Gift Ideas - Handmade and Other

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Test and A Testimony

The Test

On Tuesday, September 16, 2014 I got out of bed and went about my morning routine. I prayed and thought about what I had on my agenda for that day. I climbed into my car and pulled out of my parking lot headed to work. I navigated the normal traffic lights and turns and was coming down a straightaway into an intersection that I don’t like. It is a busy intersection with people pulling out of gas stations and others merging on or off the highway.

I saw the pickup driver pulling forward, I saw him looking the other way. I saw him pulling forward not looking my way, not seeing me. I hit my brakes. I hit my horn. He turned toward me, but it was too late. I considered my options. Could I swerve behind him? No, he was pulling a trailer and I would hit it and possibly roll the car or go airborne. Could I swerve in front of him? No, he was moving that direction. I realized I couldn’t avoid him and I watched the silver nose of my car hit the side of his brown pickup. I saw the metal crumple and felt the snap and jar as my body was thrown forward by the impact and then snapped back into the seat by my seatbelt. My car was pulled slightly to the left and pieces of it were strewn across the road. Something smelled hot and either steam or smoke drifted from the front of the car.

I felt stunned. Disoriented. Alone. Struggling to know what to do next.

My purse, lunch bag, work bag had been thrown onto the floor on the passenger side. I picked them up and looked for my phone. I needed to call 911. This needed to be reported. My hands were a little shaky.

An older white man approached from the gas station and started to come to the window. I saw him ask if I was okay. I reached for the window control to open the window, but he moved around to the other side of the car. I rolled down the window. He asked if I was okay. I said I thought so. A woman with dark hair pulled back in a pony tail appeared holding a cell phone. She said she’d called 911. 

A man with skin the color of milk chocolate appeared and everything else faded from my comprehension. He spoke to me, calmly, kindly,“You need to get out of the car. You’re in the middle of the road and you might get hit again. You need to get out of the car.”

I heard him. He made sense, but I didn’t quite know what to do. I wanted to do what he said, but I felt very lost and unsure how to do it.

“You need to get out of the car. Open the door.”

I released the seatbelt latch. I tried to open the door, but it didn’t open very well. It got stuck. He pulled it open, telling me each step of the way what he was doing. I gathered my bags.

I said, “I need my glasses. I can’t see without them. They flew off in the accident.”

He looked down and saw them between the seat and the door. He picked them up. “I have them right here. Come on, now, let’s get you out of the car.” He was so calm and so comforting.

I got out of the car and stood beside it for a moment. He handed me my glasses and I looked him in the eye. His eyes were the same beautiful milk chocolate color. Our eyes held and a peace and calm washed over me. He never touched me, but I felt so comforted by him. He offered to take one or all of my bags, but I said I was okay. He walked with me over to the side of the road.

The cellphone lady came over and so did a woman with light brown hair and skin the color of milk. She said her name was Mary. She said she was a nurse and that she had heard the accident from where she was at Dunkin Donuts across the street. Mary asked if I was okay and offered to let me sit in her car. I said I thought I was okay, but that I was pretty sure I was in shock and the adrenaline was flowing, so I wasn’t sure.

The driver of the pickup approached me. He apologized and said it was his fault. Mary asked him if he was okay. He was shaken too. He had pulled the pickup across the road and it was sitting on the shoulder just past the exit ramp. I felt a twinge of anger that she asked if he was okay, after all it was his fault, but then almost as quickly as the twinge of anger came, so did a twinge of guilt that I would be so selfish. He was just as deserving as I of concern.

I began to feel very shaky and weak, I wasn’t sure if I could hold myself up any more and told Mary that maybe it would be a good idea for me to sit down after all. Mary and cellphone lady walked with me over to the car and let me get settled in a seat. 

A State Trooper came over to talk with me. I handed him my license, registration, and insurance card. He walked away while I notified  a friend about the accident. I told her where I was and asked her to reach my boss.

The State Trooper checked in again and told me to go to the hospital and get checked out sometime that day.  He also told me they would tow my car. I asked if I could make a request. He said yes, as long as it wasn’t 50 miles away. I said no, it was a place close by and next door to where I live. In my shock-induced state I had trouble remembering the name and pronounced it incorrectly. Thankfully the other State Trooper was familiar with the place and figured it out from what I was saying.  

The driver of the pickup approached me again and apologized with tears in his eyes. I told him that I didn’t hold it against him. I felt sorry for him.

Then the ambulance people arrived – two sturdy people, a man and a woman. I liked that they were sturdy. Since I’m not a little person, I felt safer with two sturdy people to do the lifting and caregiving. Since the State Trooper had told me to get checked out sometime that day,  I decided that was probably as good a time as any. I didn’t know how I would get to the hospital otherwise. So, for the first time in my life, I rode in the back of an ambulance to the hospital. My first time in the hospital as a patient as well. I called my boss, who is also my pastor, from the back of the ambulance and told him what had happened, where I was, and where I was going.

At the hospital a nurse and physician's assistant checked me out. They x-rayed and bandaged one knee that was swelling and gave me muscle relaxers and suggested something for pain and told me what to do to deal with the pain that would likely come the next day. My pastor and his wife arrived while I was being x-rayed and sat with me until I was released. They took me to the pharmacy to drop off my prescription and then took me on to the office. They suggested I go home or come to their house, but I didn’t want to replay the accident over and over in my head, and I felt okay. I chose to go to work.

