happened, so after much self-debate, I’m posting now.
In the late afternoon of February 17th, 2012 something pretty terrible
happened to me. It was the day before I was closing one chapter of my
life (moving out of my first apartment across the street from my university after graduation) and starting a new one (moving to a better part of
town and living with a really cool professional couple around my age, then finding a decent paying full-time job). This transition didn’t happen gradually;
it was more like the chapter screeched to a hault and I was physically thrown into the next chapter.
I didn’t have internet at my apartment so I frequented my college
campus, especially a computer lab in one of the girls’ dorms. It was
closest to my apartment complex, which was just across the street. That
afternoon I had a couple of tutoring appointments and then packing to do
later that evening. I just wanted to check some stuff online first so
I planned on going home real quick then going across the street
in order to go to JU. It was around 6PM and my favorite show on NPR
(Marketplace) was on. Normally I turn off the mp3 player whenever I
cross the street just to be safe and because so many people run red and
caution lights these days! However, that evening I did not.
The walk signal had almost flashed up but I should have been paying more
attention to the black Jetta (with tinted windows!) that was hesitating and
trying to make a right hand turn. The fact that
it had tinted windows didn’t cross my mind as I was debating on whether
or not to cross before it turned. The driver kept braking and hesitating it
seemed, but that was only because it was watching out for on-coming
traffic- NOT me, like I had stupidly assumed. So as soon the walk signal
flashed up I took a step and started walking, headphones in my ears and all.
All of a sudden, to both of our dismay, that car was suddenly right in
front of me! I immediately put my hand out to “stop” it from
hitting me and said, “Oh my gosh!” in a drawn-out and
frustrated tone. I think I blacked out for a second (maybe due to stress)
because somehow my right knee hit the headlight and got badly
bruised…but other than falling squarely on my butt (after I got out of
the way), that was the extent of my injuries. I had had an awful week. I had just
gotten over being sick and thanks to that incident, felt like someone was repeatedly kicking me while I was down.
Thankfully the young guy stopped and, while I wanted to be angry with
him, I couldn’t be. All of my anger melted once I realized how extremely
sorry he was and how bad he felt. We exchanged numbers but nothing came of it –
serious injuries or otherwise. If I walk too much in any given day, my
knee hurts but that’s about it (knock on wood, as I don’t have health
No one else stopped to see if I was okay. It didn’t bug me then because
I had just wanted to get off the street, finish my packing and wish that whole terrible evening behind me but as I have thought about
the incident after the fact, it astonishes me.
What’s more are the thoughts I had while I talked to the guy who had hit me. He had told me that he was glad that it didn’t turn out any worse than it did. “ME, TOO,” I almost shouted in my mind. I had just graduated from college two months before, was starting my career and hoping to be in a relationship some time soon. Or at least being able to have a shot at doing those latter two things in my lifetime. My parents, brother and extended family popped into my mind as well. I had just seen them a month before but imagine if they received terrible news that I was in an accident – in front of an apartment complex that they themselves had only visited two months prior?
It was an extreme wake-up call for me and I do pay much more attention to the road when I am walking now more than ever before. The headphones are always out of my ears when I cross streets and crosswalks here in San Marco. And though, I wasn’t able to have the two things I wanted most that night (a hug from my mom and being able to hold my sweet kitty), I did have some awesome friends help me move the next day. They also let me vent a little bit and hugged me, letting me know that they too were very glad I was alright and in one piece.
My knee is hurting a bit more tonight than it has in several months – which is what prompted me to post this story. Usually it only hurts a little from time to time now and those small aches remind me that I am alive. My life changed on that day in a flash, though not in a negative way. While I know I’m not invincible, I do know that I am stronger than I give myself credit sometimes. If I can keep going after facing a challenge like that (which again, could have ended much worse), then I can face the next thing that life throws at me, no matter its size. I hope you are encouraged by my story, but more so are pointed back to God through it. We can do all things through Him who gives us strength.