Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bringing in the new year with a "bang!"

On Sunday morning, one week ago, we crashed our suburban.

It started out as a normal Sunday morning. We went to church, and after the service we were invited over to our friends' house for lunch...we were all excited! They live several miles out of town, so we followed them—enjoying the beautiful drive on country roads. As we approached their home, there was a sharp curve in the road, and not realizing how icy the road was, we went into a skid, missed the curve, and ended up on a well-groomed snowmobile trail! No problem, that's why we drive a Suburban....we put it in 4 wheel drive and backed-up onto the road once again. Taking the corner a little more cautiously, we pulled into our friends' driveway and had a chuckle about missing the corner. We had a wonderful time - an amazing meal (turkey and all the trimmings!!) and enjoyed our visit that afternoon - we are so thankful for friends that inspire and have a tremendous example of faith.

Around four o'clock, we decided to load up the kids to head home. We jumped in the Suburban, buckled up the kids and ourselves (normally I'm the last to buckle-usually a mile down the road when I remember!), then started for home. I remember looking at the temp readout in the Suburban—it was a chilly -18 below...brrrr. Less than a mile down the road, one of the kids dropped a toy on the floor. Ben reached back to pick it up (how many times have we done that???), and because the road was very narrow, we drifted just slightly to the left, the snow drift caught the right tire and before we knew it we were in the ditch going 35 miles per hour. Unfortunately, there was a gigantic TREE in the ditch too - I cried out, "LORD, help us!" We hit the tree head on...I can still hear the CRASH! The impact was a force I've never felt before....incredible. We came to a dead stop. The air bags deployed in our faces, smoke from the air bags filled the car, and the kids started screaming at the top of their lungs. Ben looked at me and asked if I was ok. "Yeah, are you?" I uttered, both of us completely stunned at what just happened. We quickly checked the kids over for injuries and tried to calm them down. They were all in perfect shape - just really scared. Thank you, Lord.

But that's not all....that was just the second mishap of our day.
There was a third.
No, I'm not kidding!!

Ben ran the 1/2 mile back to our friends' house, and they came to bring us back to their house. We called Ben's dad, and asked if he could come pick us up. He was gracious of course and was there to help in no time at all. After transferring car seats and loading all our belongings from the suburban into his mom's mini van, we were on our way home...again....this time it was dark out and a lovely -20 below!

Five miles or so later, while peacefully traveling at a good speed of 55-60 mph, out of no where, three deer and one being an enormous buck came bounding through the ditch and onto the highway and ran full speed into the side of the mini van. The deer's antlers shattered through one big side window with a noise that sounded like a gun shot, and then through the other big side window. Tiny pieces of glass shot through the van, and landed all over our three kids and myself - it was in our hair, down our coats, in our laps, in the diaper bag...everywhere. Elijah's head was only 12 inches from where the deer's antlers had shattered the window. He was terrified, of course, as was Liam who was next to him. Elianna, who was sitting on the opposite side was completely silent - which worried me at first, but then after checking her over I think she was too tired to put forth the effort of crying.

We pulled the van over and once again checked to make sure all the kids were ok. Amazingly, there wasn't even a scratch on any of the children. I swept Liam's mouth with my finger because he had been wailing in the back seat in protest of being buckled in his carseat at the time the glass came flying in. My first thought was the possibility of him inhailing peices of glass. It was a scary moment. He was fine - thank you, Lord.

We collected ourselves and then realized the remainder 12 miles or so of our journey would have to be with completely missing windows in -20 below weather. Great. Ben put his coat over Elijah who was the closest to the missing window, and we started our journey home....trying to stay warm.

