I woke up today with a sense of being renewed. I didn’t know why at first, but then that little voice that lives inside of all of us. The one that pushes us to do good instead of bad told me that today is a new day. I understood. Every day is a new day, but today is a NEW day. We each get that NEW day in our own time.
As I got dressed for work this morning I remembered that it was also an anniversary for me. I had to stop and sit and remember. 1990 was a horrific year in my life. First I lost my beloved grandmother and then on April 1st, not even a month after her death I had a terrible car accident.
We talk about five minutes of fame. Well, mine came with a lot of pain and grief and a lifetime of recovery. I will never forget the day. I was in school and I worked at the mall part-time. My sister had a snazzy new leather jacket that I wanted to wear. I asked her and she told me no. So, I did what all little sisters do. I wore it anyway.
On my way to work a Chicago police officer overheard a call on his radio about a home being burglarized. When the address was given he realized that it was his home. The officer sped toward his destination without sirens or lights. I approached the intersection I did not have a stop sign and the officer did. He ran it and our cars collided. He hit my car with such force that his car turned over. I was trapped in warped metal with a glass in my face and chest and a broken right femur. I remember thinking about my granny as I regained consciousness. I could hear people. I thought that someone would help me. I heard a man talking and I remember that he opened my car door. He stole my money out of my wallet and my book bag. I wouldn’t realize that until days later.
Finally I heard sirens. Everything was moving in slow motion until the paramedics lifted me out of the car onto the stretcher. I don’t remember feeling anything. I just saw the paramedics face very close to mine telling me that I was OK. He kept saying it. His partner told me that they had to get me out of my clothes and jacket and that they were going to cut them off. I panicked. I remember screaming at the top of my lungs and hyperventilating. At that moment the world started moving at a faster pace. I remember trying to tell them that it wasn’t my jacket and not to cut it. They cut it.
I ended up having surgery on my leg. I needed a rod in my thigh and a pin in my knee and hip. It took months for me to recover. I think that I could have done it a lot quicker if I had not already been grieving my granny’s death. It was just something that was added to my struggle and I didn’t really feel like fighting at the time. I wouldn’t do the physical therapy, so I was in the hospital longer than I had to be. I didn’t want to make the visits back and forth to the hospital when I was released because I was afraid to ride in a car. I had to lay on the backseat or I would have an anxiety attack. I would continue to have anxiety attacks for the next twenty-six years. I have learned to feel it coming on and I can control my breathing, but if I get to excited it is downhill from there.
I just remember being happy that my son was not in the car with me. He was four months old. I had dropped him off at the sitter. That was the thing that helped me to remember that God is always with me. I was so lost in self-pity that it would take me a good ten years to appreciate surviving the accident.
Survive I did and here I AM. I AM walking and talking and driving and doing all of the things that I wasn’t sure that I would do again back then. My sister has never let me forget about her jacket. I think that is her way of letting me know that she is glad that I am ok.
You cannot have a testimony without the test. I share this with you because I can, not because I have to. It is a testament that sometimes things will be hard and you will want to give up, but know that you can make it. I rarely talk about my accident because I feel that it is between me and God. I share it today to let you know that there is no place that you can go where God is not. In your deepest setback, in your craziest moment, in your anger, God is there. Learning to walk all over again at twenty was what I thought to be my most humiliating moment. Not so. I doubt that I have had that moment yet. I should have looked at it with grace. I was able to learn to walk again. I was going to be ok. Nothing worthwhile is easy and nothing that is easy is ever worthwhile.
I thank the power of the Great I AM for healing my mind, body and soul and for renewing in me a righteous spirit. I AM perfectly who I AM supposed to be today. Today is a NEW day.
Be Blessed and Stay Strong.
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