Sometimes miracles find you.
One cold and blustery Easter morning when Adelade was just three and Sawyer was nine weeks old, I got the two of them all dressed up in matching Easter outfits that I had ordered, full price, matching shoes and accessories and all. Adelade wore white gloves and a white straw hat with her little pink plaid dress, and Sawyer had on tiny blue plaid pants with a matching shirt and a newsboy cap. They were adorable. That morning my biggest worry was whether I could get them to church so everyone could admire their cuteness before Sawyer somehow pooped on his clothes.
We went to church, came home to dig through Easter baskets filled with goodies, take more pictures, and load the kids in the car for the twenty minute drive to my parents’ house for Easter lunch. We had made the drive literally hundreds of times. We were listening to music, talking about how adorable the kids looked, excited to get there and show them off. About ten miles into our trip, we saw a disgusting crowd of buzzards in the ditch on our side of the road, chowing down on some poor creature that had met his end. As we approached, they were startled and began to fly away. There were three or four birds, and one of them was slow. Before we knew it, the bird turned and flew directly into the windshield on Chad’s side of the car. The windshield shattered into what seemed like a million pieces, but didn’t break. We were suddenly blinded. Chad tried to regain control of the car, but it was just impossible to navigate under the circumstances. Suddenly, we were heading for the ditch.
The car began to tip. This part of the accident felt like slow motion. I was fully alert and awake, yet it seemed so strange that our car should be rolling over. I wasn’t aware of all of the things that were definitely flying around in the car. I was just waiting for it to stop. And, it did. I found out later that the little Rodeo we were driving rolled over once and then halfway a second time. We landed on the driver’s side.
Poor little Adelade was sitting in the back seat with her window on the ground. She was crying, of course, and seemed terrified to be looking out her window to see dirt and grass. I asked Chad if he was okay, and he said he was. I started trying to get out of my seat. Everything is very disorienting when the car is sitting on its side. Because Adelade was crying and talking, I knew she wasn’t badly hurt. But, Sawyer was in a rear facing carseat. I couldn’t hear him, and he was totally silent. Since he was only nine weeks old, I had an indescribable fear that he was dead. I climbed up to a place where I could see him, and totally miraculously, that little baby was sleeping as soundly as he had ever slept. He snoozed through the whole thing.
Soon people were on top of our car, opening doors and offering help. A couple of cars full of amazing people had witnessed the accident. Chad seemed a little out of it at the scene, just fuzzy and disoriented. We found out later he had a concussion. He had likely been hit on the head by some of the flying debris that probably would’ve killed Sawyer if it had found him.
An ambulance came, and paramedics checked the kids over. Adelade thought it was awesome to be in an ambulance. She got candy and lots of access to cool equipment. She kept telling the paramedics that a bird tried to eat our car. Sawyer grinned at everyone.
I often think about that day and how different things could’ve turned out. If we had just been a few yards up the road and had hit a culvert. If a telephone pole had been in our path. If any of the many things in our car that could’ve injured the kids had hit them. If carseats had failed. So many what ifs.
But, I can’t think of that experience without thinking about how miraculous things really do happen at the hands of our God. We did not want to MISS what God had done. We didn’t want to count ourselves lucky or be grateful for good karma that came our way that day. Because we knew what had happened. God had saved us. He had saved our children. He had taken a horrible, scary accident and made it just a blip on the radar of our life instead of a horrific tragedy. I don’t know why He did that for us.
Yet, I also have to remember that God ordained that day. And He designed the way it would happen. When He brought that nine week old baby through that wreck, He expected us to be changed.
And we were.
Shortly after that happened we felt the winds of change blowing. And they blew us all the way out to good old East Texas. God certainly has mysterious ways. And good ways. And gracious ways.
For weeks after the accident, Adelade, having heard us tell the story so many times, was walking around telling everyone, “It was a miracle!” And, it was. A miracle of the truest kind. God demonstrated that He had things for us to do. And in many ways, the miracle continues. As I watched Adelade and Sawyer grow and change and welcome a baby sister. As I watch Chad finally become a minister, a role that he is so perfectly suited for and that he loves with all his heart. And I never have to look far into my past to get a reminder of just how blessed I am, how good God is, and how important it is to acknowledge His works both big and small. He has done great things.