It was during another conversation with her, a short time later, that I once again mentioned faith, my faith. I told her that there were many things about my past that she didn't know. I had been her age once. I made many, many mistakes; this caused her eyebrow to jump. I'm sure she was wondering what horrible things this old lady has done. If she only knew.
I also told her that I am very sure I wouldn't even be here if it hadn't been for God's amazing protection over my life. Yes, the eyebrow jumped again. How many times over the vast years of my life has God's protective arm encircled me, or His angels surrounded me, saving me from harm, or worse? How many sticky situations have I stepped into that could ultimately have been catastrophic had God not stepped in with me? Far too many.
My conversations with this young woman stayed with me for days after. it was during those days that a distant memory came to mind. A memory of a frigid winter morning when death came all too close.
"Don't Touch The Brakes. Don't touch the brakes!" Over and over again these words ran through my brain. My knuckles must have been white from gripping the steering wheel trying to straighten my car. My car had spun so its nose was heading directly for the trailer; I would be crushed beneath its wheels within a matter of seconds..
"Don't touch the brakes. Don't touch the brakes. Don't touch the brakes." The words never stopped. Don't touch the brakes. I obeyed. At the last possible second my car righted, I was now parallel to the semi. The side of my car slammed into the side of the trailer with the sound of screeching metal. I finally touched the brakes.
The driver leaped down from his truck, and my friend jumped out of her car. My door wouldn't open, I was trapped. The truck driver grabbed my mangled fender and peeled it away from my door, and helped me out. The very first thing I did was to ask my friend if my brake lights came on. She said, no. The second thing was to thank the driver.
The truck driver told me if I hadn't been such a good driver I would have gone right under his truck and been crushed. He had to have been terrified as he maneuvered his truck as far off the road as possible without being able to stop; knowing that in just a few seconds I would be dead beneath his rig.
Ever since my conversation with the young woman concerning God protecting me, and the memory of this specific occasion popping to the foreground, I have felt God's presence all the stronger. It was during one of my morning devotions that I heard the words again, Don't touch the brakes, followed by the knowledge that it was God who had spoken them. While I fought to 'steer into the skid' as I had been taught, my precious Heavenly Father spoke the words I truly needed to hear, Don't touch the brakes.
Had I allowed panic and instinct to take over, I would not merely have touched the brake, but stomped on it. Steering into the skid would not have helped. My car would have spun completely out of control; I would have died a horrific death that day.
My life story would have ended on that cold winter morning. My parents would have said good-bye to their daughter. My sister and brother would have lost their sister. Bob and I would never have been. He would have married someone else and had other children. Adam, Chris, Taylor, Camdyn, Mason - would not exist. I would be nothing more than a face in old pictures, remembered by some, unknown by others.
I honestly can't remember a time in my life when I did not believe in God. But at that time in my life I wasn't living my belief. I was young. God did not save my life that morning because I was such a good person. As I said I made many, many mistakes. But, I believe He knew the person He created me to be, and the plans He had not only for my life, but the lives of my future family as well.
I remember a scene from the movie, Back to the Future, where Marty pulls out a picture of his family, in the future, only to see the faces of his loved ones disappearing. Because of something he did in the past, his family never existed. His parents never met, he and his siblings had never been born.
No man is an island. Each of our lives touch someone else's and their lives touch another. Had I died that morning my story would have ended. My family, and their families would not exist. I am so very thankful for my husband, my sons, and grandchildren. I am so very thankful for all they have accomplished and will continue to accomplish through God's guidance.
And I am so very thankful for the young woman who has lost her faith, because I believe with all my heart God has incredible plans for her life. She may not believe in Him at this moment, but He will always believe in her. Just listen for His voice Sweetie.