This post is brought to you by Deseret News. View the original post here.
HALEIWA, Hawaii — Trial and sorrow are nothing new to the Norton family. Within the past 10 years, Natalie Norton lost her 21-year-old brother, Natalie and Richie Norton lost their fourth son at 4-months-old to whopping cough and recently the couple lost three foster children they cared for for two years.
That’s why when Richie Norton received a phone call from a family friend telling him that his 10-year-old son Lincoln had been hit by an SUV while crossing the road, he immediately knew he would once again be entirely dependent on God.
“We’re not so strong, God is strong,” Richie Norton said. “We’re weak. It’s not necessarily that God won’t give you more than you can handle. You can handle the things that happen to you if you rely on God and the Savior.”
Richie and Natalie Norton, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have frequently shared their faith on social media in the past, yet since their son’s accident they have touched thousands worldwide by overcoming a horrific experience through their examples and messages of hope and love for God.
On July 31, Lincoln Norton was struck by an SUV and placed in a medically induced coma. He had a collapsed lung and part of his liver was killed on impact. He suffered road rash sores on his face, chest, hand and knee, requiring reconstructive surgery to his face, including a skin graft.
Two days after the accident, Natalie Norton shared the news on Instagram. After describing the details of Lincoln’s situation, Norton expressed her gratitude for the blessings God had given her.
“This has been every parent’s worst nightmare from start to finish,” Norton posted. “My sweet, courageous, brilliant baby’s brain seems to have miraculously suffered little more than a moderate concussion. GOD IS SO GOOD. … We testify that God is real and his angels surround us in abundance in our times of greatest need.”
With more than 4,400 likes and 1,600 comments, many were touched by the mother’s ability to recognize blessings from God so soon after the incident. But the ability to stay positive did not end with Richie and Natalie. Throughout this journey, Lincoln has continued to show love to others, especially his mother.
“In the midst of his worst, when we first got to the hospital and he first woke up from a coma, he looks to his mom and asks her how she’s doing and asks if she’s comfortable,” Richie Norton said. “Incredibly touching and such a sweet boy.”
Although it was painful for Lincoln to speak, while in his hospital room an emergency call came across the intercom calling for the trauma team. Lincoln quickly began to cry and whispered, “I hope they’re all right.”
On Aug. 3, Lincoln celebrated his 11th birthday while still in critical condition in the hospital. Although he was unable to go shark diving as planned, he has continued to look outside of himself.
“Over and over again, he is just full of gratitude and love,” Natalie Norton said. “I haven’t heard him complain once. He is being so brave, and through this tragedy the goodness of his beautiful heart is just beaming through.”
In each update on social media, Richie and Natalie Norton have continued to share positive feelings. Questions have been asked regarding their feelings toward the driver that hit their son, and the Nortons have responded in love.
“What helps me so much is to put myself in the driver’s position,” Natalie Norton posted on Instagram. “Also, it helps me to remember that NO ONE would EVER do this on purpose.”
While they do not place blame on the driver, the couple has also made it known that they do not have any bitter feelings toward God.
“It’s not about what happens to us,” Richie Norton said. “It’s about how we react to those things. We do not blame God. We put our faith in God and know that God wants the best for us.”
After three weeks in the hospital, Lincoln was released as doctors believed he would heal better in his own environment. Although he is not allowed to do anything but slow walking until the middle of November, the Nortons expressed their immense gratitude for Lincoln’s continued recovery, as well as for those around the world who have offered their support.
“This experience has been the worst of times — it has definitely been that — but because of each of you out there loving us with all you have to give, it’s also, miraculously, been the best of times,” Natalie Norton posted on Instagram. “Overflowing with gratitude and inspired to pay it forward for the rest of my life and beyond.”
As the Nortons take each day and each minute one slow step at a time, they have continued to share their message that God is good. Having now had one son be healed, and one son — their 4-month-old baby — die, Natalie Norton shared her love for God in both experiences.
“If he heard our prayers and healed our Lincoln, did our prayers for Gavin fall on deaf ears?” Natalie Norton posted on Instagram. “There are different kinds of miracles, friends. And part of loving and trusting God is recognizing the particular brand of miracle you’re receiving, because God is always good, and the miracle is always there. See, today, Lincoln is the miracle. But all those years ago … I lost my son. I suffered the unimaginable — the pain, the torment of it, tore me down to ashes, and exposed me to a darkness and pain I couldn’t have imagined before. But I lived. I learned. I grew. I came to know and love God in new ways, and I came to tangibly experience His love for ME through experiences I can’t possibly describe. So yes, Lincoln is our family’s miracle, today. And all those years ago, our family’s miracle was me. And God is good, all the time.”
My son is a miracle. I see that. I feel that. I know it to be true. And when I read comments like, “God is so good!” or “God hears and answers!” I nod my head in emphatic agreement. But…. many of you remember several years ago when another little Norton boy lay in a hospital bed. His body was bruised and broken in different ways, but he was on the precipice of death, just the same. And we prayed. Oh, how we all prayed! And for weeks, I couldn’t touch or hold that little boy, just like little Lincoln, and my heart broke watching him, lying there in pain, his mother, inherently sworn to love and protect him from the cruel world, helpless to offer comfort or relief. And then, one night, they placed that little boy in my arms. I held him tight, kissed his sweet cheeks… and felt the final beats of his heart. So if God is good for saving Lincoln, was he not good for letting Gavin die? If he heard our prayers and healed our Lincoln, did our prayers for Gavin fall on deaf ears? There are different kinds of miracles, friends. And part of loving and trusting God is recognizing the particular brand of miracle you’re receiving, because God is always good, and the miracle is always there. See, today, Lincoln is the miracle. But all those years ago…I lost my son. I suffered the unimaginablethe pain, the torment of it, tore me down to ashes, and exposed me to a darkness and pain I couldn’t have imagined before. But I lived. I learned. I grew. I came to know and love God in new ways, and I came to tangibly experience His love for ME through experiences I can’t possibly describe. So yes, Lincoln is our family’s miracle, today. And all those years ago, our family’s miracle was me. And God is good, all the time. #prayforlincolnjo
A post shared by Natalie Norton (@natalienorton) on
Our 75th Episode! The Book of Mormon warns against mistaking intelligence for wisdom, but adds a crucial caveat: “to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God” (2 Nephi 9:29). Where LDS founding prophet Joseph ...
"A critical question to ponder is “Where do we place our faith?” Is our faith focused on simply wanting to be relieved of pain and suffering, or is it firmly centered ...
"As we come to know God, we begin to really know ourselves and our potential. These two things cannot be separated. Joseph Smith taught, “If men do not comprehend the character ...
"Discipleship is all about doing and becoming. As we obey His commandments and serve our fellowmen, we become better disciples of Jesus Christ. Obedience and submission to His will bring the ...
"You are in His hands. Very good hands. Loving hands. Caring hands. And nothing anyone ever says about you can change that. Their words are meaningless compared to what God has ...