Three months ago we were rear ended by a Ford Ranger while standing stationary at a red traffic light. The accident happened at about midnight, on a Saturday night, while we were on our way home to our babies after attending a celebratory supper. The last thing I remembered, before feeling the impact of the double cab, was Chris looking into the rear view mirror and shouting “he’s going to hit us!” The impact of the collision (is it a collision if we’re standing dead still and you’re speeding through the main road – probably drunk – and you end up hitting us?) was so huge that our boot was on our backseat. Homeboy then dismounted his cab (it was practically on top of our Astra), reversed and then drove away without checking if we are okay or if we have insurance, or if, you know, his negligence killed anyone.
Hubstopher injured his back severely and has been in and out of doctors and hospitals and chiropractors. The discs in his lower back has collapsed and he pretty much writhes in pain every other day. Playing guitar or bass guitar has become a tense situation because he almost always ends up with hectic back pain afterwards.
We now also have no car because, for various reasons that I won’t get into, this current car was not on our name yet and therefore was not insured. It’s all fun and games, really. Especially more exciting knowing that we don’t have the registration number of the driver of the other car, and so can’t hold him liable for the damage.
But anyways… my point is that this accident has left us in a far worse condition than it found us. And because the driver of the other car drove away, we kinda have no one to blame and no insurance to pay for the damage. We’re stuck. Right? I mean, that’s what it looks like. Right? Well, surprisingly, the accident has done a lot more than leave us in a crappy situation. It’s crazy but it’s kinda helping us to grow, guys! Weird right?! Who would’ve thought that I would even find positivity in such a traumatic event. Here are some of the lessons I’m learning:
1. Our passengers (yep, there were passengers!) made it out alive. And judging by the state of the car, even the paramedics were shocked that not one of us spilt blood, on that night. It had been raining that night and one chatty paramedic told me about the other accident scenes he attended to, before ours. There were fatalities at the other scenes. If ever we needed proof that the protection of God is on our lives, this accident was it! One of our passengers should have broken her back. She’s fine. That’s God. I’m so thankful for His faithfulness.
2. I was totally dumb and did not have my seat belt secured. If my husband had not looked in the rear view mirror, yanking me towards him, before the cab hit, I probably would have slammed right through the windscreen. In fact, the impact was so severe that I was found upside down in the car afterwards. I’m so thankful to be alive! For days, after the accident I would wake up sobbing simply because I get to spend another day with my kids. Life is short. I’m thankful for my life.
3. My kids were not in the car. You guys, I can’t imagine the trauma, had my small kids been in the car. I don’t want to even go there. I’m thankful.
4. Even though we’re without a car right now, we know it won’t be a forever situation. We’ve been so blessed by friends and family members who ride us around with pleasure! I know it can be a burden sometimes (try finding a ride to church when you’re a family of six) and it sucks to have to ask. But I do believe that God is stretching us and building character. I’m thankful that He allows things like this because He knows it’s going to grow us.
5. We’ve been Ubering around a lot and we often find ourselves striking up conversation with the Uber drivers. Some of them offer up their life stories freely and I’m always so amazed at how many broken lives there are out there… people who are desperate to make ends meet for their families, and those who feel that there is no hope and they’ll take what they can get. Without getting too “preachy” we offer them a word of encouragement and hopefully leave them in a better head space than what we found them. I’m thankful that when God wants to move, He isn’t limited to how many cars I have.
6. We spend a lot more time indoors now (because, duh, no car to go anywhere). Hello family time! I love being at home a lot more than I love not being at home, so it’s a win for me, on all fronts. We believe that Chris’s back injury will be healed and he’ll be hopping around on stage again in the near future. He had to take leave from work to rest his back and although it troubled him to be away from his desk for so long, I actually think the break did him good. I’m thankful for rest and for our home.
7. I remember laying in the hospital bed, post-accident. Chris was taken to a different hospital. My phone was off and I was instructed to not move, until they were able to do a full body X-ray. I lay there for the longest time, every part of my spreadsheet brain screaming out that I needed to speak to my husband! I needed to phone my babysitter to find out if my kids are okay! I needed to hear my mother’s voice and check if our passengers are okay! Laying dead still, in a hospital bed, with no communication with the outside world drove me crazy! I guess I was pretty hysterical because I found myself pleading with God “please let me see my family again! I want to see my family again!” I don’t know, for some reason (probably the blow to my head) I felt that I would never see them again. In those moments I realized how much I love my crazy family and my even crazier husband. I realized how blessed I am and how I would do anything to have to clean my house again or change Jojo’s nappy again or wash Kyle’s socks again. Guys, I’m so thankful for my family.
The biggest lesson we’re learning, by accident, because of this accident, is that trusting on our own understanding is morbid. If we had to look at our current situation, with human eyes, it would probably depress us. But the beauty of leaning on God is that you don’t allow the physical circumstance to determine how you’re going to feel today or what you’re planning for tomorrow. His outcome for our lives is always for good. We’re so aware of His bigger plan and purpose. And that is the thing that I am most thankful for.