When I was 22, on the eve of my birthday, I was a passenger in a serious car accident. When merging onto a road off an expressway exit ramp, we hit an icy spot. Since we were accelerating to merge, the car fishtailed across the lanes and hit the cement median on the front left of the car. The car ‘bounced’ and slammed against the medium, coming to rest with the driver’s side against the cement median.
The car frame was bent, I was bleeding (I bit my lip upon impact), and the car filled with smoke. I thought: “I survived the car wreck only to die in a fire.” Luckily, it was the powder from the air bag deploying and the ‘smoke’ dissipated. I feel lucky to have survived the crumpled wreck.
I recall when Job in the Bible loses everything and has to start over. I have thought about people having ‘Job moments’ when things turn topsy turvy. For me, this was a ‘Job moment’. I have looked at my life after this time as borrowed time. I was living for a reason. I must not have fulfilled my purpose and was kept here. I would be grateful for the opportunity.
Last month, I visited the Oklahoma memorial museum. As I learned about the Oklahoma City bombing and the individual stories of those who gave their lives and those survivors, one story stood out to me. In the corner of a room was a framed dress. The person’s name tag was on it and the calf length dress had one ‘V’ shaped tear at the hip the size of a quarter. What was remarkable about the dress with a small rip in it? The women’s colleagues all perished in the bombing; she was the sole survivor of her area. And she survived with only a small tear.
It was like being touched and saved almost unscathed. Everything would feel different, but saved.
I was brought back to my own ‘Job moment’ when I realized I lived and would try to redeem my life by living fully and kindly. I know I have been redeemed, but this is a gratitude for the gift of life. Now, I try to think, “Why not me?” instead of ‘Why me?” In good times and bad.
Have you had a ‘Job moment’? What did you learn from the experience?