#WhoIAm part 2

September 17, 2005. Changed. My. Life. 

I was in the middle of my graduate studies at Old Dominion University.  Truly half way, feeling on top of the world.  New job, new home, new beginning at the place we call “home”.  That Saturday afternoon after class, I decided to go get my son his Halloween costume early.  I had just found out that week I was pregnant and was afraid I would feel the tiredness setting in, so wanted to get it done. 

I picked my son up from Gramma Jane, which was six miles from my new house.  We were singing while I drove, windows and sunroof open, enjoy the beginning of fall.  We had just decided that hamburger helper was for dinner.  Then it happened…

I was traveling 55mph and a car ran a stop sign.  We t-boned that blue taurus, spun and flipped and ended on our side.  The details over the next two minutes are still fuzzy, but somehow I unbuckled myself, unbuckled my son and hoisted him out of the window.  There were several people there by now and they just grabbed him and the EMT’s were already on the scene because they happened to be within hearing distance of the wreck.  I couldn’t get out, but they eventually got me out of the back of the Explorer. 

We were both rushed by ambulance to the hospital, but I heard mention of med-flight for the people in the other car. 

At this point, there was so much of a whirlwind occurring that I really was just secured to a board and kept hearing the word “trauma”.

By God’s miracle and protective hands, my son only received a bloody nose.  No. Injuries. At. All. 

I was admitted and had several internal issues that took months to recover from, a cane, neckbrace, etc. I had a few complications with my spleen and leg, but  my precious baby was also unharmed.  Yet another miracle.

But, the drive and passenger of the other car did not make it. 

I received state awards for being saved by the seatbelt because of the severe nature of the crash, but sustained non-life threatening injuries.  I was on the news, interviewed, etc.  But it felt WRONG.

I found out later that the people that died were missionaries in the area that were not familiar with the area.  The stop sign and intersection that this occurred now has flashing lights and speed bumps. 

Although I was 0% at fault, the guilt still eats at my soul.  However, I now know that God had a reason for me to live that day.  He had a reason for my son to live that day.  His reasons gave me a daughter 8 months later.  No more questioning for me.  Faith was all I had.

This is when my true journey with Christ began.  I have made it a priority in my life.  I have to pass the intersection of this accident several times each week, and it is still hard.  I think I still think about that wreck every day.  But with God by my side, His grace saved me and continues to save me every single day. 

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#WhoIAm

My story…

My story….It isn’t special, extraordinary, or even heart wrenching.  Just my story. My journey through becoming a Christian and believing that Jesus died for me and my sins.

I did not grow up in a Christian, church attending home.  My parents were not against it, we just did not go to church, nor did we really talk about it.  I did not really hear a bible story until I was an adult.  Never even owned a bible.  My dad was a high school football, basketball, track, and baseball coach and every Sunday, he worked to plan for that weeks games.  My mom felt like a single mom a lot, but she did well.  Emphasizing church and the bible was not top on her list of surviving.  I blame no one, but I can totally relate to those who are new Christians and the intimidation of the bible.  People quote scripture, talk about stories, sing songs, and I’ve got nothing.  No childhood warm and fuzzies appear.  Again, no regrets, no grudges, just a different way of life.

During college, I started to feel a pull to read and understand it all, but I enjoyed partying, being social and being independent, so attending church was never a priority.  In fact, I would say that there was a point when I had no clue, so I just never thought about it.

Once I graduated and got married in 1997, my husband and I were feeling the pressure to attend his childhood church.  But when we attended, I was always “Matt’s wife”; not Jodi. It was a small rural church so, I had no real people to relate to and we once tried Sunday school, but some participants clearly had other agendas and I witnessed arguing and debating that was very uncomfortable.  We soon moved away from the area we called “home” and never attended church except for Easter and Christmas.

So, at this point in my life, married and no kids, the exposure I had to Christianity and attending church was either nil or negative.

Fast forward to 2005.  My son was a bouncing toddler and kept me busy.  My father in law, grandfather in law, and dog had all passed away from cancer within three months of one another.  We moved back to the area we call “home” to be closer to family.  Once again, feeling the pull to attend church, we started to attend regularly, become involved with children’s church and the youth group.  This is where I started to learn the bible stories and feel like I was getting it, but still lots of questions in my mind on how God could truly achieve all that he had claimed.

Questions.  LOTS of questions.  I needed faith.  But clearly I didn’t have it because I questioned so much.

September 17, 2005. Changed. My. Life.