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Surviving a Family Tragedy

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
May 26, 2021 6:00 am

Surviving a Family Tragedy

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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May 26, 2021 6:00 am

In their inspirational story, the Bainters share about the strength and redemption offered through Christ in times of great difficulty.

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Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger

Allie's husband was an alcoholic and verbally abusive.

She wanted to leave but a Focus on the Family broadcast convinced her to stay one more day on Jim Daly today.

Allie's marriage is thriving.

Working together we can provide hope to more marriages like hers. Please give family. Even just immediately meanings them out with dad and I think that's any other again. The tragedy of the whole thing is when I realized as I had to people that I love her broken tragedy is something we all face and the impact can last for years for lifetime, but because of God's unconditional grace.

Pain doesn't have to be the end of your story. Welcome to Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. Our guests are Brett and Judy Baker and they have a powerful story of how God took a terrible accident and made a redemption story happened. I'm John Fuller and welcome to our broadcast John since I was a boy growing up in a broken home like a good been an orphan at an early age. I think realizing this world is imperfect, has been part of my understanding from the beginning, and it's tough. Bad things happen in this world and I'm sure you've asked yourself that very question of God is so good why are bad things happening to me or wire that things happening to good people at folks, that's not the equation, and one of things I can attest to is that difficulties make you stronger and I don't know the equation as to why God plans at this waiver programs that way but I'll tell you what character is built in the valley, not on the mountaintop and I am excited today to hear of an incredible story about parents like you and me that went through a horrific situation and they are here to help us better understand the book of Romans.

If I could do that bold word says for I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us that is hope and the painters have an incredible story really do and it's captured in a book.

Jody has written called make it morning and will hear a little bit about that title as we go.

I'm sure we are glad there with us in that you joined long because I think God will speak to you through this dear couple Jody and Brett have been married for over 20 years. They live in Orlando Florida and have a 19-year-old son Jake Britton Jody, welcome to Focus on the Family, thank you, thank you very much for having us first of all I just want to say I appreciate the courage to be able to talk about these things, there would be thousands if not millions of other people that may hear this, and their living in the maybe not the exact same spot, but a similar spot or there about to go into something and this will be the exact word that the Lord wants them to hear before they strike tragedy of some sort so I I just want to express that appreciation to you because it's not easy reliving. Perhaps the most difficult moment of your life and I get that before your son's accident I think was in 2004, yet a pretty normal life, neither of you were strong in your faith. This is what I'm getting out of the book but I want to ask you about that describe that time Jake is in a Christian school was out like what was your mindset. Why did you put them in a Christian school. When your faith wasn't apparent well I think it's interesting because the school is close by.

So that was probably the first thing which looking back, I'm sure that was planned but the school is down the street and some of our friends. Children had gone there was a good experience. It was a good experience for you to ask if you are the parent that setting. Although were not engage that would be good for our kids to go to school where they get positive values and a good influence completely out. I don't think I really understood what it just sounded good and you know we all want that five kids and we walked on when we put them in preschool and the first meeting, you know, we sat down and they pray for us and we laughed and went how nice that even let me ask you this because sometimes in this culture today. Being a Christian, you were a bit intimidated at times we don't want to pray for somebody that may not know the Lord.

It's unfortunate because it brings such a blessing to so many people you may hit that occasional persons are hey wait a minute, what you doing, but it's worth the risk is selective in your case it really helped set up what was about to unfold right. I don't think we really knew it.

I think that's the beauty of God. We didn't really know that we were there intentionally and I think this happens to a lot of families. But what we've learned to the journey is if there's anything I'm aware in all moments. Now I know that God's hand is on something and I think I'm here for a reason. In this moment that is so good and your son Jake came home singing, Jesus loves me this I know, I'm sure in the morning to pray. Perhaps, I think I read that others will you didn't respond with hostility. It it actually warmed her heart. What was happening in you that made you positively respond to that. I think probably everything that Jake was bringing home and sharing with us was good. Is there is nothing about it.

That was not good, and so you know the 10 Commandments were on the wall when you walk in the school and I would read those and I would say to Brett, it all makes sense to me. And so when Jake wanted to prayer you know we started reading Bible stories and they were little confusing at first right because if you start writing a Bible story to a child.

