Back on Christmas Eve, 2016, Rob, the kids, and I were in a car accident. We had just left Christmas Eve service, and were singing Christmas carols while waiting at a stop light, when we were rear ended. The police officer said that the vehicle that hit ours was going about 45 miles an hour, and didn’t brake at all. We were pushed into the vehicle in front of us as a result. The officer also said that it was a Christmas miracle that we all were able to walk away from the accident.
Our little 2001 Toyota Corolla was totaled. I had owned it since college, it was paid off, and — although a car that old certainly has problems– we enjoyed it immensely. The kids named it Snowball, and Jennifer would regularly ask “her” very politely to open her door, and say thank you, when we would be getting in to go somewhere. Truthfully, seeing Snowball all smashed up that fateful night was traumatic for the kids, and us parents too.
Backing up a year: It was early 2016, and I was reading through the book “Enemies of the Heart,” by Andy Stanley, with a Christian friend of mine. One of the revelations I had from that book study was that I often didn’t ask God for things I needed, let alone wanted, when I couldn’t see a way of at least starting the process of getting it myself.
One of the things that we needed was a minivan. It ended up being a spiritual breakthrough for me to start praying to God for a minivan without any clue as to how we would get it. Interestingly enough, I found myself more grateful for the Corolla after that. Before, I would regularly wish we had more space, a CD player that worked, that the front seats were far enough from the back that my son wouldn’t be kicking the back of the drivers seat. You get the picture. After, I would pray: Lord, thank you so much for my car, and how it’s been paid off for several year now, and how it’s reliable. I’m ready for the minivan when you’re ready to give it. I would even think, one of the nice things about having a small car is being able to hand my kids stuff from the front seat!
Today, we have a minivan! A 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan. And, get this, the monthly payment is about the same amount of a monthly bill we had just paid off before the accident!
I’ll be honest, I was unhappy about being in an accident. So grateful that we’re only dealing with whiplash, and not concussions, broken bones, or worse, but unhappy about the accident. I was unhappy that I was in too much pain to take care of my family like I was used to. I was especially unhappy that someone else’s carelessness caused all of this.
Yet, I’m compelled to declare, once again, that God is good! He is so amazing that he gives blessing even in the middle of difficult times. His word is true that he is our rock, our strong fortress. And when all is said and done, he gives us beauty for ashes. He turns our tears to joy.
An even more hidden blessing in this accident situation, is that our need resulting from the accident caused us to grow closer to our family, church family, and friends. So many people were there for us — being God’s hands and feet. Bringing us food, taking care of our children, helping around the house. It has been so beautiful, and encouraging!
May God bless an keep you, and show you what it means to truly be productive today.