Has anything bad ever happened to you, and you instantly regretted what you did right before it happened? Or have you ever thought about the different outcomes that could have occurred if you did one thing differently? Everyone has had these thoughts at least once or twice. I have battled with these thoughts quite often. I have gotten caught up with what I should have done before, instead of what I could do after. I realized that getting caught up with worrying about what I should have done before to prevent a specific situation, only caused me to lose sight of what I could do with the situation I was given. It already happened, so why was I wasting my time, when I could be using what I learned and applying it to the next day?
On Friday, November 30th of 2018 I was on my way home from Miami University, where I attend grad school. I was going to my boyfriend’s church’s Live Christmas nativity scene. It was a foggy night and the drive was entirely back roads. I went a different route than typical. I was not distracted while driving, but as I came down a hill I saw the stop sign when it was too late. I tried to slam on my breaks, but I was not able to and I went completely through it. Before I knew it, I was hit at 65 miles per hour and I was spinning. I eventually ended up in someone’s front yard. Before I could even start panicking, I heard someone ask if I was alright. He tried to open my door to let me out, but it would not budge. He came around to the passenger side door and was able to pull me out of the car. The man that pulled me out of the car and his entire family stayed with me until the ambulance and my family arrived. The man was thanking God that was I was alive, and he was a complete stranger. Soon after, a young man who happened to drive by approached me and asked if he could pray for me. Again, he was a complete stranger. He began to thank God for His grace and for pulling me out of the wreck alive. He thanked God for saving my life and for saving the other person’s life who was involved in the accident. He prayed that I would live for Him and that he knew there was a reason I was still alive.
I was taken to the hospital in the ambulance. My chest felt like it was completely crushed. I thought for sure that there was something internally wrong. Once I arrived at the hospital, the X-rays came back, and the results showed that there were no broken bones, fractures, or anything to be worried about. I walked out of the car wreck with only bruises. I was very sore for 3 weeks after the wreck, but I was blessed to even be alive without any injuries. Once I was in the ambulance I remember being very concerned about the things that I had in my car, that was destroyed. My mac book was pulled out of my trunk, and it did not look repairable. As a grad school student, I was devastated that I had potentially lost all of my documents and projects I had been working on to prepare for finals week that was quickly approaching. I began to fixate on all of the things that I had packed with me to take home that I probably had lost. I had clothes, shoes, makeup, a hair dryer, a curling iron, apple air pods, and other things that I considered valuable. I only thought about what I had lost and not about what God had just done for me.
I vividly remember lying in the hospital bed and seeing the man who pulled me out of my car immediately after the wreck. I was still shaken up, and all I could think to do was to wave at him. He was holding keys in his hand. I remember thinking, “How did he get my boyfriend’s keys?” The man left and my boyfriend came in moments later. He began to explain that the stranger who pulled me out of the car drove his truck to the hospital for him because he was too shaken up to drive. The same man who pulled me out of my car, when I would not have been able to by myself was the same man who drove my boyfriend’s truck to the hospital. A complete stranger to me, but a blessing God orchestrated so that a stranger would be in the right place at the right time to take care of me.
Immediately after the wreck, I was crippled with thoughts about what I could have done to prevent the accident. “If I would have stopped at the stop sign, I would have prevented the soreness I was feeling, my car would not have been totaled, and all of the valuable things I had in it would not have been ruined, I would not have a citation to pay, and I would not have possibly injured other people involved.” I felt immediate guilt, and pain that If I would have just stopped, it would have changed everything. A simple fix and everything would have remained the same. The cops had arrived at the hospital, they wrote my citation, and the crash report was completed. One of the cops I had spoken with told me that I was hit at 65 miles per hour. I was hit directly on the driver’s side back seat. The cop expressed to me that if I would have pumped my breaks, even in the slightest I would have gotten hit an inch closer than where I was hit which would have killed me instantly. It was a miracle that I was not able to stop. I remember seeing the stop sign as I was already slightly passed it. God knew that if I were to stop as I was already through the stop sign, I would not have lived. However, he pushed me forward so that the other car would hit me at the right time in the right spot; in order to save my life.
Feeling overwhelmed was an understatement. I did not know how to act or think. God literally saved my life and sent people to take care of me and to comfort me. At first, I felt guilty because I so desperately wished that I would have stopped at the stop sign, in order to prevent all of the damage that I had caused. Additionally, I felt guilty because I was worried about the material things I had lost as well. However, I let go of my own thoughts and anxious feelings, and I prayed that I would find peace through this situation. It didn’t happen overnight but finally, I strongly believed that this was the way God planned for things to happen. What I realized was the same God that pulled me out of the wreck alive without any injuries, who sent strangers to take care of me, pray for me and comfort me; is the same God that will restore and replace anything that was damaged in the wreck. I finally felt peace and comfort. Once I chose to trust God, accept what happened, and move forward it became easier for me to share my testimony with others, and share how good God truly is. If I would have kept focusing on what I could have done to prevent the accident, I would have missed the blessings that God had provided me with and the blessings that he has in store for my life. I wanted to change what I had done, but God wanted me to accept that what had happened was His plan, and to share it with others. Sometimes you have to let go, and let God.
After looking at the picture of my car it was obvious that it was a miracle. Soon after the wreck, I was able to get a great deal on a new car, the hard drive on my mac book was able to be salvaged onto a brand new laptop for a deductible that still contained all of my documents, and everything that was damaged or broken was restored. However, even after all of the things that I had lost were restored or replaced, it did not compare to the joy I felt when realizing that God loved me so much that He would save my life so that I could continue to live my life for Him. Material things will never make a person truly happy. Through this situation, I learned how to lean on God for support, and how to trust that He works everything out for my good. Furthermore, not everything went perfectly following this realization. However, I still have anxiety every time I drive at night, or every time I see a stop sign. Though, I have become a more cautious driver and it has lead me to lean on God more than I ever have before. It also serves as another reminder that I cannot go through life without God. I need him. I will be forever thankful that God saved my life, and sent so many people to take care of me that night. I will continue to live my life spreading the love of God.
Do yourself a favor and do not get caught up with worrying about what you should have done before, to prevent a specific situation. Instead, focus on what you can do with the situation you are given. Allow God to help you move forward in order to find peace through Him and accept the blessings that he has provided and has in store for you.
My question is, how will you live the next day after something bad has happened? If it has already happened and you do not have control over it; will you choose to waste your time thinking about what you could have done differently to prevent the situation and the harm you have caused, or will you take what you have learned and apply it to the next day?
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28