At first it didn't make sense to me that the more that Jake and I talked about it all started to sort of come to life for us. Let's get to the core of the story and begin to unfold in answer to the question I asked about if God is good, then why do bad things happen to good people. It was Good Friday. Ironically, in 2004 Brett maybe you can describe what was taking place that day. Yes, it was a day that certainly changed our lives forever really so that afternoon to do chores around the house was mowing the yard with a riding lawnmower and we we had a babysitter. She was there and responsible for Jake and he at the time he was three and April turned four in May.

The accident was April, but it was just a normal day and I did my normal thing but Jake was riding his bike in the driveway and on the side of our house is kind of a cul-de-sac to the air conditioning unit which I had to turn around but I did knows when I went down to the side of the house mowing. He had gotten off his bike that he was riding in the driveway and are babysitter at the time got out of her chair to follow him and he had turned the corner what he was following me and I could hear it and I didn't see him, and when I backed up the riding lawnmower. He was behind at that point our lives changed and I'm sure that moment you try to even in that split-second it's not sitting together for your mind you're thinking he's in the driver why is he here that split-second of confusion correct very confused noise what's happening the lawnmower. I lifted the lawnmower off of him, scooped him up's screamed loud enough to attract not only our neighbors to this, but the whole neighborhood came to our rescue screaming to call 911 that be to gut wrenching it was and I don't know the graphic nature of that. It really destroyed the lower part of his body just in the lightest of sense.

What did that the backing up over him amputated before toes on his right foot and ultimately blew out his knee. It was gone and really damaged his femur is lower femur into his knee so he lost all these tendons in his knee and the bottom part of the bone of your femur looks like a dog bone right side. The right condyle was gone, goodness yes Jody you get a phone call you're not at the house at the time, it's mom's worst nightmare is not it's something you would never think would happen in your lifetime is at work and my secretary came down and said brats on the phone and I there's been an accident. And so when I picked up the phone I could just hear Brett crying and he said honey I've done something terrible. I hurt Jake and he was just sobbing and I said what happened. Anything I I hit him with a riding lawnmower and so you know I said is he alive and he said yes but he's hurt tragically and I could hear the ambulance I could hear the sirens in the background and down you know, your mind can't process something like that. It's so anywhere just like you were just a normal family. You know, we are just normal and this moment happens and you can't quite reconcile what happening.

So we hung up the phone.

He said you need to come quickly Brett's hospital to the hospital in Brighton, Jake, Brett obviously had his own traumatic experience, so they were both transported by you when you show up at the hospital. I can imagine for both of you everything that's flying through your heart through your motions or your head. The practical aspects of it. But all that but Jake you little three-year-old almost 4.

What is he saying what how is he processing is whether his fears at the moment. Well I'll say this.

When I arrived at the hospital I was greeted by the chaplain and me and the nurse in the surgical team and they took us down the hall and they were taking me to Jake.

But as I was walking down the hall.

I could hear this crying. This cry that had never heard before and when the triage doors opened what I realizes the first person I saw was Brett and he was on a gurney and he was still covered in grass and dirt and mud from the accident and he was crying asking me for forgiveness and saying you need to pray for us, need forgiveness. And so then I went into see Jake and Jake was just consistent baby. He didn't know what was happening looking at you, I'm sure he was just a baby looking happy. Mom, dad and I said dance and the other is okay but the tragedy of the whole thing is when I realized as I had to people that I love are broken in that moment so hard think about Brett, you must've been and I know every father is going well. It's our worst nightmare to have something like that happen.

It could happen in a variety ways. But it's that accident around the house where you didn't see the child is not your fault but that doesn't feel like it's not your fault that's right know that I carried a lot of guilt. In fact I sit before you today and I still have guilt.

There's no question.

But there was something to happen to me at that time that shut my body down and deferred heard it coming your motions and you were in a bad place, very bad place because I hurt the one and only child we had, and I didn't know exactly how bad he was hurt, but I saw it because I had him in my arms before the paraphilias saw dramatic that I don't want to lose that moment Brett because again you're speaking to a lot of parents both moms and dads who will for variety of reasons be feeling guilty. I didn't handle that situation right emotionally traumatized like it may not be as dramatic with the physical situation like you had with your son mean those early days after the hospital just for description sake what was going through your head. Well, as I from what I remember the Lotta dark days that were after that, but it was why me, why Jake and ultimately why did God allow this to happen so you did us the big question I asked the question. Not only did I asked the question. I was mad at God because I thought if there was a God, why would this happen and it was a it's that created a little bit of angst because I was surrounded or became surrounded by people and they told me it was an accident and it wasn't my fault but I felt that it was a and if there was a God, why did God allow this to happen to our family and I want to get back to that.

