I received a phone call to go to The Bus Stop that every mother fears. I answered the phone to hear Faith gasping through tears. She had just left twenty minutes earlier to drive back to college after a perfect Thanksgiving break. She was in a car accident. As she related what happened, I instructed Hope, Compassion and Joy to grab the items I would need to go and rescue my baby girl. Compassion kept shouting, “Is Faith ok?” I did not answer her because I did not yet know the answer myself. I left the house in a silent panic.
As I pulled up to the scene I held back tears. I needed to be strong for Faith. I needed to comfort her and reassure her everything would be all right. I parked behind a truck, hazard lights flashing violently, and got out. I asked the gentleman if he was ok. He said he was and he was a witness to the scene. I call him the first Good Samaritan.
There were two police cars with lights flashing and a fire truck at the scene. Traffic was being diverted and only one lane was being used on the county road. Two fire men took turns on opposite ends of the disaster rotating road signs to stop and slow. I slowly walked past the scattered debris in the roadway. I saw bits and pieces of two cars twisted, torn and shattered. I knew which pieces came from Faith’s car.
“When you are weak, I am strong.”
It took more strength than I had within me not to just collapse to the ground and cry. There is nothing more heart wrenching than pulling up to an accident scene and not knowing if your child is injured. I shouted back at God to help me keep it together. I was at my weakest. I needed strength for my daughter. I needed strength for me.
Up ahead I saw Faith’s car in the ditch. I could see the flattened grass trail made by her descent. The front of the vehicle was twisted uncomfortably. As I looked at the vehicle I noticed the air bag did not function at all. The car, warped from its intended design, should have deployed its air bag to protect my girl. I was even more terrified as to her condition now.
“When you are weak, I am strong.”
Those words helped me climb into the back of the fire truck to find my waiting child. I hugged her as if it was the first time I ever held her, almost two decades ago. Faith was so very pale. I had never seen her in such a state. She was very weak and I needed to grasp for the strength that God kept whispering in my ear. She said she was doing ok. Faith asked about the occupants of the other vehicle, if they were ok. I was proud of her. She is always concerned with the welfare of strangers. That’s my Faith.
After Faith got the thumbs up from the firemen we went to look at her first car. This car rolled off the assembly line in 1997, at the top of its class as a newborn, with prime leather seats, automatic everything, and a sunroof. It had already been totaled once by the previous owner. It was gifted to our family after being restored and rejuvenated by a pastor. I had to tell Faith her car was totaled. That we needed to say goodbye before it was towed away forever. She took the shiny silver grill, which was ambling precariously off the front of the vehicle, as a souvenir.
The police man came over; I shook his hand and thanked him for his assistance. He handed us a yellow sheet with all the information we needed about the accident. He explained to us Faith’s upcoming steps. I told her I would be at her side every step of the way. I would help her pay for the ticket and I would support her. God would give me the strength. He is strong.
It seemed it took us an eternity to clean out the vehicle. We removed a couple of suitcases, a backpack, a purse, jumper cables and snow brushes. Valor, Faith’s boyfriend, was on his way to pick up my baby. He would comfort her in a way I couldn’t, he would drive her back to school and hold her as she cried that night.
It is every parent’s nightmare to be called to an accident scene. After I hugged and kissed my daughter and her beau, Valor, goodbye, I drove home weeping for joy that Faith was not laying on an emergency room bed. I was weak. But God gave me the strength I needed for that hour and a half while I faced a reality that seemed so surreal.
I got home and relayed the events to Compassion, Joy and Hope. I kissed them all goodnight, and tucked them in. I waited for the call from Faith that they made it back to college safely. Then I spent the entire night in a stream of endless tears for my firstborn. I shed tears because she was safe. I shed tears for her future. I shed tears because I am an emotional, compassionate and fragile mother. I was very weak that night, but God kept telling me that He was strong for me.
So that is how I spent the end of my Thanksgiving weekend. It was a perfect weekend filled with family, Christmas tree shopping, decorating the house for my Savior’s birth and making Christmas cookies. It ended with me being so incredibly thankful to my God for protecting my daughter; for reaching His hand down from Heaven to protect her when man’s machine failed to do so. I am so thankful for the half a dozen Good Samaritans that stopped to offer assistance. I am thankful for all the men on duty who came to Faith’s rescue. I am so thankful that I gave birth to Faith, and tonight I held her as I did the first time I held her. I am so thankful that my God is so strong He can hold me up when I do not have the strength or will to do so.
So as you enter this sacred time marching towards the birth of our Savior, thank Him for all the times He picked you up and wiped your tears away. Thank Him for your family and thank Him for protecting you and yours, always and forever.