As days turned into a week and I hadn’t heard more from the insurance company, I became more and more anxious about how I would pay for another car. The car I had been driving had been an answer to prayer. A decent vehicle that my nephew-in-law had found for me at a really good price. Cars like that don’t come along every day and I had no idea how I would pay for another one. I talked with God a lot. If He didn’t come through, I was sunk. I didn’t know what I would do.

Since I had never been in an accident like this before, I wasn’t sure how the system worked. I became more and more nervous and anxious about how much the insurance company would give me and how on earth I would find a car in that price range and before the rental expired. I began putting out feelers and paying attention to what was around me. Still, I was scared. I prayed. I prayed that God would show up and show off – show off His power, His ability to provide. I asked Him to turn this Test into a Testimony.

I got the offer from the insurance company Wednesday, September 24th. I had hoped for a certain amount, prayed for an amount almost double what I hoped for, and feared I would get only a pittance. I was floored when the adjuster named a price that was nearly $500 more than what I had prayed for – oh me of little faith!!! I was so happy I nearly did a happy dance. I had to share the good news with someone, so I told my pastor the good news. Little did I know that he had devious plot of his own.

The Testimony
The next day, he revealed his devious plot. He had asked the leadership of the church if it would be possible to help me out. He wasn’t sure how much it would be, but he thought the church would help. I waited to see what God would do.

On Friday, one of the leaders of the church, a man I have grown to appreciate and respect deeply, came in the office. He scolded me for not telling him about the accident, asked a bunch of questions and then told me that he was quite sure that they could match the amount from the insurance company. Oh. My. Word!!!!!!!!!! The tears of course filled my eyes and I couldn’t believe what he was saying. That bumped my car search to a whole new level. I began scouring the internet that weekend.

The following Monday my rental through the insurance company expired. My pastor and his wife loaned me her car until I could find another one. At each step of the way, I felt anxiety not knowing how the next step would play out. Waiting to see what God would do, thinking through my options. At each step of the way, He provided.

On Tuesday, September 30th (two weeks after the accident) I got another call from the church leader. More money than he had originally hoped had come in and I could bump up the price range significantly again. I scoured the internet again changing my search parameters to fit the new criteria.

On Wednesday morning I realized that although I had been praying for God to provide, I hadn’t been including Him as I searched for cars. I prayed that He would lead me to “my” car. Later that day, I found a car that moved to the top of my list, a 2010 white Mazda 3 with only 43,000ish miles on it and within my price range. I showed it to my pastor/boss and he encouraged me to call. I called and left a message twice. No response. I was so sure this was “my” car, yet when I didn’t hear back all my fears and anxieties popped up again. What if it was sold already? What if . . . (fill in the blank)? On Thursday the call came. It hadn’t been sold. I set up an appointment to see it on Friday.

My pastor and his wife went with me and between us we looked it over from stem to stern, inside and out, under the hood and in the trunk. I think Pastor J even got under it at one point. We found a few little cosmetic things that needed tweaking. Then we went for a test drive. Pastor J gave it a run for its money – something I wouldn’t have had the boldness to do, but I was so thankful he did. It gave me greater confidence that I really was getting a good deal. I drove it too and liked how it handled. I put a down payment on it that day.

I drove my little white car home on Thursday, October 9th.

This has truly been a test. But it is a test that God has turned into a testimony and I thank Him for so many things:
  • The man who helped me out of the car and calmed and comforted me. 
  • That I wasn't more hurt than I was. When I saw my car the next day, I realized that I could have been hurt much worse.
  • That the pick-up driver immediately took responsibility -- not only to me, but to the police and to his insurance company. 
  • That so far, I haven't had to fight with the insurance companies.
  • For my friend that I called and for her husband who came to the scene of the accident and oversaw the transport of my car and getting it settled at the garage next door. 
  • For my pastor and his wife who came to the hospital and watched over me that first day, who helped me car shop, who loaned me their car, who instigated getting additional funds to help me get a better car.
  • For friends who called to check on me the night of the accident and in the days following.
  • For the rental car from the insurance company.
  • For people from the church who gave so generously and many who have spoken so kindly to me.
  • For those who gave me possible leads on cars
  • For Mary and the cellphone lady at the scene who offered a sheltered place to sit and who thought for me when I wasn't able to think so well for myself. 
  • For the church leader who helped orchestrate the gift to me and who gave me invaluable car shopping advice along the way.
  • For those who wrote and delivered the check to me.
  • For those who have prayed with me through this. 
  
I am thankful that God not only showed up, 
but also showed off His ability to provide for me and 
turned a test into a testimony!




4 comments:

  1. Praise God for His great goodness and provision!! So glad that you are okay and for this powerful testimony! Love you,Dar!
    ALJ

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    1. Thanks, my friend! I too am very grateful!

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  2. What a powerful story of protection, provision, grace.

    May there be a healing, an encouragement in the re-telling, Dar. How grateful I am that He has supplied your needs. What a wonderful Savior!

    Praising Him with you right this moment ...

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Linda!! Love that lately I have been seeing God through His names - The Lord Who Provides, The God of all Comfort, and The Father of Mercies.

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