But Jody, like you said you got you two guys are now in this despair and as a mom I can only imagine you're trying to say how can I be the right thing for them right that had to be a bit of pressure to it with saying the right thing. It was a lot of pressure, the comfort that you had to deliver well and I feel like what's so interesting about this whole thing and how God works is I sort of ran to God and Brett was turning away because I thought there's no how you do this, there's no other way for me to figure out how to support Brett in this deep dark place he was in this little guy in the other room that's going to face 30 days in the hospital we were making this I was making decisions for myself about the neck surgery because Jake Brett just couldn't do it he can do it and so you know I mean I write about in the book.

This whole journey of my faith started to come together because in the first 24 hours at the hospital. The pastor showed up with a friend of ours and they took us in a room and he said I don't have anything to say to you have any advice. The only thing we can do right now is get on our knees and pray to wise person and I had never done that before was the first time in my whole life I've been on my needs to pray and honestly if that'll happen that way and got it not stepped in, we wouldn't be married today.

I don't know where we would be to test that's very honest. I appreciate that. I'm just man, I feel the weight of that for both of you in different ways and I can imagine you having the be all things to everybody around you. The doctors there was a lot husband, son.

That's a big white to carry in the first time you've ever pray it has to be this way. It's not just joyful thank you Lord that I know a part of your kingdom and you gave your life for me it's petitioning that your son will live yet is asking them for something. Yes it's like not only am I coming to you, but I'm in a need a couple things right and 1 Astonishing Way to start a relationship with God while Brett, I do want to ask you though you working on this anger toward God. Did anybody ever say to you, God's big enough to take that he knows it, give it to them they did.

I had a lot of support people come to me that I didn't even know and met my family for the first time and there was one individual that would come to my house every day, every day he was on his that was his mission and to that ever to irritate you. It did not. So you really welcomed it was rushing and I formed a relationship with this individual and I was very candid with him and honest because I was still mad yes how well did you before this never betting oh my goodness never met my goodness that is wonderful. What a great friend and he showed up every day and where he lived, where it was a project to get to our home so wasn't even just the next tornado. God bless him.

Yes, well, that helped you that so right in Scripture.

The meaningfulness of good friendships in this kind of moment well and he wanted you to know that God did not leave you and he he would say to me, he would stand on the front porch and cry.

He said because God is not [he just doesn't know it yet and he would come every day and sometimes I would come down.

The two of them would just be sitting on the back in the lake room just sitting there quietly and I thought this is God's work. If I've ever seen so beautifully put were talking today with the written Jody painter Jody for this wonderful memoir really make it morning and really get to the title the next few minutes, but what an amazing story that you put here and I'm turning to you, the listener, you might be going through something.

This is your opportunity fund that friend Focus on the Family we can help with caring Christian counselors call us get a hold of us. Let us appoint you in a healthy direction talking to BC. It'll be tough and I'm not sure what you're dealing with the talking to somebody is the first step like you Brett mean having that gentleman come over and bring up the cry with them to share with them the feelings of guilt, despair minutes the beginning of the rebuilding. It was, and I am forever grateful of his time spent with me because he he came when I was at the lowest low and he did what he could do to bring me back.

Jody calling it make it morning describe where that came from and why you titled the book that after that initial accident, Jake went on to we were in the hospital 30 days he went on to have 15 surgeries over the course of five years trying to save the labor trying to save his flag wasn't responding.

That's right, and date. You know, we we didn't want to face amputation.

So that's the path we chose in the early days of his accident and so you can imagine, a little boy going through lots of surgeries and hospitals and in pain. That is years over four years and so there was a point a couple years in where Jake was tired and he was tired of feeling hurt and he was tired of surgeries and we would get up in the night. That's when the pain would get worse and I in the middle of the night. We actually had in that time.

We put it member we put a mattress in the floor in his bedroom so I would just sleep with them and that was what we did because he needed comfort and moms can do that and so he would wake up in the night and it was a point where I done everything I can to be tied tapping because the bone pain was painful to tapping and heating and I said Jake I don't know what else to do. I felt like I done everything I could to and he said can you make it morning and the reason it's so interesting because in the morning I would open the blinds in the sun would shine and and he would just feel that glory and I didn't know it at the time but when I decided to name it, make it morning. I like of course because God renews us all in the morning. I mean, that's the thing that we tapping into it and so it really stuck with me that night because I thought Latisse I can't make it morning, but I know somebody who can every day, every day, and I mean again so touching. Give us the update on Jake.

