Life is funny sometimes. Sometimes a bad thing can happen to you, but you’re so relieved it wasn’t any worse, and you feel so lucky that you are getting help – both divine and earthly – that you can’t muster the ability to be mad.
I was driving back from Kendallville last night – I really can’t believe I allowed myself to drive 2 hours each way to cover a girls basketball game, but whatever – doing about 60 on a ridiculously snowy, icy, windy road around mile 86 on I-69, when I came upon a very bad situation.
A car was stopped in the left lane with its flashers on. In and of itself, this was not surprising – it seemed like every 2 or 3 miles, I was passing someone who was stuck off the road or idled on the shoulder. However, the problem came in the right lane, as a car backed up, facing the wrong way and left me absolutely nowhere to go.
Left with no choice, because there was no way I’d be able to stop in time to avoid hitting the car, I pulled my car off the road – still doing, I’d guess, 40 or so. I skidded as the snow wouldn’t permit me to get off the road as quickly as I’d like, and in the matter of probably about 2 seconds, the following happened:
I thought I would hit the car. Luckily, this didn’t happen – I slid off the road. Then, to my right, further off the road, I saw a man walking up the incline. I was absolutely scared to death that I was going to hit this man, but luckily (and butterfly-effect proof that I was better off having not gotten off the road as fast as I tried to), my car wasn’t skidding far enough to hit him. I blew right past him and ended up coming to a stop about 20 feet off the road, on a sharp incline, stuck amongst some wheat-looking plants. Absolutely no damage was done to my car out of the whole thing.
Unaware of what was going on, and not sure if anyone had really seen me skid off, I sat in my car for a bit, making a halfhearted attempt to get unstuck and pondering my next move. At one point I got out of the car and felt like I was in a movie scene – it was windy as all get out, though not that cold, and oddly quiet. After a few minutes, I decided to call 911 and ask for a tow truck. As I was on the phone with the emergency woman – who could not have been nicer – a man came over to my car to check on me.
Turns out he had been trying to help someone stuck going northbound – it was that person’s car that had backed up into my path. He said that the guy had put his car in reverse, but had for some reason left the car while it remained that way, hence my situation. After finishing his help of that guy, he came back to me. He was unable to use his tow strap to pull me out, so I had to call a tow truck, but he had me sit in his SUV while we waited and talked to me. We didn’t talk about much – he fancied himself a motivational speaker, so he gave me some platitudes that I won’t remember for long – but he was very nice and repeatedly expressed his apologies for my being stuck, as if it were his fault.
Eventually, the tow truck arrived and pulled me out. It cost 50 bucks – which will go to my insurance company because towing is the only thing it will bother to cover. Combine that with the 70 dollar towing receipt I had to get when my transmission was screwy last week and this is the first time in recorded history that State Farm insurance will actually pay for itself. After taking care of that, I shook the guy’s hand who had stayed to make sure I was ok, told him he was a life-saver, and thanked him. I’ll never forget him, even though I don’t know his name or anything about him besides the few facts he told me.
It was another entry into my car’s ongoing soap opera – but this time, I was so relieved, so humored (honestly, the whole thing seemed funny in retrospect) and so glad that nothing worse had happened, that I couldn’t be upset. I’ll never forget the feeling of terror that entered my mind as I saw that guy off the side of the road, thinking for a split second that I was going to run him over inadvertently. In the end, though, all I lost was 45 minutes.
God is good. Sometimes, He chooses weird times to show it – like last night – but He is.