It’s Holy Week. A reminder of Jesus’ death and resurrection. He suffered and died on a cross so that we might have eternal life with Him. And because He loves us, He continues to be ever present in our lives. To love, shelter, guide, care for, shepherd, comfort us. Even though we’re stubborn. Even though we’re unappreciative. Even though we’re sinners. We are so blessed to have His unconditional love and grace…
Being reminded of the Ultimate Salvation…I'd like to segway into something that perhaps we all take for granted (in addition to the Perfect Gift mentioned beforehand). Did you know that Jesus protects and saves us every day, too? Can you think of a time when Jesus has saved you or the life of someone you know? Perhaps a miracle healing? Perhaps a near miss crossing a busy intersection? Perhaps being in the right place at the right time to avoid a child being hurt on the playground?
Jesus has saved me more times than I can count so I'd like to offer a testimony of one such example.
Incident Date: 30 March 2013.
That day, I woke later than planned. With one semi-conscious bat of my arm, I launched my blaring alarm clock across the room. It was 6am and nothing was going to pull me out of bed. In doing so, however, I failed to take my anti-convulsant medication (for Epilepsy). And as I went about my day, I failed to realize that fact.
After a shower, my plan was to slip on my favorite cute clothes and drive to Starbucks for something yummy, then return home to chillax. Not far from my home, a gentle voice spoke. He told me to turn around and go home because it wasn’t safe. Like a stubborn child, I tuned out the warning. I wish I had listened...now I believe in my heart for certain that was Jesus.
When I opened the door at Starbucks, something felt…off. Ever feel like that? I went through an inventory of things in my mind and then it hit me… I forgot to take my medicine. Just two simple pills. As I do not have frequent grand mal seizures (also classified as generalized tonic-clonic seizures), I thought that I could buy a bottle of water and some mixed nuts, then take my medicine and sit in my car until it took effect. I didn’t think to call a cab just in case. Actually, I’m not sure what I was thinking because I feel like I got one of those Men in Black alien brain wipes. The time between the parking lot and waking up in my car at an angle in a ditch is really hazy.
All I can gather is that my brain lit up like a Christmas tree, operated on auto pilot for I don’t know how long and erased my short-term memory—seizures do that, after all. Remembering the scene is like looking through a strange film reel. There was a flurry of activity…so many emergency vehicles. firemen, EMTs, police officers. I was pinned in place so all I could really do was look around. It was a nightmare. Everything around me was torn to pieces—except for the bottle of water in the cup holder, cap off and half full. The passenger side was a disaster having been blown to pieces and crushed. As an example, the passenger’s side FLOOR was gone. While observing all this, a police officer told me what happened since I was in obvious shock. I was on a four-lane highway. My speed was clocked at more than 55 mph. Eventually I crashed into a barrier wall and flipped around. No one knew if I'd had the seizure before or after impact. While I might’ve caused a little traffic delay, though, I didn’t hurt anyone. Also, I walked out of the hospital with a clean bill of health four hours later. Physically, a few lacerations and some dark bruising (let's just say I had one strong seat belt). Emotionally, I had trouble with the traumatic flashbacks. Still have a little PTSD, but have mostly healed. Miracle, miracle, miracle.
My Honda was totaled and taken away that day. I had to see it before it was dismantled for reusable parts distribution—and worse. So my dad took me to the impound lot. I took a lot of time. Circled the car. Looked in the car. Sat in the car. Took pictures… It was overwhelming. When I looked back through the pictures I’d taken, I was reminded that Jesus was in control that day. There was one picture in particular that sealed that belief for me. The sun was shining just enough to cast reflections on my car. There was a reflection of a cross above the driver’s side front headlight. A true sign of God’s love.
So tomorrow is a celebration of life and health. Eight years ago, Jesus saved me (and others) on that highway. Also, I had what I hope to be my last grand mal seizure...God willing.
Every day is a blessing. Even the bad ones.
Update: 30 March 2021
This afternoon, just after 1pm, I went on my annual "remembrance drive" to the neighborhood Starbucks. It's tradition.
For the first few years after the 30 March 2013 event, I've purposely driven to the original Starbucks as a way of remembrance and coping...PTSD is no joke.
Today, the sun is shining so very bright, the weather is as it was back in 2013 AND I feel fabulous.
After a few tears (flashbacks...), I put on a sassy outfit (those who know me well are very aware that ensemble includes a pair of knee-high black leather boots), loaded some great tunes and hopped into one of the family cars (which I have nicknamed "My Honda" even though it isn't a Honda...but it might as well be because it's awesome). I rolled down the windows like one of the local kids and blasted my music, not caring about the dirty looks from some neighborhood cranks. I didn't go to the original Starbucks. I went to the drive thru near home, ordered a drink (one that I ordered every day in the mid 2000's), then enjoyed a breezy drive through the neighborhood and past one of my old schools. I almost stopped at the bookhaus, but figured I should have a book to contribute...the take one (book), leave one (book) principle. :-)
When I pulled in the driveway, I just sat there. Happy. Wanting to cry. Happy tears, of course. I did it. No anxiety. No incidents. Just success, cheerful sights, pretty weather and a drink the cost of a small club martini. :-) Even updated my selfies. :-)
Thank you, Jesus, for keeping me safe, granting me a perfect day and, well, for waking me up to enjoy it all.