May 1, 2006, was my 43rd birthday. I was feeling sorry for myself that I was getting older and lamenting the fact that my birthday present was a pair of reading glasses (per my request—I had been putting off getting them for almost a year). It is amazing the difference a day can make in one’s perspective, though. Less than 24 hours later, my husband and I were sitting in our Suburban waiting to make a lefthand turn when I heard him say, “WHOA!” When I glanced his direction, I saw him looking in the rear view mirror. I immediately turned my head to look in my rearview mirror, where I saw a large dump truck bearing down on us. Did you know that things really ARE larger than they appear in that little mirror?
I never heard a thing when we were hit by the truck. I just remember waking up on my back and in a lot of pain—my legs felt like they were on fire, and I was sure that my arm was broken. I could not move, talk, or open my eyes all the way. It is the strangest thing to be able to hear everything but be completely incapacitated! I was convinced that I was paralyzed, since I could not move. A fear like I have never known descended upon me almost immediately. My life was operating on two different levels: what was happening to me externally and also what was happening deep inside my own spirit.
My husband: “Stay with us, Jamie—come on, Jamie!”
Another voice, “Her door is the only one that will open.”
Oh Lord, help me to forgive this man that hit us. I can’t deal with being paralyzed AND being bitter.
My husband again: “Stay with us, Jamie!”
A woman’s voice, “I’m concerned about the way her left arm is lying.”
The fireman gently took my wrist and started taking my pulse. “She’s got a good radial pulse.”
My husband once more: “Come on Jamie, stay with us.”
Lord, I need to know You are here. I need to feel your presence. That prayer seemed to go unanswered.
Three days after the accident, feeling discouraged, I asked my spouse, “Why is it that when I was in my darkest hour and needed to feel His presence the most, God chose not to reveal Himself to me?”
He answered, “Jamie, as you look back on that day, do you doubt that God was there?”
“Then that should be enough.”
I tend to be a very feelings-oriented person. For the past few years God has been trying to teach me to rely on His Word and not on my feelings. This past year especially He has been impressing upon me, I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
As I mulled over my conversation with my husband, I was hit with the reality of what God had been trying to teach me. For me, it had been that if I feel it, it is truth, but now it was as if God said to me, No, Jamie—if I say it, it is truth!
Looking back, I have no doubt that God was right there, not only watching but also orchestrating all the events of that day. Not only was I not paralyzed but I did not have one broken bone. The fact that He did not give me the spiritual eyes to actually see Him at work does not take away the fact that He truly was there. Fear is not from God, and I had no business opening the door and inviting it in when I was at my lowest. We are armed with the Truth, and I need to live like it. When God promises in His Word that He will never leave us nor forsake us, I know that I can stand on that promise and never waiver—especially in the most dire of circumstances, when the world feels like it is falling apart.
I am so grateful to have more time on this earth, and I welcome the little signs of aging that the day before seemed so disturbing to me. As a matter of fact, I have been noticing that my hearing is not quite what it used to be. I can hardly wait for my next birthday! …I wonder if hearing aids come in pink?