Yesterday I got rear-ended. I could be melodramatic and say it was a scary experience (it kind of was) or brush it off and say that it was no big deal (which is also kind of true). In actuality the experience left me with a lot to think about.
I was on my way from a Bible conference on evangelism to a Christian Muslim Forum with my brother Mark and some friends. I was driving my Dad's car, Alyssa B was driving a vanload, and Aaron L was also driving a small car. We were on the Q-- (highway) and traffic slowed quickly, I had to slam on the brakes to keep from hitting the guy in front of me. Rick said/yelled something about the shoulder, but by the time I processed that I only had time to clue in THE CAR BEHIND ME! and glance in the rear-view mirror to see Alyssa's van, know what was about to happen, too late to do anything about it.
You know those moments where time seems to slow. When I look back on it, I am a little amazed, and a little confused at what was running through my head. The split-second between realizing what was going to happen and the actual impact, I felt a kind of peace and trust that frankly, still leaves me a little breathless. The consciousness of God's presence and God's care that I felt still has me in awe as I write this. Two Novembers ago I was in an accident with my mom that was kind of similar, we got rear-ended as well, (she was driving though) and I felt almost the same thing, but though this may sound strange I think I really needed it this time. More on that later.
The instant after the impact my first thought was MARK! as I pulled onto the shoulder (wish I'd done it earlier!!). I think that was what shook me up. Mark and Rick were in the back seat, Aaron (B) was in the passenger seat. My next thought was "Dad doesn't have collision insurance on this car!!!!" What an awful sinking feeling, mingled with relief that Mark and Rick were ok. I'm not sure exactly what happened after that until somebody came back into the car and said something like "thank God for plastic cars!"
Both cars were totally fine.
I think my heart started beating again then =)
At this moment I am so thankful. My God is so good. Lately Psalm 63 has been hanging out with me a lot, and verses 7 and 8 seem pretty fitting right now.
Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.
I am so thankful that both cars and all the people in them were ok.
My bumper has some marks, I think the bolts from Alyssa's van, and the guys said something about some of the foam underneath maybe being broken? I am not a car person so I don't really know what that means. The right side of the bumper by the wheel well was loose but once we got to the Forum Rick and Joseph popped it back in. It could have been so much worse. Not only our cars, but also that Aaron L, who was right behind Alyssa, was ok too. He had to pull onto the shoulder to avoid hitting Alyssa from behind.
I'm thankful that it didn't happen to us earlier.
If it had happened to us on Friday, it would have been strangers who hit us. We still made it to the forum in time. I'm thankful that Rick was there because if it had just been Aaron, Mark & I, I would have been the only one who knew how to drive stick, and I was not in the best condition to drive right afterward. I'm thankful that Rick could drive the rest of the way.
I'm thankful for the reassurance of God's care for me.
As I said earlier I am still in awe of this. This is something I have been struggling with lately. It's been a lonely fall and I struggle with not having a job and simply doubting that I am where I should be. This has been a painfully sweet reminder that God is here in Ontario, that this is part of His plan and He makes no mistakes. He will never let me go. His grip engulfs me and nothing else can get through that.
I'm thankful that I can trust Him with those I love.
I've never been in an accident where I was the driver, except for one time in the church parking lot when I was alone in the car - I drove off the pavement onto what I thought was a gravel section and was a sheet of ice. I just wasn't able to steer and slid into a friend's van. (There wasn't any damage). The thing that shook me up about this time was that my younger brother (and friend) were in the back seat and could have been hurt or killed. As it is I think Mark is probably the worst up, Mark and Rick and Aaron all have whiplash a little but Mark had his head turned and there are no head rests in the back. This morning his neck is pretty sore and stiff. My head rest was at the right height and I was already leaning against it so I'm fine. It is a hard and beautiful thing to know that though I simply cannot protect those I love all the time, the Lord can and will. This is also something I've been struggling with. Strangely enough right after the accident when I was thinking about Mark I also had this little girl http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_5AMSPK-QcOU/TI6QVt5cbvI/AAAAAAAAABI/JeFWmcr3F2A/s1600/me+kyra.jpg in my head. There are a number of kids from Okreek who I have had a really hard time with leaving and she is one of them. The next 20 minutes or something her voice was echoing in my head as it does at random (and very inconvenient) times. "Lizzi, make him stop. He's scaring me... Lizzi, I don't want to die. I don't want to die. ...Why do people say the streets are gold in heaven? Mom! Mom! I don't want to die. I don't want to die. "
I have such a hard time letting go. Why is it so much easier to trust for yourself than for others?
I know the Lord can take so much better care of her, of Mark, of all of the people I love and want to protect, than I ever could. The pain of leaving those kids may never go away, or not until God brings something else to fill that bloody hole in the heart, but I CAN leave them and have peace in knowing that "He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep". (Psalm 121)
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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