Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Not-So-Gentle Whisper

Life seems to be flying by at a million miles a minute lately.  Have you ever felt that way? I'm sure you have.  Between the job, and kids, and kids' soccer practices and games, training for this marathon, running races, church, and housework I feel like I am in a constant state of flux.  Now, I really like to keep busy.  I like to know that there is something to keep me going.  We are those kind of people.  You know, the kind that simply come home to eat, sleep, and bathe?!  Any other time we are out.  Doing.  Being.  Out. Out. Out.  (Total perfect in my eyes!)

However, I need to be honest with you. Now that the weather is getting nicer and we are all out many, many more hours of the day and days of the week we have had to start pushing off some things.  Things like church activities.  I told you all a couple weeks ago how I have been torn between two churches, well, that's it.  We do go, still, but now one instead of the other most weeks rather than both.  And those days when there isn't church, well reading the Bible and praying have been placed to the way side.  I'm telling you this because for several weeks now I have been convicted by it. God has been trying to get me to slow down for weeks now.

I have  had moments where we've talked.  Ok, I've talked and I know He's listened, but I don't think I've really listened to Him.  Not for lack of wanting to.  Not for lack of wanting that walk and relationship, but that every time that I get to that point where I am going to do it, something else comes up.  I'm overwhelmed. I have simply run myself (in some cases quite literally) in to the ground.  I'm missing out on the most important thing in my life - Jesus.

Then it hit me.  For real.  It being a tree. I was coming home from work yesterday evening, driving the route I always take,  going the same speed I always go (I'm a stickler for cruise control and people who don't use it irritate me like nothing else - end rant).  The weather up this way has been menopausal for sure.  Hot and breezeless one day, freezing rain the next, cool and wind gusts in excess of 50mph for added fun.  Because we all need that kind of awesomeness!  And that was yesterday.  We had beautiful temps (upper 50s to lower 60s) with the massive wind gusts.  There I was driving down US6 and BIFF! out of nowhere something hit my van. Like in slow motion I applied the breaks and slowly pulled over to the side of the road.  It was at that time I realized I couldn't see out my windshield and I was covered in glass.

Dear friends, mother nature plays a wicked game of whack-a-mole!  Seriously!  Instead of a rubber mallet she uses trees and vehicles are the moles.  And that is what happened.  A tree broke at the base and fell on my van as I was driving down the road. After I parked the van I got out to see what happened.  Then I saw it, a tree covering both lanes of the highway. Random passers-by stopped to help with traffic while we got the broken branches out of the way.  Others with 4x4s and, strangely enough, chain saws cut the tree up and moved it with their trucks and chains.  After the county and state police came and took the report my boss (who goes the same way home) started to take me home but my boyfriend came to get me.  (He's so sweet!)

I didn't cry once.  Not until today when the insurance company said that it may be a total loss. Then I teared up.  For the simple fact that I love my van.  Yes, I am the quintessential soccer mom.  My van is awesome!  I quickly got over it because it could have been worse.  It can always be worse.  I could not be here to write this. And that is the reason I am writing.  Today, as I was coming home from the rental car place who upgraded me to a minivan at no extra cost (to the insurance company, or me), I started to cry.  I could have died.  That tree could have landed differently, it could have been bigger, it could have, well done more.  But it didn't. 

God protected me.  He had me nested in His ever capable hands.  He loved me and kept me safe.  I don't know His grander plan for me or my life, but what I do know is that He didn't let the "could" happen.  Oh, He DID get my attention for sure; very loud and VERY clear.  The thing is, He never leaves us.  He is there in every single moment of our lives.  He is there when we are doing the going to church thing, parenting the children thing, and even the mundane like the driving home from work thing.  He wants us to take our time with Him.  He gives us so many reminders that He is there, waiting.  Don't be like me.  Don't wait for the big, the obscure, the downright weird accident to come to Him. 

I sit here in total awe.  In a flabbergasted state of mind.  I know I have my life to thank God for spiritually, but today it became all too real for me physically.  Our God is an awesome God and He reigns from Heaven above!

These are a couple of the photos.  It is hard to really get an idea of the damage and size of the tree (I didn't get photos until it was all cleaned up).  Essentially the roof, hood, grill, radiator, both headlights, both side mirrors, both front quarter panels, the windshield (obviously), both sliding doors, and both rear panels are damaged (broken, dented, scratched) from this freak accident.  Not to mention potential undercarriage damage.

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