Indianapolis 3:57 a.m. — My bedroom is dark and I’m sitting in my warm bed listening to the hum of the humidifier. This is becoming my prime time for writing blog posts, those sleepless hours when my mind begins to formulate my feeling into descriptive sentences. But tonight it isn’t caffeine keeping me awake. No, I’m just rattled from my car accident.
So, remember when I wrote about letting go of comfort? Maybe I spoke too soon. This evening I was on my way home from work. The roads were pretty slick and the temperature was flirting with the single digits. Yeah, a recipe for disaster.
I was almost home when I lost control on an icy road. Suddenly I was forced to decide between hitting the guy in front of me and hitting the fire hydrant beside him. Reluctantly, and in a sputter of panic I chose the latter. And now I am without a car.
Talk about letting go of comfort.
A moment later a kind face appeared in my car window as I began to sob. I couldn’t get the door opened so he told me to roll down my window.
Why was I crying? I wasn’t hurt and hadn’t hurt anyone. I guess the shock of it was what triggered the tears all at once. And I couldn’t help but relate those feelings of shock to the night John was hit. And in seconds I was not crying for myself or my car. I was just crying for John.
I’m sure the witnesses were wondering how such a small accident could cause a girl to cry.
In all honesty, I left the scene of the accident feeling disturbed and achy . . . but I was alive. After the initial shock wore off I started to worry about getting through the next few days sans my beautiful Toyota—don’t worry I’m not one of those people who names her car. My car and I are friends, but at the end of the day it’s just a car.
Then I remembered my empty fridge and how I was planning to buy groceries on the way home. And then I wondered how I would get to work tomorrow and to class and back home. . . sigh.
Life is a gift that often feels like a burden.
“You’re lucky to walk away uninjured,” they told me. Am I really? Wouldn’t it have been better to say, “Well, time’s up. Now I can cross over from this side of heaven, a place that sometimes feels like hell, and graciously bid this world adieu.”
But of course not. In reality I’m not ready to die. As I was sailing toward the fire hydrant, bracing myself for impact, feeling absolutely no control over my car, I felt so afraid. And as I collided and watched my bumper explode, I felt only fear. The cold air bit me as I came out to examine the damage, exchange paperwork and phone my friends. My legs wobbled as I found warmth in a stranger’s car and waited for the police. It was a minor accident but definitely left me feeling shaken up.
Life is so surreal sometimes. The mundane is ruptured by these things called accidents where ordinary people experience extraordinary things. And you look up at heaven and breathe into the cold air, “Lord, why?”
Why Johnny, and not me? Why here in my neighborhood and not the forty minute trip I took over highways and under bridges where such an accident could have been fatal.
In high school I was in a car accident. Oddly enough I didn’t blog about it or even share it on social media. I was embarrassed and scared. It’s interesting to see where I’ve come and how I view life differently. I believe it’s important to be both authentic and transparent, to recognize life as difficult and cumbersome, and sometimes mundane and often scary. By recognizing our difficulties we learn to bare each other’s burdens.
These next few days will be far from comfortable, but I’m resting in Jehovah Jireh, my God who provides.