God Wins!

It’s been four years since Nate’s assault, which really just blows my mind.  It feels like a lifetime ago… but somehow it also feels like just yesterday too.  You don’t ever completely put something like that behind you, because it changes you to your very core.  It molds you, shapes you, puts you through fire until you’re burnt… or purified like gold.

But I’m constantly reminded that God can turn ashes into beauty; because the pain, and the fear, and the feeling of ultimate helplessness taught me to trust the only One who controls tomorrow.  I used to struggle with levels of anxiety that just weren’t healthy.  I thought through every worst-case scenario and worried about it until I felt sick.

The journey to find emotional healing after Nate’s assault really taught me to tackle one problem at a time… and to trust the unknown in the hands of a miraculous God.  I remember sitting by Nate’s bedside in the ICU, holding his hand and realizing that we might not have the money to pay for that month’s mortgage.  And for the first time in my life, I completely surrendered a problem into God’s capable hands.  I physically didn’t have the energy or strength to worry about money, because Nate needed my complete attention.  I had to trust that God would take care of what I couldn’t…  So I prayed, asked God to intervene, and left my fears at His feet.

I felt peace after that prayer, and I really did refuse to think about finances for one more moment.

And that very day, someone paid that month’s mortgage… and others donated money to help us with groceries, car payments, gas, etc.  We had so much extra money left over that we were able to pay the mechanic in cash, when our cars both had extremely expensive repairs later that year!  God not only provided for the concerns at hand, but He also provided for a problem that we didn’t even know about yet.

My God is big.  He’s bigger than any situation that this universe can throw at me.  And it’s easy to forget that, because there’s a lot of hurt and pain in this world.  Sometimes, we feel alone.  Sometimes we wonder, where is He?

The thing is that this world isn’t perfect… but God is.  And while heaven will be beautiful and nothing but peace and happiness, it doesn’t mean that God isn’t at work here.  It doesn’t mean that He can’t work in every single situation if we let him.  Even amidst the toughest of situations, He is good.

He is peace.  He is strength.  He is the guidance we need to rise above the circumstance with grace and joy.

Even during those tragic circumstances, He wins.  He brings people together.  He teaches us to trust.  He gives us hope amidst the darkness.  He shows us how to love, to forgive, and to face tomorrow with a solid foundation beneath our feet.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, as Nate and I are about to put the legal side of this experience behind us for good.  We’re smack-dab in the middle of paying lawyer fees and signing retirement papers, but Nate is going to officially be retired from the CO position… which means we can finally move on.  It comes with restrictions, because he will only be cleared to work part-time.  And there will be a pay cap for the rest of his life, which isn’t ideal (since he’s only 32, and inflation could potentially hurt us one day).

BUT we’re trusting. And we’re praying about decisions.  And we’re calmly formulating a plan.  (Paying off our mortgage as quickly as possible is the biggest part of the plan, so we’ll be coming up with a pretty tight budget in the near future).

I thought about it this morning and realized that none of this had been in me and Nate’s plans, when we got married and began our life together.  It’s unfamiliar territory.  It’s a little daunting, because it’s so unique of a situation.  (You can’t exactly buy a finance book on how to deal with your future, should you find yourself in this sort of predicament).

BUT God wins.  The Bible doesn’t promise that the road we travel will be easy, but it does promise that we will not walk it alone.  And it doesn’t promise that we will be rich, but it promises that we will be provided for.

Nate and I always have been.  We’ve been provided for, protected, and held.  I truly believe that we always will be.

And that puts a smile on my face, because I can face this particular situation with confidence, hope, and joy.  I’m not scared.  I’m just excited to see how God shows off next!




7 thoughts on “God Wins!

  1. Such beautiful words!! Your family is truly Inspiring ! And you have such a beautiful family!! I’m happy to get your blogs now! I love reading them!

  2. Oh friend, I get chills and my eyes fill with tears every time you share about this experience. Even four years later, it still gets me. I love seeing how your faith has grown through this process. I have learned so much from you. I’m so glad you guys are able to put the legal side of this behind you and I love that the faith you’ve built through this process is helping carry you through uncertain moments!

    1. Going through it was definitely a nightmare… But I think that sometimes, I almost feel compelled to think about it / write about it again; because it reminds me just how powerful God is. I have always had a strong faith in God, but – during that time – He was real to me in ways that I could have never imagined. I don’t want to ever lose that… I don’t want to ever forget what He brought us through.
      It really is true that going through the hard times helps to shape us and helps us grow.
      Thank you for being such a source of encouragement – and prayer – throughout this journey!!!

  3. Wow. I wasn’t familiar with this story. I am so sorry for your husband, you, and your family. What a horrific and traumatic experience for all involved. My girlfriends husband is a CO & it’s so frightening to think about. I’m so glad to hear that your husband is doing well and that you’ve been able to see the positive & come out stronger people! Wishing you all nothing but the best! Xo

    1. It was a scary time! An inmate jumped Nate from behind and stabbed a homemade knife through his neck (to the point that it almost came out the front). With the shank still in his neck, Nate later crawled his way to try to help a female CO who was being attacked by the same inmate. (Nate later won awards for bravery and valor). While in the ICU, the surgeon told me that – if he survived – Nate would probably be a quadriplegic for the rest of his life, because they were convinced the knife had severed his spinal chord.
      In the end, his spinal chord was only cut slightly. (The nerves were missed by half a centimer)! He has a numb leg from the attack, but that’s it… He is a walking miracle!
      Being a CO is one of the toughest, most thankless jobs out there. I’m always praying for the CO’s who are still doing that job and keeping the rest of us safe!
      Thank you for the encouragement!!! 🙂 The experience did make us stronger, and we know now that we can make it through anything together. 🙂 God is good!!!

  4. “And while heaven will be beautiful and nothing but peace and happiness, it doesn’t mean that God isn’t at work here. It doesn’t mean that He can’t work in every single situation if we let him. Even amidst the toughest of situations, He is good.” —> THIS. I have found this to be so true in my life, too!

    What happened to Nate and you can seem so unfair. Your unwavering faith in God’s plan and how He will provide for your family is so incredibly inspiring to me. Keep up the good work, Nicole! I KNOW God has some amazing things in store for you guys!

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