I made it my business to go to most if not all of the towns within the county in order to introduce myself as the new editor and get story ideas from the community and so far, I was doing great. After my fourth visit, I was on my way to a very small town and to get there, you need to take a gravel road. Now I was used to driving at a normal speed on the paved roads and I did not drastically reduce my speed once on the gravel road because it seemed as well-kept as the paved roads and I thought the weather conditions were good-- it was a bright and sunny day, I didn't see mud over the gravel and definitely no ice or snow-- so I thought everything was okay and for the first 10 minutes of driving on the gravel road everything truly was okay until suddenly, for a reason of which I still cannot figure out, my car started swerving, it was mild at first but rapidly accelerated to the point where no matter what I did to try to regain control, it had lost it and before I knew it, I was crashing into a wire fence, my car spun around and came to an abrupt halt.
Now the good news is plenty: 1) I was driving by myself so I didn't have to worry about anyone else getting hurt (2) I did not get hurt (3) The scene of the car wreck was on an old road with farmland on either side of it so it was a lot safer (4) No one else was driving on the road at the time of my accident.
The bad news is, I did not demonstrate faith in God (apart from screaming "God help me" multiple times as my car was in the process of swerving off the road and crashing). And I say that because as soon as I stepped out of my car and walked around it, inspecting the damages, I knew that this was going to cost more than I could afford to be fixed. So then I started stressing out and crying out to God. My conversation with God in the middle of nowhere (literally) went something like this, "Another car accident? (I got into one back home, before moving to work as the editor of the newspaper). Why God? I just prayed this morning for traveling mercies and no more car accidents and you let THIS happen? What's the point of praying to you to keep me out of car accidents if it's not going to happen?" and "How am I going to pay for this extensive damage? I get paid less than first-year teachers! My budget is already stretched thin! How in the world am I going to afford to get this fixed?" and "What are you doing God? Am I being punished? Did I choose the wrong career? Maybe I should have just studied for a career that was reliable and pays a lot of money! Sure I would be miserable but at least I would have all of my needs and wants taken care of financially!" and "Where are you?" and "Are you listening to me?" "Please send someone to help me" and then when I found out that my phone could not make calls from the middle of nowhere because there was no reception, I really let God have it, "Are you just going to leave me out here?" (it was only a few hours before sunset when this accident happened and I was worried) "Why are you SILENT?!"
Now again, the good news is, God is NOT afraid of HONEST PRAYERS (Hebrews 4:16) in other words, He didn't (and wouldn't) strike me dead for confessing how I was truly feeling at the moment. And while I did not hear God reply to me, about 20 minutes later, a pickup truck was driving toward me and I waved frantically, asking for help. The driver of the pickup truck rolled down his window, I told him my story (the short version) and he turned his truck around and helped me out by using his pliers out of his toolbox (he was a professional plumber) to detach the wires that were tangled beneath and through the ripped bumper of my car. When I started up my car and it still would not move off the road, he got behind the wheel and moved it onto the road for me. He then told me that it seems safe to drive and so I thanked him (profusely), got into my car and started to drive the 1.5 hour trip into the town where I work. But only 10 minutes into the drive, my car started making very weird noises and so there I was demanding that God get me home safely, "Just answer this prayer, would you?" were my specific words. But then, common sense kicked in and I decided five minutes later upon approaching the small town from which I had driven out from toward the gravel road, to park my car in the lot of a nice roadside cafe, went inside the establishment and after introducing myself, asked to use their phone to call my office.
So I called the office and they told me that they received my e-mail (it was the only feature on my phone that worked out there in the middle of nowhere) and sent 911 personnel to help. No sooner than I hung up the phone, a police officer drove into the parking lot. So I went outside, told him the story and he called my towing company. Next a state trooper arrived and asked me questions, filled out paperwork and visited the scene of the accident. While the trooper was away to access the damage to the property in the middle of nowhere, I called my insurance company and talked to an agent who was very professional and very sympathetic. "That must have been scary" she said as I explained the accident. After hearing my story and getting the necessary information, what she told me next made me cry (I had not cried in front of the people in the cafe, at the accident yes but not around the people sent to help me). What the insurance agent told me was simply a part of her job but I heard God speaking through her words as my mind drew an instant parallel when she said, "I might be silent for a moment but I am right here."And there it was, my object lesson not just for today's ordeal but for life: God may be silent, but He is still right here, with you.
Ever since moving to the West to work in Journalism, my mom has told me whenever she talks with me over the phone four words which she told me to remember before I flew out here to work, words to say everyday in a prayer. And those words are, "God be with me."
And it made me cry because while I was ranting and raving, stressing out completely, worried sick and demonstrating absolutely no faith in God and His promise to provide for my every need, God was right there, patiently waiting for me to see that no matter what happens in this life and it seems like He is silent, He is right here, with me.
So yes, on this Thursday I am very thankful that God saw fit to continue giving me the gift of life when the car accident could have been much worse. My gratitude runs deep and I pray that my faith grows strong to the point when it is tested, it soars (meaning, I ace the test). :)
My prayer for all of you is that you, if you do not already, will come to realize this:
(1) God is REAL
(2) God is LOVE
(3) GOD is HERE WITH YOU.