From Room 923

July 22, 2006

Dear ones,

Our wedding thank you notes are not even half done, and I find myself with a much bigger thank you to write.Thank you for your prayers!

I cannot begin to tell you what it has meant to know we are being held up in prayer by so many.I don’t know all your names, but you know ours, and you are praying for us.And for that I can never thank you enough.

I had been hoping to write a group letter to y’all, but I didn’t intend to be writing it from the ninth floor of one of the oldest, largest hospital buildings in the state.

Most of you heard that on July 20th, my husband Merritt was welding a small hole in a 250 gallon bio-diesel tank when it exploded on him.He had a compound fracture of both the bones in his lower left leg, and second degree burns on his left arm and shoulder.I’m not sure about my husband’s habit of only visiting hospitals by way of a helicopter (his first life flight was when he was run over by a tractor at age 4).But God has reasons we can not always grasp.He has been so faithful in sparing my husband to me.

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a nurse, but I never imagined I would be watching closely as a RN dressed my husband’s burnt arm so I would know how to do it once we got home.Over the course of two surgeries, they pinned the two bones in his leg back together.Now we’re praying that he will continue to be in little pain, heal quickly, and that there will not be any infection.

When Merritt carefully explained every detail of his work to me as I tagged along these last 8 weeks—“this is how you start the irrigation wheel line,” “you don’t have to use the clutch on this tractor,” “always cut six rows of hay around the outside of the field so you have room to turn around”—I little guessed how soon I would be glad to know just how he did it.We are so grateful that the first (and biggest) cutting of hay is in, and that we were already finished with the second round of irrigation.Merritt can’t put any weight on his leg for 8 weeks, but thankfully meanwhile his dad and brother can take over the farm work, and we have had many people offer their help.

God is so good to us.Had the upper part of the tank exploded, I probably would not be sitting here in this hospital room checking my husband’s IV, straightening his oxygen tube, and feeding him chicken noodle soup.We have so much to be thankful for.

Even after the first surgery, every minute was precious, as I spent over an hour reminding Merritt to breathe every time he stopped.I’m sure that in the 55 days we’ve been married we’ve had more happiness than many have in 55 years—but I wasn’t ready for it to end yet.So I kept telling him to breathe until we got the pain medication under control.And now that he’s through the second surgery, he’s in much less pain.We have a long road ahead, but I’m just so thankful that I still have him to care for.I have informed him, though, that despite my promise to obey him, he will probably find me to be rather bossy over the next few months.

We’re looking forward to getting back to our home sweet pink home.It was such fun to work on our house together the two weeks after we got home from our honeymoon (to Yellowstone, where we met—where else?).I was glad Merritt didn’t have the house quite finished—I got to learn how to wire lights and paint concrete—and had a lot of fun with my husband in the process!The last five weeks we’ve had fun settling in (I love my kitchen!), reading Winnie the Pooh, and swinging in our hammock—in between working in the store, picking beans, and cutting hay.We are so happy.God is so good to us.

The next few months will be a new adventure.It’s a bit overwhelming at times.But we know that God will provide.And we are looking forward to the opportunity to be together even more.I am just so thankful that I still have my husband’s hand to hold.

Thank you again, so much, for your prayers.And please, continue to pray for us.

Praising God for His faithfulness,

Mrs. Merritt Acheson

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  1. Dear Gretchen,

    Isn’t God amazing? He knew all along this was going to happen but he allowed it to happen after you and Merritt were married so you would be by his side taking care of him instead of someplace else worring about him.

    I’ll be keeping you in my prayers.
    God bless,

  2. The smiles on their faces are testimonies to their faith in God. What a beautiful thing to see.

    Praying for you both!

  3. I am so thankful that he is going to be alright! May God bless both of them and keep them in the months ahead.
    That picture of them is so sweet! 馃檪

  4. My prayers are have and will continue to be with you and Merritt (and your families) as he recovers. I am confident that you’ll be the perfect Florence Nightengale while he mends. You two have been through a lot, but God’s mercy is shining so bright through this experience. God be with you as you adjust to a new season while your hubby heals.

  5. We were so sorry for you both when we heard what had happened but have been praying each day for you that the Lord would give Merrit a swift recovery and also strength and peace to you both.May the Lord bless you as you look to him.

    -Old subscribers of Y.L.C.F. from Yass, Australia.

