Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Miracle called Carlien

There once was this girl who happened to walk into my family's life in 2003. She was blond, beautiful and in love with dancing. She could give amazing hugs and we could chat for HOURS. Our entire family adored her, we adopted her as our surrogate sister / daughter. She went with us on holiday, often stayed over at our house, several times actually sorta moved INTO our house. Mostly, she made her Check Mate move right into our hearts - forever in place.
Then, one day, she and this boy realised that they were meant for each other (something we all saw coming for several years before). They were each other's best friends, they loved each other deeply, treasured each other's hearts and decided to get married during a conversation they had somewhere in March or April 2009.
The wedding plans started coming together, this girl and boy's families rejoiced for they knew that it was just the way it had to be. Everyone got hauled in to contribute their bit of craftiness to the wedding. Quilts had to be made for the picnic-wedding, fabric had to be chosen for the wedding clothes, shoe-shopping was important, muffins and apple pies were baked, mustard made and jams were canned. All this for the BIG CELEBRATION!

On 2 May 2010, Carlien and Heinrich said their vows in front of their families, friends and most importantly, in front of GOD. They were surrounded by GOD, since they were in the mountains standing on top of a mountain to promise - Till death do us part.
Their wedding was joyous, their marriage blessed. They lived life to the fullest, decided to lay low on academics and rather celebrate each other. They traveled to Botswana, Namibia, all over South Africa, always to where there was a mountain to climb, a rock to boulder and a night under the stars.

Exactly 100 days after they said "Till death do us part" did God fetch Heinrich from this temporary world to the Eternal Universe of Heaven. Theirs was 3 months and 7 days of marital bliss, and God granted them the biggest gift of it all - marital unity in Him. What a perfect number!

You see, Heinrich and Carlien were about to ascend a climbing route in Waterval-Boven when the boulder they first had to ascend came loose in a rock slide. It went over Heinrich, who was connected by their climbing rope to Carlien (her harnass). She says it felt like the air was completely pushed out of her lungs, like a heavy force came down on her chest. They toppled / rolled 5 times before coming to a complete stop. Immediately there was help, but Heinrich had already exchanged this life for Eternal Life in the Kingdom of God, where we're sure there are no boundries to the amount of mountain routes he can now red-point!

BUT, Carlien was alive...

Heinrich's multiple injuries caused him to die withins approximately 60-90 seconds. His pants were severely torn, his body battered, and Carlien's pants looked exactly the same than his... YET, she only broke her 2nd metacarpal bone in her left hand, sustained rope burns and deep bruises. Her previous back injury was not further worsened.. SHE was alive! This is a great miracle, because the first rock that went over Heinrich must have weighed over 2.5 tons! (We know this because the cam-device that was still attached to his harnass on his left hip had a bent cable - and that would have only occured when a force of more than 2.4/2.5 tons was applied to it). Do you see what I mean by MIRACLE???

Now, last week Tuesday a friend of Carlien met her at their local climbing wall. He had a message for her from a friend of his (a certain Danie) who was climbing next to Heinrich and Carlien when the rock slide occurred. He witnessed that MASSIVE rock also going over Carlien's body, not just Heinrich's..... AND SHE IS ALIVE! He said he does not know how she survived that - it is a miracle.

So, you see, we have this miracle in our lives called Carlien. She survived a tragic accident, but as she puts it "don't stare yourself blind against the tragedy that occured and completely miss the miracle that happened alongside it"... She lost her husband, but God spared her, brought her home to her parents, and mine.

Carlien, you're our miracle! We are forever grateful that God sent one of you back to Potch when He took Heinrich Home. And as Casting Crowns sings so very aptly "And although my heart is torn, I will praise YOU in the storm"!

Praise You in This Storm
(watch it on YouTube)
Written by Mark Hall / Music by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

I was sure by now
God, You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with You"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with You"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm