As a mom, there is nothing scarier than watching one of my kids suffer.

When my semblance of control is ripped away, and I’m faced with the reality that I was never in control to begin with, two things can happen. First, I can become paralyzed with fear. Crippled, burdened, and completely done in. Or, I can place my fears in God’s hands, acknowledging that He loves my child more than I do. Is that easy for this mother’s heart? No way! It’s a conscious choice I make, over and over, with each new day; yielding to the God who has the whole world in His hands. Didn’t I sing that song to my kids when they were small?

This is a story about an alpine slide. A 3,000 ft. winding slide on the side of a mountain, with riders seated on heavy sleds equipped with rollers and brakes. Our family spent a day riding this slide 3 years ago when our kids were 8, 10, and 12. After a day of fun and excitement, we rode the chair lift to the top for one more ride down the mountain.

All lined up as shown in the picture above, and ready to make this our fastest run yet, the employee tells our son to go. I follow him. Our youngest son, Aaron, follows me. My husband follows Aaron. One second I’m flying with the wind. The next I’m applying my brakes as hard as I can, because my son is stopped on the slide halfway down the mountain. An employee had stopped on the track in front of him, cleaning the slide. Miraculously, we do not collide. Aaron comes behind me and bumps my sled while trying to stop. We’re a little shook up, but we’re okay. Then I hear the rumble of my husband’s sled coming at us. There is no time to move, no time for him to stop, as this happens in seconds. He hits Aaron’s sled at 30 mph and what happens next is one of those moments I would rather forget.

We are a tangled mass of bodies and sleds, tumbling down this fiberglass slide. I hear a scream and later figure out it was mine. By now they’ve stopped people from coming down the mountain, and I later learn that our 12 year old son saw the whole crash from the chair lift above us. How terrifying for him, too. My husband and Aaron are injured, and all I can think of are fiberglass burns, head injuries, and broken bones. Mercifully there are no head injuries or broken bones. Aaron’s left hand and elbow had some serious fiberglass burns, along with bruises at the base of his neck and lower back. My husband is sore all over, but his long pants and long sleeve shirt protected him from burns. The heels of his shoes are melted away from when he tried so hard to stop his sled. At this point we had to get back on our sleds and ride down the mountain, and that was hard.

Which brings me to this summer, when we returned to this alpine slide on vacation. Our kids are 11, 13, and 15 this time. They all wanted to face this slide and conquer it. I did not! So, I yielded the control I thought I had, asking God to keep us in His hands. I’m learning how important it is, especially for boys becoming men, to conquer a mountain. I also learned a lesson that day. Flying down the mountain is fun. Flying down 3 years later? That’s redemption.

Conquering the mountain
Conquering the mountain

Sarah Luke

Born and raised in Chicagoland, Sarah now calls Nebraska home. She’s been married for 19 years to Derek, her college sweetheart. They have three sons—one in high school, one in middle school, and one in elementary school. She worked as a registered nurse before staying at home full time with the boys. Maybe someday she will go back to nursing, but for now she loves keeping up with her family and enjoying the moments set before her. Swimming and reading are her favorite hobbies, along with boating and camping. She’s quick to point out that she camps in a camper, and leaves the tent camping to Derek and their boys!