Scarred… but not broken

The end of last week to about this point has been a little crazy…  The prison video of the brutal assault on my husband (who was then working as a CO) was leaked to the press and has been playing repeatedly on the news since Thursday.  On one hand, it’s a positive thing, because it brings to light just how dangerous a CO’s job really is.  The news story really focused on CO suicide and how it’s on the rise, and the prevention of that is also a cause that is very near and dear to me and Nate’s hearts.  But on the other hand, as people who went through a traumatic situation, we felt violated.

That video shows a con stabbing a homemade knife through my husband’s neck… shows my husband falling to the ground…  shows him struggling to get up to offer assistance to a female CO who was then attacked afterward.

Or so I’m told. I haven’t watched it, because I’m not sure that I could recover from that.

But still, it’s a very intimate thing to have shared with so many people.  To so many, it’s just a sensational story.  The x-ray of my husband (who – according to doctors – should be dead or quadriplegic) has shock value and takes the breath away of anyone who sees it.  But to me, it’s life.  It’s what happened to us.  It’s a reminder of a terrifying time during which God worked miracles and people came together to support us.

It’s pure raw emotion.

I made the mistake of looking over some comments people had left under a written article about it.  Someone had wrote that the CO who was stabbed obviously deserved it, since CO’s beat inmates.  I cried.  I felt angry.  That a completely stranger would say that my husband (one of the most forgiving, fair men I have ever met) deserved to be stabbed?

I can’t process that kind of hate directed at my family.

The past few days have been up and down.  I’m good 95% of the time.  But then something will happen that makes all the raw emotion come pouring back, and I’m suddenly crying. The assault happened 3 years ago, but it’s amazing how those memories can come rushing back as though it happened yesterday.

But then, I pray, and hug Nate, and call a friend…  And I’m strong again.  For now.  Because I know that I have a God on my side who is bigger than any circumstance.  And I know that I have family and friends who are backing us up.  And every time I see the scars on Nate’s neck, I’m reminded of all the times that God intervened and saved us.

But that’s not the only thing going on right now…

Amidst the craziness of all this, the State is trying to cut Nate off from his benefits.  If they win, it will mean no more paycheck.  Nate and the other CO have not yet been cleared to work yet, so they are not allowed to.  Up to this point, they have received disability pay.  And although that was cut a few months ago, with careful budgeting we’ve been okay.  And yet, on Deceber 15th, we meet at the DA’s office in order to plead our case.

And if we lose, there will be no more pay.

The thought of not having money for our mortgage payment, groceries, diapers, and formula freaks me out.  So I’m doing what I did when Nate was first assaulted and when I worried about finances.  I gave it to God.  I can’t worry about that right now on top of trying to be strong for Nate and for my son.

Worrying doesn’t do anything, and this whole situation is out of my hands.

I have to pray and believe that the State will have mercy on us while they figure out what Nate can do in terms of retirement or work….  And that our paycheck will continue to come in the mail.  And that maybe the final outcome – when everything is settled – will be even better than we’d hoped.

But if it doesn’t?  I also have to believe that everything will be okay.

I know I don’t usually write posts like this.  I generally wait until I can see the positive outcome or the humor.  But I guess I just wanted to share what we’ve been going through lately.  I’ve honestly not been able to write a blog post, because this is just on the forefront of my mind.  I needed to get it all out before I could write about anything else…   🙂  AND I want to be able to look back on this post someday and see how God once again provided!  🙂

Because I know He will!!

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15 thoughts on “Scarred… but not broken

  1. Nicole, first off I want to tell you that you are amazing! You may not feel like it at times, but you are. The strength that has poured out of you has been an amazing testimony of God’s power. Nate, you are here for a reason. God was not finished with the great work he has for you, and your family of three (right now). Consider that God wants to use all of this negative stuff for His great glory. As you already know and believe, yet at times doubt it, continue to hold strong to the promises that God has made to you and your family.
    The video itself is terrible. I watched it. I completely stopped breathing. Then I bawled like a baby. I saw the struggle that Nate faced as he tried to get up, that tore me up. I stared in unbelief, knowing that Nate should not be alive today. However, he is…he is alive and although not 100%, he is exactly where he should be. I am trusting and believing for God to pour out His strength and mercy, as he has already done. I am praying for His protection and provision, however that may come. Love you all!!

    • Thank you for that, Tracy. Reading your comment made me cry… but one of those good cries that come when – after a long day – you feel loved and held. Thank you for the encouragement, the love, and for your prayers! We love you too!!

  2. I am praying for you and your husband during this difficult time. I’m so sorry that the video was leaked, and can only imagine how difficult it must be to have the world watching something so intimate. I’m believing that God will use this for His glory, and you two will have more than enough money to make ends meet ❤

    • Thank you for those prayers, Brittany!! I truly believe that it’s prayer – and ultimately God’s miraculous plan – that saved my husband’s life. He is a walking miracle… and I’m believing that the rest of our story will continue to be just that. A miracle and a testimony to how God provides!

    • On the tough days (when I feel overwhelmed and scared by everything), I look back and remind myself of all the times that life looked impossible and devastating… only to result in a happy ending. 🙂 I have to hope and believe that this will only result in the same. Thank you for those hugs!!

  3. My gosh, this is so intense and I am so sorry you are struggling with this right now. You have already done what I would have advised by giving it to God. He will work things out for you, and you will be JUST fine!! Praying for you and your family.

  4. I am BEYOND WORDS right now. BEYOND WORDS. But my heart is breaking for you but it’s also extremely THANKFUL FOR YOU – Because YOU STILL HAVE NATE! He is still with you. Cherish every single second of every single day! Wow, this is heart wrenching!

    • I remember when I was interviewed by a news crew a few months after the assault… I think they were expecting heartbreak and maybe anger. Instead, they interviewed a VERY thankful girl who was gushing with gratitude. Because you’re right, there is Soooo much to be thankful for! My hubby shouldn’t be walking, talking, eating, and breathing. I shouldn’t have a precious little boy who just turned one today. But because miracles do happen, there is laughter – and a whole lot of happy noise – in my house this morning. 🙂 There are definitely moments that I worry about the future, because I just want all this to be behind us. But at the same time, I do my absolute best to focus on all the beautiful miracles that God blessed us with. I truly believe that our amazing story isn’t over yet and that there are even more beautiful things in our future! 🙂
      Thank you SO much for commenting!!!

  5. This has been in limbo for so long that I hope you feel some peace just by having a resolution, no matter which way it goes. (Although of course I hope it goes in your favor… but what is that anyway?!)

    You are two of the absolute best people I know. You make others better, happier, and more thankful just by being YOU. Hugs to you, Nate, Brady, and the whole family ❤

  6. Oh girl, I am praying for you guys. I’ll be praying especially hard on the 15th.

    I cannot believe those comments directed toward Nate. I just… can’t. People are so cruel. Especially behind a screen. Obviously they don’t know him or they’d never say anything like that at all. But still. *hugs* Love you! I know I haven’t been good at keeping up with blog reading lately, but I’m here for you.

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