Sometimes girls are really strange.
For instance, you (if you are a girl, that is) are in the car with your older sister — your older sister is driving, not you — and you nearly get into a bad accident, after which you laugh crazily all the way home. Even though it’s not funny. At all.
I have bad memories of the highway going through the little town of Hampton (which is somewhere around seven miles away from us, for those of you who don’t live in Nebraska). Let’s just say that a couple of years ago, right on that very same highway, I was in a pretty scary accident that involved two horses and a car. Not good.
The next bad memory was made two days ago on Friday, July 26, 2013.
Brittany (the older sister mentioned in the above illustration of strange girls) and I were driving home from Hampton. It was around lunch time. I was staring off into space in the general direction of the book on my lap, when suddenly I heard Brittany gasp.
I looked up and saw a green vehicle in our lane, right ahead of us. Not too scary, eh? The only problem was that this green vehicle wasn’t going the right way. It was coming straight at us. It happened so fast that I wasn’t sure if the owner of this green vehicle had fallen asleep and wandered over into the wrong lane, but whatever the situation, I hope that driver learned his lesson.
If the driver had been asleep, he woke up suddenly just seconds before it would have been too late. He (assuming it was a he…) jerked his vehicle over to his own lane, and Brittany swerved to our right, going onto the shoulder to avoid colliding with him.
I never saw what happened to that green vehicle or the driver. At that moment I didn’t care. Who has the presence of mind to wonder whether the car behind you goes into a ditch or not when your sister is doing her best to ensure that you won’t end up in a ditch yourself?
We were out of control. I am so thankful that there were no other cars on that highway close enough to be in danger. I sat in that front seat totally freaking out. I don’t do that often. I mean, some people think that freaking out is when you jump up and down and scream and yell because someone threw a crawdad in your lap. The way I was freaking out was sitting with my eyes wide open, my mouth shut, and my heart beating frantically as I felt my face go green and white. That’s the manly way to freak out. Just don’t remind me that the only reason I didn’t scream was because I couldn’t remember how.
As I watched Brittany fight to still the suburban’s swerving path across the highway, I suddenly took in her face. Not bug-eyed like mine, and although I’m sure her heart was beating 100 miles a second, her face was calm and her hands were steady. Her eyes never left the road, and she never wavered for a minute. She had presence of mind.
And me? I still get dizzy when I think of that crazy ride.
The tires screeched as we swerved, and I was sure we were going to blow all four tires by the time this ride ever came to an end. If it ever came to an end. In one way, it felt like eternity. In another, it felt like it was over in a few seconds.
In the end, we died. Both of us.
Ha ha. Just kidding.
Eventually Brittany got the suburban in control and we took deep breaths to still our now-shaking hands. It was over. And I began to notice things. The narrowed gaze of a man who drove by in a tan pickup, probably assuming that we were two teenagers out for a joyride. The buzzing sound of the rumble strips as we slowed and pulled over to the side of the road. The relief I felt when I saw that all four tires were okay. The heat of the sun reflecting off the side of the suburban. The little pieces of gravel at the side of the road.
And I began to realize that I was still alive.
My hands were shaking and my stomach felt like it was being squeezed by a giant hand, but I was alive and well. Other than the butterflies in my stomach.
It was only then that Brit’s face changed colors. I remember noticing randomly that her face looked the color of her green shirt. And I’m sure mine didn’t look much better.
So I laughed again. This time Brit laughed with me. And we both laughed all the way home.
But it seems that God has a purpose for these strange girls. Our life isn’t over yet. God has work for us to do on earth. And His hand was so evident that Friday afternoon.
But then again, God’s hand is always evident. In the leaves of the trees, the green grass (and the brown), the little bugs and the big ones, the way our fingernails grow, and the way birds fly.
I so often forget to see God’s beauty in every day life; that every good and perfect thing is from above. I forget that one can see God’s hand in everything. In the way our hearts beat, and the way we keep on breathing, even when we sleep. The wisdom in Dad giving Brittany excellent and worth-while driving lessons on how to do donuts in a parking lot. Had it not been for those driving lessons, I probably wouldn’t be here right now.
I am so thankful that God’s hand was upon us that afternoon.
So why shouldn’t I laugh? Why shouldn’t I be joyful?
Maybe it’s you that’s strange, not me.
Just don’t forget to notice God’s splendor and beauty, His majesty, and His love in every single day that He’s given us. He protects us, sometimes when we don’t even know it. Rejoice that you have Someone bigger than you to lean on and to put your trust in when things get tough.
And that’s why I laughed.