Waiting for Dawn


On July 8th, my two younger sisters and my sister-in-law (as close as a sister to me) were in a severe car accident. Even as I write this, my sister-in-law remains at the hospital in a coma, and the doctors have given her a ten percent chance of waking.

However, prayers across the country, even around the world, have proclaimed healing and life over her body, and we trust in God’s capacity to heal above any report of the doctor. Already she’s given signs of rousing, with movements and attempts at speech that have contradicted the report given by the doctors.

And healing has begun to touch my sisters also. They’re at home now recovering, and though they’re in considerable pain and have injuries that will take weeks to heal, I see such beauty in them as they look to God for their strength. We’ve all had moments when the situation seemed overwhelming, but for the most part we’ve had peace and hope that can only come from the God of all comfort.

As we wait for healing and wait for my beautiful sister-in-law to awaken, we cling to the hope of glory and the power of Christ’s resurrection which transforms all things. We’re waiting for the morning to dawn, and for God to release new and deeper joy in our family than ever before.

To frame it in literary terms, we’re anticipating the eucatastrophe, where the sorrow turns to joy. Tolkien spoke of the eucatastrophes that characterized fairy stories, one of the many ways in which they echo eternal truth. He described a eucatastrophe as “a sudden joyous ‘turn’” or “a sudden and miraculous grace” that comes in the moment where all seems bleak and grim. A eucatastrophe gives us “a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of this world” and “when the sudden turn comes we get a piercing glimpse of joy, and heart’s desire, that for a moment passes outside the frame, rends indeed the very web of story and lets a gleam come through.”

The eucatastrophe found in fairy stories has impact because it reflects the reality of life and the world as God has created it. We look to the greatest eucatastrophe in our history, the resurrection of Jesus, and that gives us confidence, even anticipation, of the coming dawn. Right now, God continues to write His story for our family, a testimony of his goodness and mercy over our lives.

Image credit: CoreBum


  • Bethany A. Jennings
    July 16, 2012 - 5:24 pm · Reply

    Oh, Sarah, this must be such a trying time for your family! What a horrible accident. I will keep your sisters, sister-in-law, and whole family in prayer, lifting them up to the Great Physician.

    • Sarah Sawyer
      July 21, 2012 - 12:53 pm · Reply

      Bethany, it has definitely been a difficult time, but God has given us so much grace in the midst of it. I value your prayers as we continue to navigate through this situation.

    • Sarah Sawyer
      July 21, 2012 - 12:54 pm · Reply

      Thank you, Maria. Prayer always has great value, but we’re especially appreciative now as we’re waiting for the Lord to accomplish His purpose. God has already been glorified through this, turning hearts to Himself. It’s a beautiful thing in the midst of trial.

  • sally apokedak
    July 17, 2012 - 10:26 am · Reply

    Oh, what a hard thing. I’ve prayed for you and for your family.

    It’s hard sometimes to know how to pray. It is better to go be with Christ than to struggle on here, lingering in coma, or fighting through life with disabilities (or fighting through life with no disability, for that matter–to be with Christ is gain). And yet, God uses the struggles to show us more of himself and to give us an understanding that he is the God of all comfort.

    I thank God that he knows what’s best and he desires to give what’s best and we can’t pray amiss when we pour out our hearts and ask him to do his will–ask him to conform us to the image of his Son and to teach us and to draw near and to comfort and protect us.

    I’m praying with you for full healing for your sister-in-law and for your sisters, and even more I’m thanking God for your testimony that the God of all comfort is with you through the sorrowful times. We were not created for suffering and death. We were created for life and glory with God. And it will come. That dawn will come.

    Try these:

    Watches of the Night ~ Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer

    Still, My Soul, Be Still.

    God bless you.

    • Sarah Sawyer
      July 21, 2012 - 12:55 pm · Reply

      Sally, thank you for taking the time the to offer so much encouragement. You’re right–God will fulfill His purpose in this, and He will draw us all closer to Him. We’ve already begun to see it. His grace is truly sufficient, and His ways are perfect.

      We were not created for suffering and death. We were created for life and glory with God. And it will come. That dawn will come.


  • Ane Mulligan
    July 17, 2012 - 10:32 am · Reply

    The Lord has laid Brandi on my heart and I’ve prayed so often each and every day. I’ll continue to pray for her as she wakes and heals. Love you and Carl, Sarah. Hugs!

