Today, March 29th, 2016 I had a hard time waking up. I’ve been through a busy stretch of days that have kept me working late and getting up early. As I sat numbly in the car on the way to work, I couldn’t even really taste my coffee. I tried to listen to a broadcast I normally listen to, but I just couldn’t handle any noise. I felt a nudge. Pray for your kids’ protection. I prayed quietly. Nothing dramatic.
But, I remember feeling a difficult time moving on to pray for anything else. In a way, I felt a twinge of guilt…not being able to move onto pray for anything else, except protection. (Not that I feel guilt about praying for my family. I just wanted to wake up and feel a little more in my prayer time.)
I called my husband and we talked about Ariel, helping her with her college search and how much we love her. “Hold on.” He said, “Isaac is in a unique mood today. He packed his lunch and wants to ride the bus instead of have me take him.” Our 7 year old was out the door and down the hill. Caleb yelled after him. “Hold on Isaac.” Caleb went back in for a minute to tell Ariel how much he loved her.
Isaac normally rides with his Dad to school and squeaks in right as the bell rings. Today, he ran for the bus and only missed it by 10 seconds. Caleb took him over to the school before Ariel and Ellis left. Usually, he doesn’t leave till after they are out the door.
After I hung up with Caleb, I prayed to The Lord about my life. “God, this is my last two days in my 30’s. Please let my next decade bring glory to you.” Two more days. I wondered how these two days would go.
I arrived to school and began setting up my music classroom. I felt focused and productive. I remember looking at the clock on the computer and seeing it say 7:45. I stared at the time. I need coffee.
Everything was ready to go, so I grabbed my coffee pod and headed to the Kuerig in the teachers lounge. I felt a strange need to pray in the Spirit and did so in my head. God protect my kids today.
Waiting for the coffee to brew, I felt strangely numb. “Why do I feel this way, Lord? Can I just rest in you today? Is that okay? I mean, I know it is. I just need to.”
Back in the classroom I took a quick glance at my phone before ushering in the first 4th grade class.
Ariel wrecked the car. She says she and Ellis are OK. I’m on my way to go get them.
Oh great. I thought someone rear ended them or they backed into someone in the school parking lot.
That car was just totaled when a drunk hit the back of it when it was parked. We had a friend help us get a new bumper for it. I was imagining needing to get a new bumper again. *sigh
Glad they are okay. ❤️
I put the phone down as the kids were lining up outside my door. As I walked across the room, I thought. “I should really get someone to watch the class for a minute so I can make sure everything is okay.”
“No. I don’t think so. Caleb said they were fine. I don’t want to inconvenience anyone. He has it covered.”
“Really. You should.” (Notice how the tense changed? I am realizing it’s God prompting me now.)
A friendly college student greeted me with my first class, instead of the teacher.
“Hi. I’m (I thought she said substitute). Should I come in and watch the class? I don’t have anything else to do.”
‘That’s odd,’ I thought.
“No. It’s okay. You don’t need to.” Suddenly I felt I was fighting the obvious. I needed to call Caleb. “Actually, yes. I just got a text a minute ago saying my kids were in an accident and I just need to check on them really quick.”
She graciously stepped in as I stepped out.
I walked into the teachers lounge and got this text.
I just stared.
What. In. The. World? Tears started leaking out of the corners of my eyes, but I felt numb. He said they were okay.
I tried to call Caleb. Voicemail.
Finally, Caleb called back. He sounded a bit in disbelief himself. “Briana, they said they rolled the car 3 times.”
“What? Are they okay?”
“The ambulance is here and the EMTs are checking them out.” He texted a very sad picture of them that I won’t post here. “They have cuts from flying glass and one of their shoulders is hurting and one of their hands is hurt.”
That did it. Tears started rolling and I didn’t care who saw them. I numbly walked down the hall to try to figure out what I was supposed to do. Who do I tell?
The secretary was very helpful and asked who was with my class now. I told her the sub. “There is only one sub in the building today and it’s not in that grade.”
We figured out it was a teacher cadet in training. What a miracle! And what a blessing that God led her to say just the right thing to me to get me to pick up my phone. Many days, I just leave my phone on the desk all day and don’t check it.
