The Call Every Parent Dreads

Wednesday, May 11th, 9:58 p.m. I am of course in my pajamas, in the bed. My husband and I needed a sound night of sleep because Thursday – May 12th is yet another moving day in the world of our college daughter. We are headed to Oxford, MS to both move her into the place she’ll be living in the fall and also move her out of the sorority house all in one trip.

(Sidebar: For all you parents of high school seniors, I hope you have been on a strict workout regiment for the last year. You’re gonna need to be in some kind of shape for the endless tote & fetch trips over the next 4 years as your college kid moves from a dorm to an apartment to a dorm to a house to an apartment to your house, to, to, to…)

I’m almost asleep. My phone rings. It says my daughter’s name on the screen. I answer and all I can hear are sobs and words I can’t understand coming through the phone.

I am immediately wide awake.

“Mom, I’m OK” I finally hear. Thank you, Jesus. I don’t know what’s coming next, don’t know what happened, but to hear the words “I’m OK” make whatever I’m about to hear bearable.

My daughter and a friend had gone to get Zaxby’s to give some fuel to finish studying for exams. On the way back to drop her off at the sorority house the friend she was with had a seizure while driving and hit a telephone pole. The SUV then slid down a small embankment and ended up on its side. My daughter was able to get both seatbelts off and climb out of the moon roof, where thankfully an ER doctor was already on the scene because he lived nearby and heard the crash.


I can hear the chaos on the other end of the phone. Somehow I manage to settle her down a bit as she heads to the hospital in the ambulance to get checked out.

She is OK. He is OK. The SUV – notsomuch, but who really cares about that?

Last night all I could do was thank Jesus for His protection over them. This morning I thought about all the parents who get the call they dread, only it’s not from the child. It’s from the police, or the sheriff and they start the call with, “Mrs. Thompson, we are so sorry…”

I was just telling my husband yesterday that we need to thank God every single day for the days that are normal, the days that are – well, boring. Storms are coming. We have no guarantee of a trouble free life. Actually, Jesus tells us just the opposite:

“In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33)

You got that right.

But we need to read the whole verse: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

I have friends who have received the call you dread. A devastating diagnosis. The death of a loved one in an accident. A home destroyed by a tornado.

And these friends would tell you the only way to go through the storms of life and come out whole on the other side is by clinging to the only One who can provide true peace and ultimate healing – Jesus.

The call you dread is coming. What will serve as your anchor, your place of peace and of healing?

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
(Matthew 7:24-27)