Monday, December 20, 2010
My heart jumped in fear as I turned into the skid, while my eyes darted towards the cars rushing through the intersection about twenty feet ahead of me.
Two thoughts popped into my head before conscious thought winked out and my mind went white with fear:
Huh. Time really does slow to a crawl when you're facing imminent danger.
Thank God nobody else is in the car.
It seemed to take hours. My front end turned left - into the skid - and headed towards the median strip next to me, while my back end shimmied out of control. I admit it - I closed my eyes and braced for impact. Two feet before the intersection my car suddenly spun 180 degrees and came to a dead stop, facing the wrong way, but shy of the cars rushing past. I missed the median strip, too.
The whole thing probably took 10 seconds. I turned the car around, the light turned green, and I cautiously made my way through the intersection. I was shaking too much to drive, so I pulled over to the side of the road.
I sat with my face in my hands, heart racing, and tried to slow my breathing. Thank God there were no cars near me, I thought. Thank God I stopped before the intersection. Thank you, God.
I was out on a snowy Sunday night because I had to go to Target to pick up baby clothes, blankets and diapers for our church's annual Christmas Charity Drive. Maybe that's why my car stopped, I thought. I was heading out to do some good in the world.
Later that night I was still shaken. Everyone else was asleep, and I sat in my darkened living room and basked in the lights from the Christmas Tree.
I kept replaying scenarios in my head, thinking about how narrowly I escaped being badly hurt, or worse. What if the car hadn't stopped? What if I had hit the median? What if there had been cars in the lane next to mine?
Careful what you wish for, I thought. You just might get it.
I don't pray very often, but I prayed last night.
I get it, I thought. My gratitude is back. Thank you.
Thank you for all of the responses to my last post, too. Every single one of them helped me; I am comforted to know I'm not alone in how I felt, and inspired by all you had to say.
I figured out, too, what the problem was: my people-pleasing is showing.
I have been too caught up in writing about what I think people want to hear, instead of what is coming from my heart. I'm focusing on the external again, something I have worked hard to avoid. It's probably because I'm stressed, I'm tired, and I haven't been able to get to many meetings. Left alone in my own head, those voices that like to tell me how I don't measure up come alive. For years the only antidote I had for those voices was to ramp up my people-pleasing: Don't like yourself? Make sure everyone else likes you!
It took a near death experience and kind words from all of you, but I'm back, now.