From: Gracie- Standing With Hope

Clawing my way back to awareness after my 1983 car accident left me unconscious for three weeks, I awoke to searing pain unlike anything I had ever experienced – and since that day, I have not had a conscious moment without hurting. Not simply stabbing from a specific location, such as my legs; instead, my whole body felt enveloped in a cocoon of agony.

This had to be a nightmare; no reality could be this bad.

Struggling to focus my thoughts, I appeared to lay in some dark room, chained flat to a hard table. A constant beeping noise kept stabbing into my brain, causing more confusion and agitation.

“Daddy, Daddy,” I moaned, although the tearing feeling in my throat must have distorted the words.

To my astonishment, I heard my father’s deep and recognizable voice over me. “Daddy’s here, Gracie, Daddy’s here.”

With the bed lowered to accommodate my legs suspended in traction, Daddy leaned over and placed his face directly above mine, whispering softly to me. My father’s voice was the first thing that helped anchor me to reality.

“Daddy’s here, Gracie.”

Daddy was here? I didn’t even know where “here” was.

Feeling his robust and work‐gnarled hand on my forehead, I heard him whisper, “You had a terrible car accident, honey, and you’re in St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville.”

The memories of my trip flooded back, but everything seemed nebulous and hard to bring into focus. Somewhere in mid‐thought, I drifted back to sleep. Not the oblivious sleep I had just emerged from, but rather a fitful sleep filled with disturbing images and loud noises. Even in sleep, the pain crushed into my awareness, and I found myself floundering while struggling to grasp something real and tangible. Through the haze, pain, and disorientation, a slender lifeline brushed past me, and I grasped it with all the strength I could muster. When waves of confusion and agony flooded over me, I heard the voice again.

“Daddy’s here, Gracie. Daddy’s here.”

In a critical care pod at St. Thomas, I wrapped my mind around the only phrase penetrating the haze of anesthesia and the massive pain coursing through my body: “Daddy’s here, Gracie, Daddy’s here.”

The pain didn’t subside; the nightmare worsened. But my father’s words still echoed in my mind.

Within days of waking up, my thoughts grew clearer, and I processed more information, but at the same time, horrific questions flooded my mind; questions my soul screamed to Heaven. Louder than the pain now coursing over my body and into my brain itself, everything in me seemed to shriek out with an agony I couldn’t contain. Not wasting time asking family, friends, doctors, and pastors, I threw my heartbreak, anguish, and grief straight to God.

“Why have you allowed this?!”

“How can I live like this?”

“What’s going to happen to me?”

“What’s the matter with me that you would not step in and stop this from happening?”

“Is there something wrong with me?”

“Why didn’t you protect me?”

The first of many times Heaven’s heard those questions from me.

Each question went unanswered; not one issue was resolved.

In the faintest of sighs, however, seemingly from my heart, a new voice spoke, one much deeper than my father’s as he comforted his youngest daughter. This voice seemed to brush against my very soul.

Although ancient and vast beyond my understanding, the voice seemed new and so close that it almost whispered into my ear:

“Daddy’s here, Mary Grace. Daddy …is here.”

To read more about Gracie’s story and to order a copy of her book, click here!

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