How is he doing and how old is the what's life like today yet takes 19 and preparing for college, so that's exciting. He is a high functioning amputee.

Now, we actually went through with the application when he was eight as an elective decision.

How did he react to that was that obviously are talking to him eight years old.

Are you saying okay Jake you are the options were here for you. What you think what you want to try. Yeah, we it took us about about a year before his amputation. We I felt like we are at a crossroad that he wasn't getting better all the tests were telling us he was never enough. When light was longer than the other. His foot wasn't growing up a lot of issues and a lot of pain. It juvenile arthritis. At seven and so I started introduce the idea Brett would never consider this by then we were much further along in our faith. And so you know we I really believe we surrendered it and we set a night God.

This is up to you and I'll tell you a quick story. We ended up we sort of submitted understand what it would be like to live as an amputee.

And so we introduced Jake to some amputees and we started to learn ourselves. I had the privilege of planning a little bit and so I share that because you say, how did we prepare him. God did all the heavy lifting. I think you did it well.

I really do.

I think you guys you manage that well for him and I wouldn't take that away from you as well Brett, I'm stuck is a dead right here to my voice. How are you doing I am doing much better. I would almost use the word great, but I'd still carry a burden, but we've work through that burden and our son is very high functioning amputee and when he succeeds.

I succeed heels. I feel so when you get right down to it, this is probably the question for people listening that have gone through tough stuff. What are you going to say that person listening who is at the bottom there still curled up in a ball. Brett, what word would you give them to say look up fight it out with God and keep moving.

You say I lived a time that I live day by day and I lived one day at a time and that's all I could handle, and eventually that turned into two days and three days and four days and ultimately time heals and it's something that is hard to swallow and hard to listen and hard to accept, but at the end of the day when you make it through one more day. The next day will be better. That's it. Mom about your heart.

Well, I want to say that that I look at Bretton Jake and all because for a father and assigned to go through that. The thing that I always in my heart. I just wanted Brett to be able to be the dad he was supposed to be and I didn't want that accident to foil that because we have this responsibility to raise this kid and so I feel like in the fire. We got shaped and were closer than we've ever been in a Jake loves the Lord like we do, were not perfect. We continue make a lot of mistakes were finding our way, but we talk a lot and we pray a lot and in better days to come they come you started an organization to help others describe so we sort of felt like it was interesting. We had this moment where we said our friend okay stop praying for the painters were good and let's focus on somebody else. And so one of the things that happen when we wrote the book, which was just God's byproduct of God part that we started to hear from all these other lawnmower accident families and we did create Lynn's matter, which is really just lawnmower safety campaign and to spread awareness and to talk openly and say this happened eyes were normal people and we got through, but we don't want to happen anybody out right now. It's beautiful.

You can survive that we don't want it happening will put away what a beautiful story Brett. I'm proud of you that I know it was dark and it was tough but Manny made up ground and it wasn't your fault. God took care of you and Jodi my my my wife and mom of the century.

When you stand in the delivered family well done, well, what a story we've heard today the book that captures all of it in such great detail and with such heart is called make it morning by our guest Jodi banter and were so grateful that Brett and Jodi could join us today. Hope that you will be getting in touch with us to get your copy of that and just know that when you support the ministry of Focus on the Family your helping couples might be dealing with tragedies like referred today. Your maybe there dealing with wayward children were there on the verge of divorce, perhaps an expectant mom is considering abortion. Whatever the struggle is you can offer real hope to real families through your donations and so will thank you in advance and with a donation of any amount to support the work your today will send the book make it morning as a token of our appreciation. You can call and donate her number is 800 the letter a in the word family or check the links in the episode notes and Jim mentioned counselors just encourage you to reach out to us to schedule a free time of consultation with one of his counselors. If you're struggling with dark time in your life for you and your family's circumstances, we would come to privilege to serve you once more. Our number is 800 K word for on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back next will be hearing from Rob Carson sure his wisdom for the next generation once again help you and your family thrive in Christ. I was convinced that nothing can change what was going on in our marriage and I want to try anymore but my commitment to God, help me try one more time.

We went to a hope restored marriage intensive and it was life-changing. The counselors created the safest environment we could imagine so that let us really talk much different course now I believe we received a miracle that week received your free consultation and hope


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