Do you remember the exact moment your life changed forever?
I do. June 26, 2011 at 7:55 a.m. For those of you keeping up, that was two years ago today.
It was a Sunday morning. Warm and humid. I was driving to work, down a winding county highway through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The morning was hazy and beautiful as the last remnants of sunrise clung to the Georgia Sky. I was five months pregnant and I was finally starting to feel good, the nausea and exhaustion were all but a distant memory.
I loved my drive to work. My job covering the state and federal court system for our local paper was my dream job. But it was stressful. My 38 minute drive to and from work everyday gave me a much-needed break, a mini vacation, a chance to clear my cluttered mind.
But on this Sunday morning as I drove to work I had no idea that day’s commute would drastically change my life.
I didn’t see the van until it was too late to stop my car.
The driver, in a hurry, on an unfamiliar road, on his way to work, ran a stop sign going 60 miles an hour.
I didn’t see him until he darted directly in my path. I slammed on the breaks, but it did nothing. My little SUV spun out of control and through a ditch. I was headed directly toward an oak tree. In a moment of clarity I knew if I hit the tree it would probably kill me. So I made a quick right turn and instead ran in to the front porch of a mobile home. The owner was on vacation.
It took me a moment to catch my breath. It took me another moment to remember how to work the seatbelt. My door was stuck and my car wouldn’t turn off. It was hissing and steaming and I realized that the horrible, guttural, animal sound was coming from me. I was screaming. I found my phone and climbed out of my car through the passenger seat. Something wet ran down my legs. I sat in the ditch and called 911. I begged God to not take my baby. I begged my baby to be safe. I begged 911 to hurry.
The driver of the van was fine. I learned later he didn’t even call 911. He called his boss. I am still dealing with my anger over that part.
My husband arrived at the scene in minutes as I was being loaded into an ambulance. I begged the EMT to tell me my baby was okay. He couldn’t give me any answers and instead worked on my leg that he was sure was broken.
As the EMTs rolled me into the hospital my tears has subsided momentarily, but my prayers had not. “Thy will be done. Thy will be done.” They were the only words I could think of.
I couldn’t breathe. And I wouldn’t breath until a tiny blonde nurse with a giant smile came bouncing into the triage room where I was being seen.
“Honey, I’m gonna check your baby’s heart rate and I will be in here every 20 minutes,” she said.
She placed the wand on my belly and I waited. My own heart stopped beating. And then I heard it. Thud, thud, thud, thud, thud. The rapid pounding that was a sign my son was okay.
This is the part where I need to tell you that four months later I gave birth to a fat, healthy, adorable, gorgeous baby boy. He is my heart.
But in that moment, when I heard that tiny little heart beating my feelings of being a stay at home mom changed. I wanted it. I wanted it more than I wanted anything in this world. It became the thought that consumed me. It became the thought that got me through the injuries that I received from that wreck.
My leg wasn’t broken, but it was badly injured. It’s been almost two years and I still walk with a limp, have massive bruising on my leg and a pain that comes and goes. But I have a son who is brilliant and stunning and takes my breath away when I look at him.
The night after the wreck I couldn’t sleep. For weeks after the wreck I couldn’t sleep. All I could see when I closed my eyes was the white van. I heard the horrible sound of metal on metal. As I drove to work each day I passed the spot and saw the 16 and a half feet of skid marks my tires left on the highway.
It was the fear of losing my child forever, the fear of not know him and the loss of that feeling of being able to protect him that drove my desire to be at home with him.
But we were broke. Broke. Broke. Broke. Broke. Broke.
We have all heard the phrase “where there’s a will there’s a way.” But I learned something greater. Where there’s trust in the Lord there is a way.
I once had someone admire tell me there is nothing I cannot change if I fully commit to it. And I was committed. But I also knew that my will had to match the will of the Lord. So I prayed, “Lord if it is your will for me to stay at home with my son please provide a way. If not then please help me be okay with it.”
Two weeks after my son was born while I was limping around the house, holding a baby and desperately trying to learn to nurse when another big change happened.
“I got offered a job,” my husband told me. “It’s double what I make now and the benefits are better.”
I was wide-eyed as I listened to him. It was the perfect situation.
I say all of this to make this point: You never know what is goint to happen. You never know how your life is going to change. You have little control over it.
But you do have control over where you put your faith.
That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. 2 Timothy 1:12