst to him, a young mother had mistakenly gotten on the interstate going East in the Westbound lane. Her long drive intersected his, just as he was dealing with the trucker passing him.

As I drove the 12 hours to Amarillo, I was at peace. Our Adventist and ASI families are a wonderful community. Thank you to each of you who called and prayed with us. You were and are such an encouragement.

We spent 15 days in hospitals, before Brent was stable enough to travel. That meant an incredible 15-hour ambulance transport, and then—we were all alone. I’m sure the Texas hospital would never have released him if they’d known it would take nearly a week before home health visitation was in place. But God’s promise is sure. “I will be with you always.”

I’ve found that in home nursing it takes all day to do nothing! It takes hours to get up and around. By then therapists come in. Somehow you are supposed to squeeze in errands. Maybe I could catch an hour in the office by 4:00 in the afternoon. And maybe I wouldn’t. And then there are the hours it takes to get settled down for the night.

During this time, God took charge of the business. Despite the blessing of an empty workload, all the bills were paid. I’m in awe of how the God who runs an entire universe looks down and adjusts my life.

By mid-November, we were able to switch from home health visits to outpatient rehabilitation. By the end of the year, we hope that the right leg will have healed sufficiently for weight bearing. Weight bearing! That’s the magic word! It means that you can learn to walk again!

I don’t know all the whys for that night, but I know that God was there. He held the young mother as she breathed her last, and pledged to take care of her loved ones. He held Brent as his truck caught fire, and made it plain that He had further work for him in sharing Christ in the marketplace. He took over our lives and promised that He would see us through. He’d manage our cash flow. He’d cover our medical bills. He’d reschedule our work. He’d take care of the teachers we were helping in Haiti. He’d take over our responsibilities. And as a special gift, we’d be able to spend time together; time that running a construction business seldom permits.

It’s been a journey and it isn’t over yet. But no matter what happens, I will remember God’s promise: “I will be with you always.”