  6. I just found this website after my friend, Melinda Lavourante, told me about it. I felt I knew about Gretchen and Merritt even though I never met them. I also have read your articles in HopeChest, Natalie, and have loved them.

    I will be praying for Merritt’s recovery and that they both just feel the Lord ever closer by their sides. How wonderful it is that our Lord is faithful and sticks closer than a brother through all of life’s storms!! We truly serve an awesome Lord!

    In Christ ALONE,

  7. We’re in Ky and praying for Merritt and Gretchen. God is so good to have spared his life. Praise God! We thank him for that. We’ve visited this website for several years and kept up with the wedding and all. We’ve got him on prayer lists all over Ky. Take care and hang in there. God can help and he can heal.
    Prayers to you,

  8. I’m praying for you and Merritt, Gretchen as you face the coming months! I’m so thankful that God chose to spare Merritt’s life, and I know He will provide for you! What a great God we serve :).

  9. Praise the Lord:-) Thank you for the update, Gretchen. We will continue to pray for you and your family!

  10. Still praying…sending the best wishes and lots of hugs~~~

    By the way, i really love the photo of Gretchen and Merritt..they look so blessed. And even happy in their circumstance.
    Their faith is outstanding and i applaud them both for that!

    Lots of prayers heading their way!


  11. Praise the Lord that he saved Merrit and that you two are still together!! I was praying for you two this morning! Isn’t He good!??!! I pray that you will always be as happy as you are now!!
    It’s encouraging for those of us who are still single, to hear how happy you are, and to keep us waiting for the ones that God is preparing for us!

    God bless you!

  12. Gretchen,
    I’ve been praying for and thinking of you and Meritt ever since I heard what happened. Your faith in God is so inspiring- I’m sure it’s inspired many more people, as well. It must be so nice to be home again (it’s so hard to stay in hospitals a long time, whether you’re the patient or someone who’s there to see and take care of the patient:). I’m so thankful that God protected Meritt and that you were spared from the horrible pain of losing him. May God help and strengthen you both as He leads you through this tough time.


  13. I’ve missed you, Gretchen!
    So good to hear from you and how you’ve been settling into your little pink house and your marriage! Thank You for sharing!

    Many prayers for Merritt and you as he heals and you help.

    Love, Betsy

  14. Thank God for his mercy! My heart skipped a beat when I first read the announcement that he was in an accident and was being life-flighted. I’m very glad his life was spared and that Gretchen was spared that tradgedy. Hope everything continues to progress well.

  15. I wanted to share a story. Last night I had the incredible blessing to be able to talk about the Gospel and Christianity for two hours with a small group of fellow players from my summer league Frisbee team in the St. Louis area. One point that really seemed to strike home in the discussion was the fact of our mortality. To illustrate it, I used Merritt’s accident, because it was the first example that sprang to mind! So who knows how many ways God is using this event for good? I just wanted to offer that encouragement as I continue to pray for all the friends and family involved. 馃檪

  16. My family is praying for Gretchen and Merritt, and their families. You have been such a blessing to my sister and I and we are so glad to be able to do something for you. We are praying for a quick recovery, and strength from God through this time. Thank God you have depended on Him through your lives and so can trust him now.
    With love and prayers,

  17. Awww your faith is so wonderful, to love and Praise the Lord when the times are rough and rocky truly tells me that you love our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…your faith is so strong Gretchen, I applaud you for that. I really do.
    I’m happy that you both have gone home, that’s wonderful news to hear!

    I will still keep you both in my prayers! Sending lots of hugs and prayers your way~~~


  18. God is so good to bless you the way He has, and even in the mist of trouble put his hand upon you and Merritt.
    I know that these next few months will be a challenge (especially when men always seem to wanna be on the move! Poor Merritt….)But God has been gracious to you so far, and I know He wont leave you in the months to come. I’m more then positive that this storm in your’s and Merritt’s life will only bring you two closer, and your relationship’s with God stronger.


  19. You sound so happy and content. It’s a long road ahead and yet, He is faithful. Still praying from afar,

  20. Thank you so much for the update!! It’s been a blessing to see God’s hand on your life through your courtship and now through your marriage.

  21. You will continue to be in my prayers! I’ve been thinking and praying for you often these past few days, thinking how funny it is that you are (at the hospital) only ten or fifteen minutes away from where I live. Even though you don’t know me, reading your blog for so many years has made me feel as if I know you a little. May God continue to be close to you and your husband and bless his recovery! *hug*