“Hey, I need you” were the words that made my heart race. I knew something was wrong when I heard the phone ring. Call it a Mother’s instinct or whatever, but I knew.
Josh and his best friend, Josh R., had left for work about 15 minutes earlier. It was really raining and I had received a text from Josh R.’s Mom telling me that water was standing on the roads. The boys were driving separate vehicles so I called my Josh to tell him about the road conditions and tell him to be careful. Five minutes later he called me.
“Hey, I need you”.
“Why?” I asked but I was already running to get my shoes.
“I’m in a ditch on the side of the interstate.”
“Are you hurt?” I’m frantically looking for my keys.
“No, I’m ok”
“Don’t move. I’m on my way.”
The lights and tv were on. The cat was in the house. My hair unbrushed and still wearing glasses instead of contacts, I ran to the car. It was still pouring down rain and I had to remind myself that I would be of no help to my son if I wrecked on the way to him.
By the time I arrived, I had talked to him two more times. I knew that he either hydroplaned or had a front-tire blowout. I knew that he was not hurt and the car seemed to be ok. I knew that no other vehicles were involved but mainly, I knew that he was ok.
Pulling to a stop, I jumped out of the car and hugged my son in the pouring rain. Nothing else mattered. He was in one piece. He was ok.
I must have been a sight because the police that showed up on the scene asked if it was my car. I said no, it’s my son’s. After hearing the story, the young black police officer put his arm around my shoulder and squeezed. Even now, that small gesture brings tears to my eyes. It was a sincere act of compassion on his part and it touched me deeply.
Mom and Dad arrived a few minutes after I did. We decided to leave the car until the rain slowed. Josh and I headed to their house to calm down a little and honestly, we just needed the strength and comfort that their home offers.
It was then that I began to get the details of what happened and understand how the hand of God had been on my son. As I said, it was raining heavily. Josh hit a water pocket and began hydroplaning. He did a 360 in the middle of the highway, by God’s grace there was no traffic close to him. He slid off the right side of the interstate, opposite the side of the road lined with metal posts and fencing. He skidded sideways up a 30 foot embankment and landed nose first into the ditch, facing the road.
There was no impact, so the airbags did not deploy. There were no obstructions so there was no damage to the car except a flat tire. There was nothing to cause injury to my son.
As the Joshes walked out of my house that morning I prayed, “God, watch over my boys” (the second Josh is technically not mine but he's one of the many boys that have a special place in our family, so I consider him mine.)
This was a vivid reminder that I do not control the things that happen in my life. Neither do I control the things that happen in my kids’ lives. While I try to do what’s best for them and I try to “control” the things I can, ultimately there is not ONE thing that I can do on my own. Now, this is not a new concept but something that I obviously needed a refresher on. I am a Christian. I have given my life to Christ. He alone has control over all and I trust Him with that. I told Josh on the way home from church today how very thankful I am that God watched over him and kept him safe (I’ve told him this at least a dozen times in the last 24 hours) but I also explained that even if things had turned out differently…if he had been injured….if the car was totaled….if…if…if…God would still have been in control and I still put my complete faith and trust in Him. That’s a hard thing but if I trust Him, I must trust Him completely.
I do. I falter, but I do. I am human, but I do. It is a choice. I do.