It’s Thanksgiving for all my American readers! We had our Thanksgiving here in the Great White North in early October, and it was a great family time with board games and turkey and fun.

But even though it’s not Thanksgiving for me, I do have something very big to be thankful for this week.

On Monday night at 9:40 we got a phone call from Katie, my youngest daughter. She was crying uncontrollably. She had been in a bus accident. The public transit bus had been going over a bridge when it careened into the barrier, took out said barrier, and traveled for several seconds on just its left tires. The worst part is that it was leaning–and everyone thought they were going to flip into the river.

They didn’t; when the bus came to a stop Katie went into lifeguard mode (she worked as a lifeguard for two years before heading off to university) and made sure everyone was okay and held hands and waited until the police got there. She has a banged up knee and some sore muscles but otherwise she’s no worse for wear.

But she was certainly shaken.

So I’m so thankful that she was saved from the river.

But I’m thankful that she was saved in other ways, too.

The next morning this is what she posted to Facebook:

First off, I’M OKAY. That being said, last night I was in an extremely terrifying bus accident. We hit the barrier going up a bridge and we were jolted sideways so the right side of the bus (where I was) was raised and we were only driving on the left tires, and for about 15 awful seconds I thought we were going to flip off the bridge and into the water. We kept impacting the metal rods on top of the barrier, so we were all thrown around in the bus. Needless to say, extremely terrifying and traumatizing and I honestly thought that this was it for me.

However, as it was happening, all I could do was look out the front window and watch it all happen, and in that moment the only thoughts I really remember coming to my head were a multitude of verses, talking with Jesus, and praying for my friends and family.

While I’m definitely not happy this happened to me, the fact that I know my last moments would’ve been talking to Jesus, and trusting Him, is extremely comforting to me.

Sometimes we’re scared if our faith is truly genuine or not, and we’re scared of what we would do in a situation where you’re looking death in the face. So I’m choosing to look at last night as a confirmation of my faith and how incredible our God is for protecting all of us on that bus! PRAISE GOD everything was fine and all I have to show from the accident are banged up knees, a headache and a bit of shock still needing to wear off.

You truly never know when it’s going to be your last day on this earth, and I’m so grateful that yesterday wasn’t that day for me. Thank you so much to my amazing family and friends for being so wonderful and comforting to me last night and this morning. In case I don’t tell you guys enough, I love you all so much.

And here’s a video she’s just posted about it:

The day after the accident Katie’s big sister took her under her wing and made her dinner and hung out with her, and all was well. Here’s the pic Becca posted to Facebook with the caption, “I love my sister. I’m glad you’re not dead, Katie.”

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I’m glad she’s not dead, too! But mostly what I’ve been thinking about is how grateful I am that God has a hold not only of my children’s safety, but also of their hearts, which ultimately is more important.

When I speak at women’s retreats, one of my big messages is to hold everything that God has given us very lightly, with our hands open. When we try to grasp those things, and hold them in a tightly clenched fist, we’re not actually able to enjoy them. But when we know that our life is based on Christ, and not on our blessings, then it’s so much easier to enjoy our blessings because the fear is gone.

Hold all things God gives us lightly

Katie learned that this week; it’s a lesson God’s been teaching me for a while now. But it reminds me again, and I’ll say it here again, that our prayers for our kids must be about far more than just safety. I love Paul’s prayers for his spiritual children–here’s Ephesians 3:14-19:

For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Do you notice how Paul doesn’t pray for safety? I think it’s because he knows that if people truly grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, then they’ll be okay–no matter what.

I will keep praying for safety, and I’m so grateful for my daughter’s safety (you have no idea!). But I am also reminded that safety is not the biggest thing: “For the things that are seen are temporary, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

And so I am thankful today for my daughters’ hearts, too. They are in the right place, and that, as a mom, must always be the most important thing.

Do you have trouble letting go of worry for your kids? Why not start praying the prayers of Paul for his spiritual children? I’ve got some free prayer printables! And here’s the mobile version.

And now, everyone, have a very Happy Thanksgiving, and may your families be blessed in every way!

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