Mindy here. Last week I told you about life at the ranch both before and after the fire. That was such a monumental event in our lives. Even when we returned home, our hearts were still at the ranch and we couldn't wait to get back.
So, with a Friday night football game behind us, we headed back. We knew hot spots had been flaring all week, that fire trucks were called out regularly to extinguish new flames, and we wanted to see for ourselves.
Using our little Polaris Ranger, we criss-crossed the land, armed with a water tank and sprayer, looking for signs of hot spots. This was where I learned that fire can travel underground through root systems. Trees that looked fine aloft, were often being burned out at the base until they fell over.
The devastation was all around us.
The next day--one year ago today--we got up and did it all over again until it was time to leave. But before we did, my husband wanted to trim some branches.
My son and I held the ladder as my husband, armed with a chain saw, ascended to attack the limb. What none of us had foreseen, was the limb falling directly on the ladder. And where the chain saw went, we never knew.
A few hours later, we learned my husband had a broken back. We were given a worst-case scenario that required him to be Careflighted to Houston for surgery.
But God had other plans. Plans to prosper and not to harm. His back was broken, but not as bad as they'd feared. No surgery. Just a brace for seven weeks. An inconvenience, but nothing compared to the alternative. However, through that broken back and the scans that accompanied it, they found a mass on his kidney. A mass that turned out to be kidney cancer.
This is how we now envision what happened:
Angel #1: "You got that chain saw?"
Angel #2: "Got it. You just make sure he falls on his back. A broken arm or leg won't show the real problem."
Angel #1, poised to shove the man off of the ladder: "Hey, this ain't my first intervention. Ready? On three. One. Two. Three."
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord.
Today, my husband is cancer free. He's regained his strength and is back to a normal life. As his doctor told him, "Buddy, you're lucky you took that fall. Most people don't find this type of cancer until it's too late."
Luck had nothing to do with it. But God had everything to do with it. What the enemy intended for harm, God used for good.
Beauty from ashes. And an amazing testimony of God's greatness.
June 2012, atop Dome Rock at Camp Isabel, Colorado