We set-off on our way, knowing exactly where we need to go and the direction we need to go to get there. Or do we? “I need to get to work. I can’t be late.” “I need to get to the store and get all my errands done before lunch.” As is the case, most of the time, just as we think we have our day “all figured out,” something happens that causes us to have to rethink the direction we are going and we are taken in a totally new direction.
I was hit from behind today, literally. My car was rear-ended outside of my son’s school. Fortunately, no-one was physically hurt. However, the emotional bruises were apparent. Of course, my initial reaction to this event was natural. I began crying, complaining and thinking what a huge inconvenience this was to my day. In an instant, I was surrounded. Pulling up along side of me were friends. Friends came to my rescue without being asked and immediately provided words of comfort and reassurance that everything was and will be okay. A part of me knew that; I wrote about it and shared other stories like this in Keeping It Simple. My friend Michelle was the first one there. She opened her arms and provided a safe place for me to land. Without saying a word, she consoled me and just let me cry….but not for long. Having read my book, she reminded me of what I share and I knew I could not stay in this place for very long. Next was my friend Heidi. She was the voice of reason and wisdom that provided me the mental clarity I needed in this moment. Offering sage and prudent advice she said I need to remain positive and use this unfortunate situation as a way to shift all the tension of this event, for I was not the only one shaken up. How amazing was this gift? Here I was, in a totally unexpected situation and within moments, two of my friends changed their direction without hesitation or pre-planning. They just responded to what their heart told them to do and reacted. Many more drove by and asked if I was okay; Sue, Karen & Krissy. And then, along comes Holly, who pulled over and got out of her car. She came over and shared a personal story with me that could have prevented her from stopping since she had had her own “Monday Morning Wake-Up Call.” But it didn’t. Her story reminded me that we are not alone and that sometimes, even when we are in pain someone else may need us and we need to stop and offer our love. Despite her own pain, she stopped to provide me with a friendly hug.
In the midst of all this I had called David and he arrived within minutes. The Calvary had arrived. He is my rock and source of strength. What happened next is an example of divine intervention. My heart was overflowing with gratitude that I was so blessed with these amazing people around me, when I noticed the women who hit me out of the corner of my eye. She was standing off on the sidewalk away from her car hiding. Not hiding from what happened I sensed, but trying to hide her pain. I admit, I struggled with what I should do. That is when God spoke through my friends and my husband. He told them to tell me to go to her. So, I did.
What could I offer? What would I say? I started with, “I am sorry.” I asked her to forgive me for my initial selfish reaction. She began to cry. We hugged, and she sobbed, over and over again, “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.” I told her it was okay. She opened up to me and shared her story with me of how she is a struggling single mother and that she had been saving hard to buy herself this new car. I told her it all could be fixed and it would all work out. But was that the truth? I sensed she saw herself in that car, broken and in need of repair. I gave her another hug and walked back to my car. I could still feel her pain. God spoke again through Heidi and David. Heidi told me I did the right thing and my words helped her and David told me to get a copy of my book to give to her. Not 100% sure that was the right thing to do, I approached her car where she was now behind the wheel ready to pull away. She opened her window and I said to her that in life things like this happen and it is in these times we need to remember there is a way to get through them. We also need reassurance that we are not alone. I told her I had a gift for her and handed he a copy of Keeping It Simple. I told her she wasn’t alone. I wanted her to know that I too, have had adversity and I was here to tell her that she wasn’t alone. I was moved to tell her that God loved her and wanted her to know that He was there for her. She burst into tears and told me, “I’m a Christian and should know that.” WOW! She then said, “And I am the one who hit you.” I could tell she was surprised by my actions, but it was the right thing to do.
She had told me earlier how a few weeks ago she had a similar situation occur. An older woman in her 70’s tapped her in a parking lot. They did not file an accident report and all she said to the older woman was, “Go slow.” Was this a message for her to that God was trying to communicate through this event? Maybe.
Are we all being reminded in one way or another to slow down? Our vision and clarity can get easily clouded and impaired by the “busyness and hurriedness” of the world around us. We need to slow down and take the time to clear our heads, relax our bodies and allow ourselves to clear our eyes so we can truly feel and see the direction we are being led to go.
This hit from behind was a wake-up call to me. It doesn’t matter that I wrote a book or not, it doesn’t exempt me from being ‘tested’ or having these types of events from occurring in my life. These events are to remind me to always “practice what I preach.” The journey of life is a series of events that call us to make choices on how we are going to respond and react. I may have reacted badly at first, but thankfully, because of my loving husband and friends, I was reminded of the wisdom to stop, place myself in the shoes of the other person and reach out to them as they reached out to me.
Pay attention to those in your own life who do that for you because maybe by doing so, you will avoid getting hit from behind.