I’ve yet to find the official number for traffic fatalities in Texas in 2015, but I can tell you this: It is short by 3.
My husband, nephew, and I were in a wreck in December that, by all rights, should have killed all three of us. My nephew, by an astounding miracle, literally walked away from the accident and spent the rest of the evening with the family while my husband and I were taken to the closest trauma center. Both of us are still under the care of various doctors; we’ve been averaging 5 doctor visits every week. Yes, it’s getting old, but that’s beside the point.
The point is we should have died. I’ve only looked at pictures of the car once, because I had to in order to fill out some paperwork. Seeing it made me physically ill. In those first few moments of realizing Jack wasn’t in the car, I was sure he’d been killed when he was thrown out. The only thing that kept me from running to him was my inability to move. I still don’t know how I managed to swing my left leg out of the car; it certainly wasn’t letting me do anything with it after I got it there.
I’ve learned a lot in the recovery process. I’ve learned that massive painkillers followed by surgery anesthesia can mess with you in many ways. There are chunks of those first those first few weeks that are just gone, others that can be dredged up only with help, and still others I know can’t be accurate memories. I have no idea how many conversations came to an abrupt halt when, in the middle of a sentence, I could not remember what word I was going to use next.
I also learned that depression after surgery is a VERY real thing. There were points at which it was so bad that I pretty much asked God where He got off forcing us to survive the accident when He could have let us die. (Seriously, watch over your loved ones prayerfully after surgery! I never said a word to anyone about the depression I was fighting.)
But I learned something else, too. I learned that it was against all odds that He DID cause all three of us to survive. I learned that, if He caused all of us to survive then there must be a reason, a purpose. It sounds glib, but I learned that it’s true: God really isn’t finished with us…with any of us.
In Philippians 1:21-24 (NKJV), Paul says, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.”
Even without the depression I fought for a while, I do long for the day when I can literally stand in His presence, and the thought of dying really doesn’t bother me. BUT, I also understand, with Paul, that each of us has assignments here, and if we leave before completing them then there is work being left undone.
So I’m here to stay until He says so, and while I’m here I recommit myself to fulfilling His plans and purposes in keeping me here. I won’t JUST live. I will remember that for me, to live is Christ.