Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Life is Fleeting

It's not supposed to happen to me. I mean, other people are involved in accidents, but I'm a safe driver - it's not supposed to happen. Yet, last night on the way home, I was rear-ended by someone. Praise God, it wasn't serious!

The day was like any other. Miriam and Esther Hart had spent the night at our house, and we had fun playing games, walking, talking, and taking pictures. In the afternoon, I drove us to Walmart to pick up supplies for the dance party, then on to the church building, where we had a fun time with dancers and their families, eating, talking, and watching the recital DVD on the big screen. After cleaning up, I drove with the others on to the church where the Harts were a part of a choir concert. The singing was lovely, and the fellowship fun. Mom and Dad had met us there, and they took Jubilee home with them. A little later, Elijah and I left, with, once again, me driving. After all, I liked "my" little red car (it's my parents', but they usually have me drive it when I go places). Elijah was so kind to pump the gas when we stopped, then it was once again homeward.

I've driven the same route so many times, on so many different days. To turn into the neighborhood right before our dirt road, you have to go down a fairly steep hill and turn left at the bottom of it. I turned my turn signal on in plenty of time and gradually began slowing down. Right before I turned, I noticed for a brief second that the lights of the car behind me were fast approaching. Then there are the sounds that are seared into my brain - screeching brakes bearing down on me, a loud boom as they hit, and the eerie scream that didn't seem like it could be coming from me.

This intersection is a dangerous one. A few years ago, a family friend's daughter totaled her car, hit from behind as she was slowing down to turn. About a year ago, our neighbors went into the ditch when someone, not wanting to slow down, passed in a no passing zone and slammed into them as they turned. It just never seemed like we'd be hit.

Evidently, the person behind us wasn't paying much attention, and didn't realize until it was too late that they'd have to slow down a lot. I signaled in plenty of time and began slowing down, but they must not have noticed. (After looking at the long skid marks partially over the middle line, and my thinking that I saw the car behind me fall back once I signaled, it looks like someone may have been passing the car behind us, going really fast, then trying to brake when they saw me turning. We just don't know what happened, since they never stopped.) They hit us right as I began to turn, but praise God, we safely completed the turn, and after a some shaking back and forth, went smoothly straight down the road. It was scary, and almost surreal though. The jolt and noise were so loud, and after a moment of stunned silence, I involuntarily screamed. It felt like I wasn't in control of the car, like I wasn't driving anymore, though my hands automatically kept the car turned. It seems, though that God's angels were protecting us, and keeping us on a straight path. It would have been so easy for us to have gone into the ditch on the side, or off the road and straight into the forest of trees. For a moment, I thought we would, but God kept us smoothly going straight. We did get shaken up, but nothing major. I am suffering from whiplash today, with an aching neck and shoulders, and a sore spot on my head where I was slammed into the driver side door. The seatbelt definitely helped (another reason to always wear them!) as my head went to the left, then front, and back into the headrest.

It was a hit-and-run, as the person who slammed into us rather hard never stopped to see if we were okay. They just kept going. I'm so thankful that Elijah was with me, for I was rather shaken, and didn't really know what to do after guiding the car to the side of the road and parking. He turned on the emergency flashing lights, got out, looked at the smashed end, and walked down to see if anyone had stopped to help. No one had. So, he took pictures of the car and the road sign. He looked for skid marks, but as it was 9:45 p.m. and very dark, couldn't really see. Eventually, he got back in and we drove home.

The trunk was pretty much slammed in, and it took a while for Dad and Elijah to break into it this morning. It wouldn't open, so they had to take out the back seat and go in to unjam the lock. It's still surreal to see the damage, and know that I was in an accident. I tend to blame myself... maybe I turned my signal on too soon or didn't give enough indication that I was turning... but there really was nothing I could have done differently. I turned my signal on after the last possible place to turn, giving enough indication that I planned to turn, and slowing down gradually. God is so good to have kept us on the road and that we're not hurt that bad! I'm also glad that no others were in the car. I'm sometimes a "taxi driver", driving my sister and sometimes other younger girls to lessons, and I'm glad that this didn't happen with any of them in the car.

We can learn a lot from this. It's a sobering reminder that life is fleeting, and that no one is immune to accidents. It's a wonderful testimony of God's faithfulness and protection. It's a reaffirmation that you should always wear a seatbelt - something I've always done anyway. It's also a reminder to me that I always need to carry a cell phone when I drive. Mom and Dad gave me an old one to have in case anything ever happened that I could call, but as I sometimes forget to bring it. I didn't have it last night, but thankfully we were only a few minutes from home, and the car was in driving shape.

The aches seem to be getting worse, but I know that the pain will eventually ease. Thankfully Elijah isn't hurting. We got struck mostly on the left, since we were in the process of turning left, which was the side I was on, so I got the brunt of the shaking. But, it too will pass. I can only continue to thank God that He kept us safe and alive.


Mardi said...

I praise God for keeping both of you safe. I pray the aches and pains leave soon in Jesus name!
God is good!

Miriam Rebekah said...

Thank the Lord that you and Elijah weren't seriously hurt!

It must have been quite a scary experience.
Thank God for keeping you safe!

Ella said...

Praise the Lord he was watching over both you and Elijah!! But yes, it is a good way to be reminded of just how precious life is!!

And get back into the habit of taking that cell phone!! When I drive, I plan on having one! YOu never know when you will need it.

Oh, how happy am I that things weren't worse!

The Howard Family said...

Thank God you weren't seriously hurt! Whiplash can be pretty bad though... (I did a backflip and got it when I was like, 9 or 10) I was on the couch for weeks, not to be discouraging of course. I just started driving last month-- so this makes me a little nervous, but not that much!

Praying for your speedy recovery,

Luke said...

Praise God you guys are alright! I can imagine that would have been pretty scary. God is good!
love you,

Joanna said...

Thank God that you and your brother are okay! I will continue to pray for a speedy recovery. May the Lord bless you!

SamanthaMarie said...

I'm praising God that neither of you were hurt (nor apparently anyone in the other vehicle.) These accidents can always be so much worse like you mentioned, but our Father kept you both safe!!

I pray that the hurt and pain you are feeling soon goes away soon!!

Anna Naomi said...

Thank you all for your comments! I'm feeling a little better today, thought I'm still stiff and sore.

Yes, God is good!

Sarah said...

Why are you acting like you are the first person to get involved in a car accident???

Anna Naomi said...

Sarah: I'm not trying to negate the trauma others have suffered through accidents. I'm very aware that many others have had similar accidents or worse. This was a very shaking time for me personally, and I thought I'd share the story of how God protected us.


I'm thankful to hear that you weren't hurt badly! Praise the Lord for His protection!

Elijah Lofgren said...

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for reading my sister's blog! :)

However, please realize that this is Anna and Miriam's blog. They should be completely free to share their feelings and what goes on in their lives, even if what goes on may not compare to the tragedy that goes on in other people's lives.

Anna and I haven't ever been in a car accident like this. In addition, this accident could have easily been a *whole lot worse* if we had gone into the ditch.

As such, this is a story of God's protection. God loves Anna, God loves you, and God loves me. We can each be thankful for the life that God has given us and look forward to a much better one soon in heaven.

Remember, there's enough discouraging things out there in the world. Let's all try to be encouraging to others whenever we can. :)



Maria Pauline said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing this experience. I'll echo others and praise the Lord for your safety. :) That's really something we should do all the time, because God protects us every second of our lives.

Rachel said...

How scary! Driving often scares me anyways, but an accident would be horrible to go through. Praise God that He kept you guys safe.

Sheila said...

Wow! We have a great God. So glad you're safe. :)