Sometimes, the blessings we ask for come in ways we don’t expect.
I was driving to pick up my daughter from a birthday party yesterday and I received a text from my husband. It said:
We are ok.
Ryan and my oldest daughter were on their way to the Temple to do baptisms for the dead (proxy work for those who have passed on … for more info, see the end of this post). This text “Totaled car. We are ok.” was shocking. How? Where? What does ‘OK’ mean? Of course, I said a prayer, to ask that they would, in fact, be okay. I knew nothing else. But I picked up my youngest daughter from the birthday party and started driving the direction they were headed.
About 5 minutes later, my friend, Merri called me and said both were okay but the car was not. We arrived to the scene about 40 minutes later.
This is what I saw:
Right before this all happened, the rains became very heavy. Ryan tried to slow down (without using the brakes – afraid of hydroplaning out of control) but the rains were just too heavy and the car was carried away, anyways. The car hit the side of the hill and began to roll. They finally came to a stand still.
A few minutes later, an off-duty paramedic arrived at the scene. (She later told me that seeing the entire incident right before her eyes, she was afraid of what she would find once inside the car. She was pretty sure it would be a sad situation.) The paramedic found one door that could be opened. She called out to the passengers, “I am a paramedic. We’ve already called 911. Who is in the car?” My daughter responded, “Me and my dad”. Merri heard my daughter and recognized her voice and said, “Oh my goodness! It’s me, Merri!” What a beautiful blessing and miracle to have Merri, an incredible paramedic, a dear friend and my daughter’s Young Women’s leader, there at the scene to assist them in this catastrophic accident, just moments after it all happened. Still buckled in, upside down, my daughter told Ryan that Merri was there and she was going to help them. Once they were in a secure position, Merri pushed their seatbelt buttons and they fell to the ground. Then they crawled out through the back of the car. They were, indeed, protected and I am so grateful to the Lord for preserving their lives!
When we arrived to the scene, I was grateful to find them both doing so well. Ryan walked away with only sore hands from white-knuckling the steering wheel. My daughter had a small scratch/bump on her forehead but that was it. Of course, they were shook up but doing very well, under the circumstances. What … a … blessing!
After we did what needed to be done with the police and tow truck, we all agreed that we still wanted to go to the Temple and serve. Merri took our younger ones to her babysitter’s house and then we met at the Temple. Serving in the house of the Lord brought us much needed peace and comfort.
As we were traveling to the Temple, my daughter called my mom. (I had called my mom the moment I heard about the accident. So, I knew she would be sitting anxiously by the phone, awaiting some reassurance that all were okay.) The conversation was tender. I could hear the trembling voice of my mother. I could hear her as she began to cry. She told my daughter, as she wept, that cars can be replaced but there is no replacing the ones we love! That is true!
After our time at the Temple, my daughter shared with me her experience of this accident. She had already submitted 5 names to the Temple (a week ago) so they would be ready for her when she got there but really felt there were a couple more she wanted to do. So she was using my husbands iPad to find the names as they were driving. It took her a little while but she finally found two of them and felt those were what she needed. She put the iPad down on the middle console. Then she grabbed her scriptures and began reading in Mosiah chapter 5. She finished the chapter and realized the rains were coming down really hard and the car began veering off the road. She grabbed on to Ryan’s arm and said “Heavenly Father…” and then the car began to tumble. This morning, she opened up the scriptures she was reading to remind herself of what she read. With tears in her eyes, she shared with me what she learned from this passage: If you keep the commandments, love, serve others and put God first, He will bless you and protect you. My testimony was strengthened. God knows us. He loves us. He will bless us. As my daughter shared this experience with another dear friend of ours, Toni, said, “I’m sure those family members, who you were searching for while traveling in the car and those you had found earlier in the week, were there protecting you and your dad. They needed you to finish their work.” When she said that, I could feel such power and peace come over me.
I am so grateful that they were protected. I’m not gonna lie, I loved that car. But it served it’s purpose. Blessings do come in ways that we don’t expect sometimes. It’s humbling, it’s inspiring, it’s just really beautiful!
I’m grateful for the blessing of the Temples. Within those walls, sacred work is performed. We learn. We serve. Great peace is found there. The blessings of eternal families are realized within. I’m grateful that I am sealed to my family for time and for all eternity. The Temples are the House of the Lord!
I guess, another few things I learned from this accident was to always express your love to your loved ones. You never know when something will happen and you won’t have them anymore. The second thing I learned was to recognize the blessings big and small and thank the good Lord for each of them. It makes terrifying experiences more bearable. Third, slow waaaaay down in the rain, best to do that while on a slope. 🙂 In any case, better safe than sorry. And lastly, in any circumstance we are faced with, saying a prayer, even if it’s “Heavenly Father …”, will help us through the good and the bad. Comfort, peace, guidance, protection and understanding can fill our lives, as we call upon Him.