Saturday, November 26, 2011
How am I Doing, Really?
It's now a week later after the attack on our apartment in Haiti by six armed gunmen. (Click here for the Oakbrook recap of it.) A natural question for people is, "How are you doing?"
Let me answer that by first taking you to my myopic view of the ordeal. I awaken to the siege in progress. I walked out of my bedroom door into a struggle just a couple feet away at our exterior door; bad men trying to rush our door. Chris Herr, Jason Braun, Bruce Donaldson, and Brad Downing were holding an unlatched door closed; unlatched because they had lodged a crowbar and other items in it.
Jason shouts, "Morg, get on the door!" From there Jason and Brad run to work on a plan B. They settled on plan C, Jason jumping out the window for help. Bruce hung in there by the door until he yells, "I'm shot!" He goes for a towel for the blood that's flowing from his arm.
The rest of the 25-30 minute assault it's Chris and I on the door. The entire time the Haitians trying to rush it. I turn my head towards Rex as he screams as he's shot. It's getting crazier and bloodier. More desperate. I'm scare to the depths of my soul. I have cotton-mouth to a ridiculous degree. I'm shouting prayers. Gunmen are shooting. Glass is breaking. There's no power; it's dark. I hear them reload. A round shoots through the door. Had I not moved seconds earlier it would have hit me in the chest.
I feel an intense heat on my left thigh. I say, "Shit. I'm shot! Shit, shit, shit. I'm shot!" I only know that because Rex told me later. I had no recollection of saying that. In my mind, I simply realized because of the heat and feeling the blood rolling down my leg, that I'd been shot. I never felt the slightest pinch of the bullet.
Chris and I stay on the door. I know I'm shot but my leg seems to still work. It only makes sense to stay with Chris on the door. If they get in it's over for sure. I'm not thinking; I'm simply reacting. At what feels like the utter desperation point, I start yelling as loudly as I can, repeatedly, "STOP SHOOTING AT US!"
Shortly thereafter there is no rush upon the door. Are they reloading? No. They have left.
At this point an unbelievable peace and assurance washed over me. Time slows down back into real time. I need shoes. I need help walking to get my wound tended to. Joel and I share a worship chorus. I ask Joel to help me walk because I may be standing only because of adrenaline; perhaps my leg will buckle as I settle down.
I am relieved. I am only shot. Nothing like the more terrifying thoughts I had moments ago. I get to the back bedroom. Several people are there in various stages of shock and emotion. It's clear that I need to stay calm and help calm others. I make a joke about not being able to drum tonight. More than bandages, I want a drink of water. Maggie almost drowns me.
I'm laying on the bed while DeeDee puts a towel on my bloody leg. I turn my head to the left and see my sister (ok, she is like a sister to me) Julie sobbing in front of Shelia. I call her over. I pull her head into my chest, put my hand on her head and say in a repeating whisper, "It's ok. We're all ok."
This may sound odd, but I've been ok ever since the gunmen left our apartment. That's not to say I haven't been sad, worried, troubled, mad and a host of other emotions, but I have had peace.
I think one of the questions that has nagged at my soul all of my adult life is, "Do I really have what it takes? If it hits the fan, will I freeze or be able to stand?" I've had bad dreams where I couldn't speak or move.
But it's as if in the calm of the gunmen's exit, the Holy Spirit said to me, "Let's not ask this question any more. You held the door. With a bullet wound, you stayed on the door then kept a cool head. You have what it takes."
To be incredibly clear, I count everything I was able to do as grace and provision from God. All of us were in the places God wanted us to be. I didn't make any decisions that night other than staying where Jason asked me to be.
At this point I consider myself blessed to be more whole than I was before this hideous ordeal. I ran how I was feeling about all this past one of our trauma counselors. He said that there is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that we often hear about. There is also something called Post Traumatic Growth, where we grow or learn something positive having been through trauma. That's how I feel. I feel more like the man God made me to be.
How am I doing? By the grace of God Almighty I am more whole than I have ever been---even with two holes in my leg ;-)
Much love to the tons of people who've expressed love, concern and said prayers on my (and our) behalf. Keep praying for healing for our team!