Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Mistake that Saved My Life

I have never told this aspect of my story until today, though I have thought of it often enough, first with shame and then gratitude to God.

Valentine's Day 2007 I was cruising to work on the freeway five months pregnant with my eleven month old daughter in the backseat and her middle aged nanny riding passenger when we were threatened to be sandwiched between a gravel truck and the guardrail.  My repeated efforts to avoid collision proved ineffective but just before we hit, I felt to try to move toward the guardrail without hitting it.  Hit it I did, and it slowed us down enough that the gravel truck met with only the front of my tiny Hyundai Elentra, sending us spinning across three miraculously empty lanes of morning rush hour traffic.  During this spin, time slowed down in my mind and for a moment I felt that all would be fine.  I don't remember hearing anything during the accident and because I could not hear the tires squealing I assumed we were not actually skidding. 

I was wrong.

Trying to regain control of the car I turned frantically out of the skid instead of into it.  My mistaken action caused the car to spin faster and finally hit the opposite concrete guardrail head on.  I know this has to be over soon but don't know when I thought.  Immediately after this thought flashed through my mind a tremendous blow unlike any mortal power I have ever felt smashed into the car and my head collided with the back of my chair.  Spinning once more I felt another crash and finally everything went still.  The car was totaled but we were safe.  The nanny sustained severe bruising but soon recovered; I walked away with small, light bruises on my leg, hip, and the back of my head along with the typical seat belt burn on my shoulder.  The blow from the unseen Atlas semi had hit the back of the car and entire backseat was obliterated except for where my infant daughter was sitting.  She received one small scratch on her nose and lost one drop of blood but was otherwise perfectly fine.  Her car seat was so badly pinned down that it was some time before the paramedics could redeem it to take us to the emergency room.  My unborn son was untouched.  

What if I had turned into the skid?  I would have been just in the way of this high speed, full sized semi to hit us head on and kill everyone in the car.  It was because of my blunder that we quickly skidded out of its path.  I cannot credit myself with this - I have to credit the One who gave me peace the entire way and carried the four of us unharmed through a very potentially fatal situation.  Indeed, news spread like wildfire in the hospital and upon my departure several nurses pointed at me and excitedly told each other that, "she's the one!  She's the one who is walking after being hit by a semi!" God uses our weaknesses, our mistakes, and our confusion for our good when we strive to follow Him and if it is right in His eyes.  Sometimes we think we have to do it all on our own.  We can't.  Sometimes we think we need to be perfect.  We aren't.  But God can take our weaknesses and imperfections and use them to strengthen testimonies, save lives and perform miracles.   

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