    • Sarah Sawyer
      July 21, 2012 - 12:56 pm · Reply

      Ane, your prayers and support mean so much. Carl and I so appreciate all you have given, and we can’t wait to share a good report!

  • Evangeline Denmark
    July 17, 2012 - 11:31 am · Reply

    Oh, Sarah, I’m so sorry to hear about this. I hope it doesn’t seem trite to offer a verse at this time, but Phillipians 4:7 is one that never fails to touch me.

    “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

    I love that the word guard is used. Not “settle in your hearts.” Not “cover your hearts.” But “GUARD your hearts.” When I pray this verse for suffering friends I picture peace as a mighty soldier standing between the grief and pain of this world and the precious, eternal hearts of my loved ones.

    As I pray for healing in your family, I will also pray that you’ll feel the peace of God guarding you, protecting you, even fighting for you.

    Please keep us posted.

    • Sarah Sawyer
      July 21, 2012 - 12:57 pm · Reply

      Evangeline, it doesn’t seem trite at all. We’re immersing ourselves in Scripture right now, and I can never hear it repeated enough. So thanks for speaking it over us, and for offering the encouragement that His peace is not just with us, it’s guarding us. That peace has been present, more than I imagined. Not to say there aren’t moments where things seem a bit overwhelming or we’re simply exhausted, but God is present. And right now, that’s what we most need.

      As of today, my SIL remains in a coma, but her vitals have stabilized, she’s breathing on her own, her fever has come down, and all infection appears to be gone. The waiting to see how things will unfold can be a challenge, but the positive signs along the way have encouraged us all. One of my sisters will have to go in for surgery on Monday, and my youngest sister is healing well so far, though the doctors say it will take some time still.

      So we continue to wait on the Lord, and as we do, your prayers mean so much.

  • Rebecca LuElla Miller
    July 17, 2012 - 1:21 pm · Reply

    Ah, Sarah, I’m so sorry. How hard it is to see people we love dearly suffer.

    Undoubtedly it’s a relief and joy that your sisters are recovering. May God speed their healing.

    May He have mercy on your sister-in-law, and not on her only, but also on you so that you won’t have sorrow upon sorrow. God is gracious and kind. I’m thankful your trust is in Him.

    I’ll be praying with you all. May God be glorified as He walks with you through these deep waters.


    • Sarah Sawyer
      July 21, 2012 - 12:59 pm · Reply

      It is hard to see their pain and be unable to take it away. All we (my husband, parents, and I) are able to do is tend to physical and emotional needs and give comfort and prayer, trusting in God to impart healing and peace…and also comfort to us, so we’re able to give it freely. I’m thankful God has put so many around us, extended family and the church community that offer so much support in this, more than I ever anticipated. It’s one way God has shown His kindness to us.

      Even as we wait, we see Him glorified, His presence touching hospital staff and turning hearts toward Him. Although we only see in part right now, we know He will fulfill His purpose. Thank you for your prayers and for standing with us.

  • Mary Ruth Pursselley
    July 18, 2012 - 12:00 am · Reply

    Oh my goodness. Sarah, you and your entire family will be in my prayers. I pray that God will help all of you grow in your understanding of His sovereignty and holiness through this dark time.
    Consider yourself hugged.

    • Sarah Sawyer
      July 21, 2012 - 1:00 pm · Reply

      Thank you, Mary! Your prayers (and virtual hugs) are much appreciated. God is revealing Himself, and we’re so thankful for it.

  • L.M. Sherwin
    July 18, 2012 - 9:17 am · Reply

    What a sweet post. Your family will be in my prayers! God’s grace is such a sweet and tender thing. I know your sister-in-law is in His loving hands–the best hands!

    • Sarah Sawyer
      July 21, 2012 - 1:00 pm · Reply

      You’re right about the tenderness of God’s grace. We’re trusting Him with one we dearly love, knowing that He loves her so much more. Thank you for praying, L.M.

  • Skadi meic Beorh
    July 18, 2012 - 7:00 pm · Reply

    It is the joy of God that is our very strength. Joy is actually the proof that there is a God for an unbelieving world. Joy is the earmark when all else has failed. Thank you for this post, and your family is in my prayers, Sarah.

  • Sarah Sawyer
    July 21, 2012 - 1:01 pm · Reply

    It’s so true, Skadi. Real joy comes from God alone, and He strengthens and sustains us in His mercy. I’m very thankful for your prayers and those of all the believers standing with us.

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