This time we made it. :)

When we returned home, as we put the kids to bed, Elianna wimpered, "Momma, it feels like I'm sleeping on rocks." She was rubbing her neck and I thought, oh no. If she was feeling what I was feeling, something was wrong. I too had a pain in my neck and my left arm was completely numb and my left fingers were tingeling. I had been sitting side-ways in my seat when we hit the tree, so my left side got most of the impact. We talked about taking a trip into the emergency room to get checked out, but Elianna instantly was afraid at getting back into any car. "Momma, I don't want you to get in an accident!" She was very scared. And honestly, I didn't want to go either! I wanted to stay warm and cozy in our little cottage home. If we didn't see Ella moving her head freely before she went to bed we would have gone immediatly to the ER. So Ben decided he'd pray over us and in the morning, if the pain was still there, we'd go in for x-rays.

God answered Ben's prayers. In the morning, all the pain and numbness was gone. We prayed again—praising God for His healing touch.

Through it all, I was especially impacted by my husbands response to the day. After getting the kids in bed and having time to let the events of the day sink in, Ben responded very soberly,
"We have so much to be grateful for."

He didn't say,
"I can't believe we have to buy another Suburban"
"Why did God let this happen?"
"I wish we could start this day over."

No, I think Ben could see past the surface events and look at the bigger picture; God has us in the palm of His hands. And like my Mom said to me, "Nothing can touch you that doesn't first pass through God's hand."

A few days later, a thoughtful friend of ours (a young girl who attends our youth group) emailed this poem to us that she had written:

Lord Help Us
by: Sharmane Murphy

Traveling through the night to reach their destined place,
A family fell in danger and their hearts began to race.
Though peril was the circumstance on that Sunday night,
The Lord was looking over His servants during this fearful sight.
He heard their cry to rescue them and rescue them He did.
Mom and Dad walked from the wreck and so did every kid.

In a new transportation now, they continued on their way.
Wanting to be home safe and sound without single delay.
But more danger lay ahead of them before the day was ended.
The next mishap was awfull it was not at all splendid.
A buck was hit and shattered window's glass.
Yet the Lord let no danger come to pass.

In all these things this family was spared.
God let no harm come because He cared.
Just a simple prayer sent to God that day,
Could be what saved them that Sunday.
When danger came instead of fuss,
They just prayed, "Lord help us."


Jordan and Marianne said...

Oh my, what an incredible story and what a great lesson from God to us all! Glad you all are fine.

♥ Craig & Jessica ♥ said...

WE were thankful that none of you were hurt terribly!!!

Melanie said...

Oh, Mindy, hearing this story again made me cry! I am so SO thankful that you are all okay. God IS good!!

Delchi, Krista, Sabria and Ariana said...

Praise God that you all are alright!
We love you guys and had such a blast with you while we were in MN.

LS said...

Wow, that is so scary! I can well imagine how awful it must have been having just been on a terrifying road trip to MN with icy roads and billowing snow. But 3 episodes in one day is something I've never heard of before! Praising God with you for your safety and blessed by your grateful attitudes in this trial.

If I were you I'd feel a little nervous about getting back in a vehicle for a month or two!

Karen said...

If a person didn't believe that there is a living, active God Who is alive and Who cares for us, they should now! What an awesome testimony of His power and protection! I am so grateful that you all are okay! It just brings me to tears to think what could have happened; God is GOOD!

Guntzel Girls said...

Oh Mindy, I am so glad you're all alright! Praise the Lord for His mighty protection. Have you had any luck finding a new vehicle?


tshavlik said...

Whew! Praising God that you are all safe. I pray that you will find a new vehicle without too much delay.

Baby Blessings said...

Wow, what a story! Our family had a really rough 2009, so I can relate with you. Our six year old daughter was kicked twice by one of our horses (the second kick she was hospitalized.) I gave birth to our sixth baby Sept 20th and exactly a week later my husband and two of my sons were in a horrible car accident (one son was in intensive care.) Miraculously they are all fine now! After those kinds of things it is so hard to "trust" again. I bet you guys had a hard time being in a vehicle after that day!

Glad you all are fine!

Bethany said...

oh my! So thankful you are all okay. Wow. Praise the Lord for protecting you and your family through everything!!

Jessica Faith said...

oh my!! that's awful! praise God for keeping you safe though...

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