They aquired me a sub for the rest of the day and I was on my way to the hospital. Ellis checked out okay, but Ariel had a headache, a very sore arm and neck pain. They transported her via ambulance to the hospital for x-rays.
On the way there, I called Caleb. He let me talk to Ellis. He was shaken up and choked up a bit. He told me what happened.
As they were driving to school, they had just finished breakfast in the car. Not a great idea, I know, but really they were just finishing off breakfast as they ran out the door. Ariel had crumbs and rolled down the window slightly to shake them off outside and not in the car. The wind caught her plate and in a split second, the front right wheel went off the road and they hit a stump.
Neither of them remember what happened and said it happened so quickly that they just felt the bump and then realized they were in the air. They said it was serene and neither of them made a sound or gasp.
I asked, “What were you thinking? What was going through your mind?”
Ellis said, “When is this going to be over?”
He told me it felt like they rolled 7 times, but that was because it felt like slow motion. Both of my children said they were at complete peace and had a deep inner knowledge that everything was going to be okay. Jesus was with them.
“When the rolling stopped, Mom, the first thing Ariel did was hug me and say, ‘Are you okay? Ellis, I am so sorry!’ ” I thought that was pretty special. He told me Ariel was blowing glass out of her nose and that he had what may turn into a black eye.
Ellis couldn’t get out on his side of the car.
NO ONE STOPPED. They report to me that at least 30 cars passed them by making EYE contact. Two teenagers on the side of the road with a mangled car and no one stopped.
No police arrived yet. In fact, they couldn’t call the police, because her cell phone was in her backpack, which was stuffed under the dash board on Ellis’s side of the car. They couldn’t find it. (The backpack also hit Ariel in the back of the head during the roll over.) Everything else was ejected from the car, except a shattered coffee mug
In fact, these people had to drive over and around parts of the vehicle lying on the road, including hubcaps.
People. Please be Good Samaritans. If you don’t know what that is, you can find the story in the Bible. Even if you are scared. At least stop to let someone use your phone.
Avery helped them call Caleb and 911 and clean out things that were left in the car.
They went to the door of the person whose yard they crashed in. He was a doctor and gave them blankets, because it was so cold and they were in shock.
On a happy note. They found a $5 bill Ariel had lost in the car a week earlier that her grandma had given her for gas money.
I want to give kudos to the EMT who checked the kids out and rode with Ariel to the hospital. He was very comforting and encouraging to her.
My parents were there to meet them at the ER and helped support before we could make it there. So thankful.
When I saw Ariel in the ER, she looked pretty rough, but the doctors and nurses kept complimenting her on her composure. The doctor told us that most accident victims disintegrate in the ER and lose it emotionally, but that she was very brave and strong. We told them it was Jesus with her.
He said if they hadn’t had their seatbelts on that it would be a very different conversation. The kind where you talk about organ donation.
We were a bit weepy and huggy.
The kids both needed time to emotionally decompress from what happened.
We took naps and then walked down to Lockes Store to share a snack. Ellis begged for a lemon meringue pie. Usually I can defend myself from his wiles, but today he won.
So, I have to say, Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Also, remember, you never know which day will be your last.
And on days when you feel numb and worn down, God has a plan and is still there.
Make sure to kiss and hug your kids. You never know when that will be your last.
- Miracle. Isaac got to school early, so Caleb wasn’t in the car rider line dropping off when he got the call.
- Miracle. The Lord prepared me by having me pray.
- Miracle. The Lord sent a college teacher cadet to ask the right question.
- Miracle. God saved my kids and gave them peace in the middle of the accident.
- Miracle. The doctor came out with blankets for them when they crashed in his yard.
- Miracle. They didn’t flip into one of the nearby trees.
- Miracle. They didn’t lose an arm or anything else important out a window as they rolled, even though somehow they had dirt and grass stain on their knuckles.
- Miracle. Avery drove by at the right time and didn’t take another route to school.
- Miracle. My kids have learned a life lesson without losing anything irreplaceable.
- God is my deliverer.
This is my soundtrack today.
My Deliverer http://youtu.be/2pb_DT0MhY0