Thanks so much for your responses to part 1. I hope to have posts on this story interspersed with other subjects for a while. Comments on Facebook have been fabulous, and I encourage comments here so others can appreciate them too. If you missed part 1, you can read it here.
What would be on your mind if you were facing certain death barring the curiosity and concern of a God-sent Good Samaritan?
After all, a steady, but sparse line of cars had passed my accident site without a notion of slowing down as I lay trapped and motionless for hours. “Dear Lord, I’m sorry for the things I’ve done that didn’t please you. Even though some may have seemed like fun or pleasure on the surface, they didn’t please me either – not in any true sense – and selfish teenage attitudes didn’t help our family.” Oddly, I don’t recall striking a ‘human’ deal with God in this predicament as I had in prior times of trouble. You know, the ol’…”If you just get me out of my bind I’ll always do this or never do that.” At least I don’t remember that type of bargaining tone or theme. The climate was more submissive and thirsty, “Let me be right with you, and ready for my impending death should that be the outcome.” Not pleadings for deliverance, but forgiveness.
That night I was trapped for hours down this embankment where the vehicle lay on its side.
After some rocky adolescence and early teen years I had grown closer to the Father. Yes, I had drifted in the past few months, but no doubt I knew deep down that peace flowed steadily from His hand and I felt His peace. Accepting forgiveness meant there was peace with God despite the regrets of my youthful indiscretions. Amazingly, if I had fear, it certainly wasn’t a prominent emotion in this time of waiting and sacred communing…listening, talking, responding and resting in the resolute protection which only the Spirit could provide.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
About four hours later I heard the sound of a car rolling to a halt. Two doors slammed shut and I heard footsteps; these footsteps solidified hope for full recovery in my heart. Surely shock struck the couple when they heard my cries for help. I never knew the man and woman who jumped out of their car and rallied assistance that dark night. All the aid the sleepy mountain town could offer came to my rescue. Secure that everything would now be fine, I slipped in and out of conscientiousness. No doubt, my body was in shock. The EMT’s quickly ascertained that I had a potential cervical injury and instead of dragging me out of the car, they extracted me carefully by using the ear-piercing Jaws of Life to open my car like a can of tuna. “Don’t call my parents,” I emphatically told the young EMTs. I was not going to ruin their night with news of an accident – the news that all parents would prefer to live without for a lifetime. After all, I knew I’d recover quickly.
The rescue team did more damage to the car than the accident!
After stops at two North Georgia hospitals the same cute first responders (funny I remember they were cute, right? I WAS eighteen!) wheeled the gurney that transported my paralyzed body into Kennestone hospital, very close to my home. There, across the Emergency Room, at what must have been 3:00 AM, stood my mom and dad.
Oh, how I didn’t want to disappoint them. They were good to me and I was the baby, the youngest and only girl of five children. Looking back, I realize that my ongoing need for their affirmation and encouragement ran to the depths of my soul. Even though I knew God was the source of my identity my stubborn and independent tendencies fueled my ‘alleged’ self-sufficiency, yet I still craved parental approval and affirmation just as any daughter or son does.
There would be grief, yes grief and new beginnings ahead for all of us. Unbeknownst to me our long adventure to a ‘new normal’ was underway. This baby girl had a new life to learn. There would be no going back.
Thanks again for joining me on this journey. Here’s Part 3.