three seconds

It only takes 3 seconds.

I shouldn’t be here, at least not according to the EMTs, police, or the doctors. According to Kingdom plans, I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

In dreams we remember bits and pieces, not all…and the scenes rapidly change so you find yourself constantly whisked somewhere else. Perhaps there’s a bright moment of clarity…but generally, as we wake, it’s hazy…a far off memory. Like trying to distinguish a boat sailing through a heavy fog. That’s how I feel about the accident.

That morning I had an early shift at work and once finished, I started packing to go see my family for a couple days. I was on the road before I had lunch, but not before I replied to my Mom’s message.

Another Chance at Life

Ironic.

Only 30 minutes away from home, I woke up to discover I was in a real nightmare. Only 3 seconds of sleep and I was heading into the ditch on the left side of the highway. I remember thinking I was in trouble that I couldn’t fix. In the only 3 seconds I actually remember, I over-corrected and screamed, “Jesus, save me!”. I saw myself straddling the lines on the highway and then nothing.

The next two days I barely remember. It’s like someone ripped out pages out of my memories because they tell me I was conscious the entire time. The whole of my rescue I was awake for, but I can’t recollect a thing. I guess shock does that.

The highways weren’t busy that day, but one man driving the opposite way saw it happen. I’m thankful. The ditch was deep (photo below) and they said I could’ve been there for hours without anyone finding me.

The ditch

After I over-corrected, my car went flying into the right ditch, hit rocks, flipped over and hit a concrete casing surrounding a nine foot culvert going 110 kilometers. The back of my car scrunched like an accordion and the car flipped onto the drivers side. The airbags never went off. I was trapped in my car for 45 minutes until they could pull me out with the jaws of life.

The police phoned my Mom and told them to come to the accident site, but not to come out of the car because she’d be shocked by what she saw. By the time she and my brother got there, the ambulance had taken me.

IMG_3439 (2) IMG_3435 (2)

It’s astounding how God prompts people to pray. One of my closest friends heard the ambulance as it entered the city and thought my name. She didn’t know for sure who it was, but started praying.

I don’t know how people found out so quickly, but I had barely reached the hospital before many people were interceding for me and even friends were in the waiting room praying. Humbling…every prayer is precious. And God hears.

I was sent to Calgary Foothills hospital where a trauma team worked on me. Miraculously, which I don’t say lightly…my injuries were only from my neck up. A fractured skull, bleeding on the second layer of tissue around the brain, a fractured cheek bone, and a fractured bone near the temple.

Every window in the car was shattered and yet; I only had a couple scratches on my wrist, one small scrape on my face, and a gash on the top of my head. It doesn’t even make sense. There was a terrific amount of blood from a cut on my head and my nose, but they weren’t severe.

Hospital Therapy

The first week at the hospital I had pneumonia and cerebral spinal fluid leakage coming out of my nose and ears. CSF leakage is very serious, but see…after Jesus has saved your life, He really doesn’t see that stuff as a problem. He finishes what He starts. Perhaps, when I’m in pain I just don’t care, or maybe I’m not the anxious type…but I never worried once. I just knew God had me.

Those two weeks at Foothills weren’t exactly my favourite, but daily I had amazing friends and family visit and bring colour.

Hospital

I’m still super overwhelmed and humbled by the people that prayed…visited…and cared enough to come see me at the hospital. Can I just say, I love these people!

Through all of this, I’m reminded that God will literally hide us from death until we finish what’s He’s created us to do. We have nothing to ever be afraid of because there is no higher power than the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s not allow any fear to cripple our trust or put us on pause from fighting for truth. Let’s not let the shortness of life cause us to pursue selfish happy endings but to bring joy to our Creator as we show the world what His love actually looks like. Let’s not sweat over small grievances or hold onto our right to feel hurt and pity ourselves. We’re alive. If we trust God and live by His definition of love, nothing can touch us.

Nothing.

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3 thoughts on “three seconds

  1. I love the way you write. It has been so encouraging for me to see all God has brought you through, and to see His faithfulness as we walk through a very similar situation. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Let’s not let the shortness of life cause us to pursue selfish happy endings but to bring joy to our Creator as we show the world what His love actually looks like.”

    This articulate advice is just what our culture needs to hear. Charissa, you are gifted!

    Liked by 1 person

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