Sunday, April 12, 2009

...the rest of the story

I'd be lying to you if I said this was an easy entry to communicate. I've been waiting over two weeks to write this because I wanted to make sure Nicole & I were on the same page on how we wanted to share this.

Shortly after Bryson's accident, Grandpa Osborne's insurance company started doing their assessment to see whether or not they had any liability. After interviewing all those who were at the house during the accident, the insurance company determined that they had no liability as holder's of Chuck's liability insurance policy. We talked to other insurance companies and were told by some that it made no sense why the company wouldn't help with our expenses. So we pursued our options.

We spoke with several attorneys about how to come to a settlement with the company and we were not only encouraged by several attorneys to file a suit and not only to file it but that it was a slam dunk. But we just felt unsettled through this whole process. In one way we felt that we were pursuing what was just: Liability policies are owned for these purposes and we felt like we were being taken advantage of because the person we had to sue would be our father. But on the other hand, we were torn with what the Bible has to say about filing lawsuits. Putting it shortly, the Apostle Paul unitized the court systems beginning in Acts 21, but Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6 that it is shameful for Christians to take Christians to court. We asked attorneys if there was another other way to pursue a settlement without filing a lawsuit ("no"), I spoke with some of my pastor friends for advice, and even talked with an attorney from Fresno Pacific University's "Peacemaking and Conflict Studies Program." We really felt like this was a gray issue to Christians and Nicole & I decided we didn't want to be the kind of Christians who "live" in the gray areas. We felt like we did our research, we spent time praying about it, and since we did not feel 100% comfortable we decided to drop the idea of a suit altogether.

So nearly a year ago, we let it go and let Bryson's financial future rest in God's hands and really felt a peace about our decision for the first time. Now that doesn't mean we didn't do anything. We received financial assistance from Ohio's Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps that would help us cover any expenses insurance wouldn't pay for until Bryson is 20. This was a huge blessing for us, because Columbus Children's hospital, where we had all of our appointments from the beginning, was not in network for our insurance. And because we weren't paying overages out of pocket for Bryson we were able to put some money back for Bryson so that he would have somthing when he was off our insurance and not covered by BCMH anymore.

In the meantime, the insurance company kept calling us to "close our file." They kept calling and I never returned their phone calls. I'm not sure if it was out of frustration or because I just didn't have time at that moment. Eventually a new person from the insurance company, who had just taken over the case in order to close it, got hold of me on the phone and I retold the story like they asked. They proceed to call Nicole and Chuck to have them retell the story. A few weeks later they called back to inform us that after declining our claim the first time, after reviewing the case they REALIZED THEY HAD SOME RESPONSIBILITY IN THIS CASE. I was stunned, to put it mildly. "What changed?" I asked. "It's the same story." The response blew me away: "A new set of eyes."

God's eyes? Was God the difference? It's hard to know for sure, but after hearing from an individual how hard it was for an individual within the insurance company to convince the corporate offices to change their original ruling (which rarely if ever happens without being forced by a lawsuit), we couldn't help but think there was something more to it. And combine that with the fact that on March 25 we received confirmation that Bryson was going to receive a settlement that was going to take care of him for many years to come (and this one came without the 35-40% attorney's fees we would have amassed had we gone to court), how can we not believe God didn't have His hand in this all?

Just because Bryson is receiving this settlement doesn't all of a sudden make God good.
Just because Bryson is receiving this settlement doesn't make God better than He was before.

And this is why I know: After telling an individual from my church what happened, he asked me, "Isn't that a huge weight off your shoulders?" I thought for a moment and with little hesitation and absolute certainty, I replied, "No--that weight was off months ago when we entrusted everything to God." That's the truth! I really don't know how to explain the peace Nicole and I have felt for the past year since we surrendered Bryson's future to God. Did we feel like we had some responsibility in saving as much as we could and doing everything we could to help Bryson along the way? Absolutely. But oddly, we weren't afraid. God didn't all of a sudden get good or become better. He had been GREAT all along the way...and we're absolutely grateful for the kindness He's shown our family--especially Bryson--thus far.

Thank you for all your prayers.
And thank God with us for all He's done.


Melissa said...

Praise God! Thank you for sharing this story!

Anonymous said...

Again you have proved your close walk with God. What a wonderful testimony of God's faithfulness and your committment to trust and serve Him. Each time you share I am so impressed with your wisdom and your willingness to let God take control.

You will never know the many lives you touch each time you share. Praying for you always.

Anonymous said...

Dear Beau & Nicole,
I am praising God with you for the gifts of guidance and faith. It is wonderful that you were able to trust God and let Him handle things His way. He gets the glory for it all! My own faith is strengthened because you keep sharing Bryson's journey. Thank you. Linda J

Jenni said...

What a wonderful testimony. You're right... God is GREAT. Thanks so much for sharing. You've brought tears of happiness to my eyes today!

Be Blessed!

angie leverence said...


Anonymous said...

When i found out the change that I had taken place with the insurance company I was overcome with joy. I just want to praise God for all he is doing in Bryson's life. Love to all and may God richly bless his family of believers.

Grandpa Osborhne

Hummel Family said...

It was nice to read this and to hear your point-of-view Beau! Burke and I admire you and Nicole so much.

God is ALWAYS good and this story proves that!

amy said...

Praise God!