Sunday, August 24, 2014

Lucy Smiles, and God is with Us

It's been a rough week. We went to Utah to visit family, listen to my parents speak in church, celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary, and celebrate Charlie's 2nd birthday. All was going swimmingly until, on the morning of Charlie's birthday, and the day before we left Utah, I totaled one of my dad's vehicles. People are in wrecks all the time, and I'm sure some of you have gone through worse accidents than mine, but I feel like it's taken me almost a whole week to emerge from the fog of confronting my own mortality. The worst part of the entire ordeal was that Lucy was in the car with me, and though she made one little squeak after we collided nearly head-on with a pick-up truck and was otherwise totally fine (thank you, Chicco car seat), a few days after returning home I fell into a dark cloud as it finally sunk in how terribly our story could have ended.

I have also struggled to understand why I received a premonition, or a message, or whatever you'd like to call it, minutes before the crash. I heard a voice say, "You will crash this vehicle." This was sort of strange to hear. It was 8:30 on a Monday morning in a small Utah community. Low traffic. Few distractions. I was headed to the bank for some cash before going to my friend's house for a hair cut. Two minutes later, I was sitting stunned in the middle of an intersection, staring at the crumpled front end of a Chevy Cobalt while sulfury smoke from the airbag swirled around me.

I firmly believe the message about my impending accident came from God, but for a few days, I couldn't figure out why. Wouldn't it have been more useful to be prompted to take a different route to the bank? Or to look away from the disoriented cyclist in the intersection before turning left? Or any other information that would have kept us from having the accident at all? If you were going to send a heavenly message, Lord, couldn't you have managed something a little more helpful?

After pondering and questioning what this all means, I've decided that I heard the words, "You will crash this vehicle," because the Lord wanted to let me know that He was with me, even though something bad was about to happen. Isn't that what life is about? I think we sometimes hope that by believing in God, we will be spared from suffering, miraculously prevented from misfortune, and otherwise kept happy and safe in this mortal experience. Perhaps something different but more valuable is true. Bad things will happen to good people who love the Lord, but they will have the comfort in knowing that He is with them through the bad. God didn't stop my car accident. He could have, in a multitude of ways, big and small, but He didn't. My decisions and my mistakes were allowed to play out. But He let me know, in His way, that He was aware of me. That has helped me immensely to process all that happened. I'm glad Lucy, the other driver, and I are all safe, and I'm grateful now to know that Heavenly Father had love and consideration enough for me to tell me He is always with me.