Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Don't Waste Your Car Wreck

Elizabeth and 2 of her best friends could have been killed on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Elizabeth, Kacie, Emma

The phone call I received around 11 a.m. that morning could've been very different. It could've been an official voice telling me deeply sad news. Thankfully, the frantic call I did receive was from an alive but sobbing daughter who had just hydroplaned and wrecked.

The girls were on their way to Fayetteville to cheer on the Razorbacks in their last home football game. It was yucky weather - cold and rainy - but they were up for the trip. Three of my other offspring, David, Faith, and Mary Grace, were a few miles further down 71 South in a second car, headed to the same place for the same reason. 

Around Pineville, MO, Elizabeth, headed SOUTH on 71, hydroplaned and did three 360°s before coming to rest T-boned against the guard rail on the NORTH side of 71.

There were no other cars involved. At that terrible moment when they were spinning their way across 3 lanes of traffic, no vehicles were around  - to be hit or, to hit them [shudder].

If there had, this would be a very different post.

But thankfully, it is not. If you could only know how many times I have thanked God for sparing their lives. And, mixed up in the middle of all that, I've wondered "why?"

Why did it all happen like it did? 

I believe God is sovereign, loving, just, merciful, purposeful, gracious, etc. What was/is He doing in all of this? What does He want us to get from this harrowing experience? What does He want us to do with this experience?

This event made me think of a book title I saw once. Before John Piper had surgery for prostate cancer, he wrote this book. I haven't read it, but the provocative title has stuck with me.

And as I've processed the events of last Friday - my daughter and her two friends' brush with death - I've found myself praying two things. First, I thank God again for sparing them. Then, I have been praying:

Lord, please don't let Elizabeth waste her car wreck. 

The day after the wreck, I called Elizabeth and told her some of my thoughts. I told her that God is obviously not done with her or her friends. He has more for them - more to be and more to do on this earth. Their work now is to seek Him to figure out what that more looks like as they go about living their daily lives.

These kind of incidents are checks. It's a mortality check. It's a "what do I believe about God" check. It's a thankfulness check. It's a "I could've died...what am I doing with my life?" check.

These are not light checks. They are weighty, but vital. 

Writing this blog has been a check for me, too. This story had a happy ending, but the next one might not. The next story could have a different title. All I know to do today to prepare for whatever the future might hold for me (and those I love) is to remind myself of the truth and to run into the arms of Him who is the the way, the truth and the life.  I must remind myself (through the disciplines of Bible Study, prayer, and community) of who holds the future and that He can be trusted. And, I must cling to promises like these that God has given through His Son, Jesus.

Because I am His, He promises to never leave me or forsake me. Matthew 28:20
Because I am His, He promises to strengthen and help me. Isaiah 41:10
Because I am His, He promises the Holy Spirit will lead me into all truth. John 16:13
Because I am His, I am valuable to Him. Matthew 10:29-31
Because I am His, if I am brokenhearted, He will be near. Psalm 34:18

Thank you, God, for sparing Elizabeth, Kacie, and Emma.

And, Lord, please don't let them waste their car wreck.


  1. A friend forwarded your blog to me today because Saturday we were returning home after a wonderful family reunion at DeGray State Park when two of my daughters and my new son-in-law were involved in a similar accident on I-30 in Arkansas. My 18-year-old was driving and hydroplaned into a guard rail, got knocked back into oncoming traffic and was hit by an 18-wheeler. I was riding in the vehicle in front of them and have NEVER felt so helpless in my life. Miraculously they all walked out of the vehicle despite 3 sides of the vehicle suffering damage and 4 air bags deploying. God is so good!
    But I have gleened several things from this over the last few days... We were not the only one's blessed by God's grace.
    1. How fortunate we were that my brother and my other son-in-law (both who are police officers) were traveling with us and made sure that we were safe along with the many other travelers on that dark stretch of road during the time it took to get our vehicle off the road.
    2. The truck driver involved will not have to live with the nightmare of taking a life or limb of a young person.
    3. The state troopers and local police who helped were kept safe in the pouring down rain and dark surrounding them while getting statements and diverting traffic.
    4. And my prayer, like yours, is that my daughter, only 18 yrs old, will learn how precious a gift life is and how much her Father in heaven loves her.
    Thank you for your post! From a grateful mother!

    1. Wow, Lori. What a terrifying night. So thankful with you that they are all ok.