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The Totaled Eclipse

Music blared while wind blew through my open car windows dragging with it the smell of spring, hope and blue sky. My husband and I had started the search for land where we could build our first home a few weeks earlier. We were talking seriously about starting a family. And it was Friday.

A truck topped the hill in front of me and swerved into my lane. My pulse quickened.

He must be going around something in the road.

My eyes darted around. A line of cars filed past me in the other lane. To my right the road dropped into a steep ravine.

He wasn’t moving over.

The world moved in slow motion.

This was going to hurt.

Metal ground against metal. The contents of my car fluttered past me. I always wondered how I would die. When I opened my eyes I would see Jesus. No flash of my life before my eyes, only acceptance. I closed my eyes.

My car jolted to a stop and I opened my eyes. His F150 and my Eclipse (my dream car we bought two years earlier) mangled together in a heap of metal and smoke. How bad was this? I wiggled my fingers and gingerly moved my upper body. My toes moved. If I could just get out of the car I could walk away. If I could walk away I’d be okay.

I pushed open the driver’s side door but I could not drag myself out.

“Help! Somebody help me!” I screamed. I think I screamed. The adrenaline rushed through my body.

A member of our church called my parents. People from the local clinic and an ambulance arrived within minutes. The EMTs moved as much out of my car as possible, slipped a brace around my neck and attempted to slide me onto a body board. I pushed and wiggled to help them.

“You’re going to have to just let us do this,” he said.

Fine. I let my body go limp. If they didn’t want my help I wouldn’t give it to them.

Today, thirteen years later, the time after the wreck is a blur. Friends and family crowded into the ER and later the hallway outside my hospital room. My leg was broken in two places. Otherwise, I was truly okay. A great surgeon happened to be on call and he managed to put my broken leg back together.

In the years between I’ve birthed two children, run several 5Ks, and started a company.

People ask me how I do it all. I write novels, I blog, I run a company and I somehow manage to care for my family. Most of the time I don’t do any of it extremely well, but I keep going. My answer is simple: God had a chance to take my life that day. In reality, He can take our life anyday, but He had the perfect opportunity that day. He left me here for a purpose. He did not leave me here to take up oxygen and bide my time. If that’s all He needed He would have taken me that day.

Somedays it feels like a lifetime ago, almost like it never happened. Except it changed my life and my body. I live with a rod and two screws in my leg. And every April 8 I rethink this experience, how life changed in the blink of an eye. Ask anyone who looked at my car afterward and they will tell you I shouldn’t have lived. But I did live and I intend to keep living as long as God allows me breath in my lungs.

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