When I was 20, I was in a serious head-on collision car accident while I had my (very new) baby in the car with me. I was driving home from work and usually my husband (at the time) and I commuted together. But, for a reason I don’t remember, that night we drove home separately. My daughter was strapped into her car seat, next to me in our Pinto.
It was very dark, but I thought I recognized my husband’s headlights behind us. The truck was tailgating me and I was getting angry, wondering why he would be driving so dangerously close behind his wife and daughter. However, when I exited the highway, the truck kept going. It wasn’t him. I began worrying about him, wondering where he was and if he was okay.
We lived in a somewhat remote area, and many of the roads in Missouri did not have shoulders. This one was no different. I had almost stopped, looking in my rearview mirror for his truck, as I approached a hairpin curve to the left. Suddenly there was an out-of-control car coming toward me – in my lane, and less than 20 feet in front of me.
My mind quickly calculated. I had nowhere to turn to get away from the car and I could not make it happen fast enough anyway. I first thought about my daughter. I realized I could not protect her, so I clearly asked God to protect her. Suddenly, I had a vivid memory of a conversation that I had with my Grandmother when I was eleven. She told me that she had read an article in the newspaper about a man going to sleep at the wheel of the car, not wearing a seatbelt, and crashing into a building. He walked away from the accident completely unhurt. The article said that perhaps he was not hurt because his body was relaxed. I was not wearing a seat belt. I very consciously removed my hands from the steering wheel and my feet from the pedals and slumped into a relaxed position.
I don’t have any recollection of the impact. Just after, I looked at my daughter. She was safe and looked unharmed. Then I got out of the car. At this point, my husband was behind us and running towards us screaming. The boys that hit us, backed up and drove away. My car was totaled. The entire front end had been smashed up to the windshield. We did not have cell phones then, and we knew we needed to call the police, so I got my daughter out of the car and with her in my arms, ran up a hill to the first house we saw.
A couple answered the door and called the police for us. My adrenaline began to calm, and we started walking back to the car to wait for the police. As we walked back the way we came, I was shocked to see that we had run up a very tall embankment that was truly a vertical drop. My husband and I looked at each other questioningly and then turned around to try to figure out how to get down to our car.
Other than me having a fractured nose and a few bruises and my daughter having one tiny bruise on the side of her head, we were absolutely fine. I considered this a great miracle!
After that experience, I questioned again and again, how did my mind think so many things in a split of a second, and just how did we run up a perfectly vertical embankment?
There are many stories of such miracles that occur when people are experiencing some tragedy or emergency. These experiences show us that we are more than we think we are. We can do the impossible.
I talk about making the impossible possible often because truthfully the spiritual path feels mostly impossible! Impossible to at times forgive, to offer an olive branch to someone you feel betrayed you, to overcome emotional pain.
Tonight, I watched Invictus. I think everyone can agree that Nelson Mandela achieved the impossible!
You do not need a tragedy to move towards achieving the impossible. Each day, you have the power to push yourself just a little towards being the person you so crave to be!
Dare to Love.
Dare to Forgive.
Dare to be Kind.
Dare to be the First.
Dare to Achieve the Impossible!
I love you!