Voices. So many voices. In my head. All around me. But, no faces attached.
“Get her out!”
“Be careful! Watch her neck!”
“Can you walk? Hon, do you think you can walk?’
Me? Are they talking to me? I think they are. Can I walk?!
I try to move….
Good heavens! My body feels like it’s on fire! Like a thousand knives are stabbing me all at once!
What did I say? Did I speak? Can I speak?
More voices. Shouting. So many voices.
Am I sitting? Am I laying? I can’t be sure.
Slowly I pry my eyes open. They feel as if lead weights have been laid on top of them and sandpaper lines the insides. I see faces. But, I don’t really see them. Just blurs and blobs of color.
Where am I? Am I outside? I see a glimpse of sun through my sandpaper lids and feel a slight breeze on my skin.
“Hon, can you hear me? Don’t try to move.”
I can hear her.
Her voice is sweet. Concerned. A bit frantic.
“Where am I? What happened?”
I manage to get the question out, trying to focus through the fog.
“You’re on the side of the road, dear. There was an accident. You went off the road and your car flipped. Just rest, the ambulance is just getting here. I’m a nurse. I live in this house and saw what happened. I’ll stay with you until they get over here.”
My mind raced, then suddenly – Matthew! Matthew! He’d be home from school. Matthew was at home waiting! He’d be so worried.
“My son! He’s home. Alone. He’s going to be so worried!”
“Can you remember your number, dear?”
“My phone. It’s in my phone.”
“We’ve searched everywhere. No one can find your phone. It must have been thrown from the car.”
I was quiet. I thought. It hurt to think, but I had to remember. Matthew was alone.
I tried to focus – tried to think – for Matthew. Then it came to me…
They tried and tried to call. No one was answering. No one picking up, but they left a message. I prayed he would hear it!
New voices… New out of focus faces.
“Ma’am, we’re the paramedics. We’re going to lift you now. Just stay still. We’ll be very careful.”
They were – careful – gentle – but, the pain was almost unbearable.
I was laid on the long, silver stretcher. They strapped me in, securing my neck and arms so I wouldn’t move and damage my spine any further. I was covered in layer after cotton-y layer of warm blankets – the first comforting moment in this little mini-nightmare I seemed to be having – and we headed for the ambulance.
Suddenly the sunlight was gone and the breeze stopped. I was surrounded by beeping and buzzing machines and whispering voices, trying hard not to let me hear. But I did.
“Did you see that car? Hear how many times she flipped? I can’t believe she’s still alive!”
“I can’t believe she’s conscious…able to speak!”
“Do you think she’ll be paralyzed?”
“It’s possible. Looks like a lot of damage to the spine.”
My mind soaked in their words…the possibilities. I should have been upset. I should have been afraid. Instead, a giant blanket of peace wrapped around me. No matter what happened, I knew I would be ok. I knew that whether I walked away from this accident or whether I was pushed away in a wheelchair, I would still be held in the palm of Jesus’ hand. I had this because He had me.
I spent the rest of my ride in the ambulance talking to God and basking in the overwhelming ocean of serenity and love that poured over me.
As it turned out, the paramedic was correct, there was considerable damage to my back – 6 fractures, as well as two in my shoulder and a severe concussion. Still, I was out of the hospital in just a few days. The doctors and nurses were proclaiming how miraculous it was to walk away from that kind of accident without needing surgery, let alone even a cast – that my fractures could not have been more perfect – they would heal themselves if I just lay still and rest. (And they did! If you look at my X-rays now, doctors say they wouldn’t know my back had ever been broken if they hadn’t been told!)
Later, my husband would show me pictures of the accident scene – the car damage. The roof was completely smashed in – except right over my head. The windows completely shattered – except right in front of my face. As I looked at it, it was as if I could actually see me sitting there, blacked out, with an angel completely enveloping me in their arms, protecting me.
There have been so many wonderful things in my life that have sprang out of that accident. I couldn’t possibly relate them all to you here in this small forum. Still, that accident, and the repercussions it caused in my life, created a snowball effect of goodness, of blessing, that I never could have predicted, never could have dreamed of, and that never would have happened apart from the accident.
That was September 11, 2014. I spent six weeks practically confined to bed to allow my bones to heal. I still have quite a bit of residual back pain and it caused my fibromyalgia to become worse. I suppose some people would look back on a time like that and consider that a horrible moment in their lives, a hardship, a tragedy. I have never once thought of my accident that way. To the contrary, September 11, 2014 is the day that God displayed His overwhelming, never-ending, outrageous love for me! Specifically for me! It never would have occurred to me to ask God for a car accident to bless my life – I’m so thankful God knows what I need so much better than I do and I can trust Him – whatever comes my way!