Life and Death at Exit 32

I was on the median just off Exit 32. Cars were speeding by, with no care or concern for the slick roads on the freeway. A new blanket of snow made it difficult to find some items that we were hoping to salvage. As I walked up and down trying to find random items for my friend, I tried to recall what happened the night before on that median, even though the new snow left no trace.

My friend and I were driving back home. As we got closer to the freeway, the roads were becoming more and more devoid of snow. We get onto the onramp when we saw a truck with its trailer parked to the side. So we went around.

But as we start to accelerate just a bit, we started to lose control. The back wheels lost traction and we begin to skid. The back of the car begins to tail and I can see traffic on the other side of the highway in front of me, as well as a truck in the far left lane, missing it it barely. We drive off the freeway and onto the median. Before I know it, I’m turning upside down in my seat, as the car flips over. I could hear glass shatter. Then there is complete silence as the car comes to a halt.

We were just sitting in our seats, upside down for a second. Both of us are yelling each other’s names and checking to see if each other is conscious and okay. Just out of instinct, I’m trying to find a way out of the car. I press the button to roll down the window. I start to crawl out and telling my friend to follow me out. Just as I start to get on my feet, I see people running over us yelling “Are you alright?!” My friend and I both tell them “Yes”. I look back at the vehicle. It’s on its roof, windshield destroyed, tires covered in grass and flat, lights still shining brightly into the ground.

I realize that surviving that accident wasn’t just pure luck. There were so many things going against us for not just one of us, but both of us to have survived. The conditions, the number of cars on that freeway, the lack of control, the way we came into the median, the SUV’s ability to handle such force on a flip, my head injuries from the past and the car landing on its roof. Our odds were against us. I still believe that it wasn’t luck, but rather God looking over both of us.

I know there’s hope. At the accident, my friend and I were just talking, in efforts to continue to remain calm through it all. But this continued thought of “There is a plan for you” kept coming up. Not just at the site, but from all the people I talked to about the accident. It was the recurring thought of the weekend. While many asked “Are you alright?”, the question going through my head was “Do you know where you should be going next in your walk?” I still am unsure of what that plan is for me or for my friend, but I know my job that God’s here in this world is still present and on-going. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here right now, writing this up, thinking and wondering what is to come. Other thoughts and questions were brought up, but they all seemed to take second precedent to this question.

It’s been at least several days now since that evening. I’ve tried to get back into a rhythm of things, but it’s been difficult. I feel like I’ve constantly off a step compared to everything else around me. Less focus and command. Less confidence in the things I’ve been doing. More fatigue. More frustration. There isn’t anything I can really pinpoint to why this has been happening since the accident. I just know I haven’t been anything close to where I was before, physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.

But maybe the fact that I haven’t been able to really get settled back to the norm is a good thing… As one friend was talking about it, it was as if I had died in that accident and been “reborn” as someone completely different. A rebirth, you could say. The start of a change or a completely changed life. Maybe that is the case… Maybe it’s just the matter of really searching deep within to find the true answers to my path and God’s will for me. Only patience and seeking Him with all my heart can really answer those questions.

As we drove back to the body shop, I managed to take a look at the vehicle that we had once sat in that fateful night. The windshield was still in ruins. The window that we crawled out of was still down, letting the rain and snow come into the once-nice interior. The roof was bent in towards the driver’s side of the car, while the passenger’s side was relatively intact. I was still in disbelief to how I came out unscathed. We went back to his house and I began what I hope to be the start of a slow revival to my new life. I started it by playing soccer and hanging out with friends and teammates. I played awful and left the field rather flustered by my performance.

But all I can really do was praise Him for all that He has done.

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