Valentines Day…a day that many associate with chocolate and flowers and love. For me, it is associated with life. And being thankful for each breath that I take.
On this day in 2005 I experienced my worst fear. But I also experienced a feeling that is surreal…and that words cannot adequately describe.
It started as any other day would. Get up and go to work. And then that evening go to class. Nothing seemed unusual or strange. Just a normal, rainy day. Or so I thought.
So I leave to go to class. It is no longer raining. But the roads are still very wet. I am half way to my destination when I feel my car hit a puddle of water. Not the first time this has ever happened to me, so I wait to feel myself get traction once again. But that doesn’t happen. Something felt very wrong and I knew in that moment that there was an issue. What happens next takes only seconds, but seems much longer. I am headed toward a line of pine trees…and they don’t look to forgiving. So I manage to somehow aim for the ditch. Little did I know that the ditch was full of water. My car flips…a total of 2.5 times.
As this sequence of events begins, I am willing myself to be aware. I count as I am rolling and in that first roll realize that I am getting wet. And when the rolling stops, I am left upside down…and under water.
I am living my nightmare of drowning. But instead of feeling panic and fear, I have the most overwhelming sense of calmness. I try to wiggle myself free, but that seatbelt did it’s job perfectly and I was held nice and snug. What now I am asking myself? How I am getting out of this water?
And that is when I hear that small voice saying “put your chin to your chest”. So I grab hold to the steering wheel and lift my head and shoulders up. Air…I can breath. As I catch my breath, I am assessing to see what my next move is and thinking why is no one helping me?
Once again that voice is so very clear “undo the seatbelt”. I am thinking there is no way. That seatbelt will need to be cut! But I reach down and hit the button. It pops open. Now the law of gravity says that with the seatbelt off, I should have fallen from the seat and hit my head. Nope…that doesn’t happen!
Still, there is not one single person coming down to where I am. And there is definite traffic as it was right at 5pm. I am on my own to get myself out. My next move is freeing myself from what remains of my car. So I squeeze through the opening of my driver’s window…on my belly army style. All total, my car was under 17 inches of muddy water and muck.
That is when I finally get help. You see, there were quite a few cars that witnessed the accident as it happened. And their thoughts were unanimous. There was no way a person could live through what they had just witnessed.
The odds were most definitely not in my favor with this accident. My car was brand new, so airbags should have deployed. Had they though, I would have been trapped underwater. I remained conscious. Had I blacked out, I never would have gotten my head raised out of that muddy water.
Call these things coincidence…I don’t think so. You see, I know that God’s protection is real. I know that my “Bubba” angel as I call him was co-pilot that afternoon. That still, small voice that was heard so clearly…not a real person!
I walked away from that horrific scene with a few cuts and bruises, and a head full of muck from being in that muddy water. That is it! And I walked away with a new meaning in life.
There is no promise of tomorrow…there is no promise of our next breath even. For me, this experience brought new meaning to that. Each day is truly a gift from God.
The pics below are of my car once it was out of that ditch. I wish that I had a few of it in the ditch before it was removed but I don’t.