On 18th July 2015 I was in a very serious car accident, as I explained in the Preface. It was late at night and my husband and our two young children were coming home from visiting my parents when a car appeared completely on the wrong side of the road at very high speed and crashed into us. We weren’t to know at the time that the driver of the vehicle was drunk, or that we would be very badly injured by this crash. It was a senseless thing to happen, one that spun our world upside down.
Earlier, my parents, my husband and I had spent the afternoon going over the very miracles that I have now written in this story, telling of God’s miraculous rescue and how His hand was on our family. It was a wonderful time of thanksgiving and prayer and, I must admit, a very unusual visit. Although this story is very much part of my and my family’s history, it is not one that we often talk about. Neither do we normally part in the way that we did on the night of the accident, by praying over each other and asking each other for forgiveness for past wrongs. So on the night of the car crash, I was very sure that we were going to die. But God had other ideas. My husband, children and I escaped with injuries that did not at all match up with the wreckage that we emerged from. Although we all had fractures, some more serious than others, it was a miracle that we came out of the car alive at all. What followed is another story of miraculous proportions, through which this book has been birthed.
A few weeks following the car accident, I was struggling to sleep. The emotional trauma was starting to take its toll and I was finding it very hard to close my eyes without constantly seeing the scene of the accident. The hardest thing about it all was that I had held my one-year-old son’s limp body in my arms shortly after the crash, and that had traumatically affected my memories. As it stood, I had fractured my ribs, hip and lower back and was in no position following the accident to be able to hold my son. The last time I had held him had been on that night. Therefore each time he came over to me asking for a cuddle, my eyes filled up with tears. I desperately longed to hold my son again, and each day that I couldn’t intensified the trauma of the accident.
After this ordeal, I suffered a great deal from anxiety, fear and what the doctors referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder. Sleep was a thing of the past, and I was in a lot of pain. I was in a very dark place emotionally and physically. The last thing I expected to come out of a place like this was a book.
On one particularly bad night of sleeplessness, I was finally ready to ask for some help. The next day I contacted a friend who is a qualified counsellor, but she was sadly unavailable and therefore unable to help. I asked a couple of other people whom I could trust with how I was feeling, but again, they were also either away or busy with important projects. I felt the most lonely I had ever felt. I knew I needed prayer and counselling, but everyone I reached out to just couldn’t help me. I began to weep. I genuinely didn’t know where to turn. I felt like I needed help immediately. I was experiencing constant nightmares and anxiety attacks, so I knew that a week or a month from now would simply be too late. I did not feel as though my mind could cope.
I spent an evening on the phone with my mum, who tried her best to counsel me and pray for me. When I finally went up to bed, I was sure that I would be OK following such a lovely chat. However, as soon as I closed my eyes, once again the nightmares came flooding in, and I was right back to the scene of the accident, battling for my son’s life. I reached out to my husband to pray for me, but he’d fallen fast asleep.
I resolved that my best option, as I was not going to sleep anyway, would be to get up and go downstairs. My plan was to watch TV until morning or until I could no longer stay awake. But I was so heartbroken by the images I had been seeing in my mind that all I could do when I arrived downstairs was to cry. And boy, did I cry!
I decided to pray but could not find the words. Instead I played a song, which in my mind captured everything I wished to say to God. I played it over and over again for three whole hours. I felt like I had lost a sense of who I was. I needed God to remind me, in the way that only He can.
At three o’clock in the morning, something remarkable happened. My cries were all but soft whimpers now as I lay on a tear-soaked carpet, fully on my face. My heart was spent in grief and I was still awake. With my eyes closed in surrender, I felt a breeze all around me and then a heavy presence of Jesus, as though He were standing right next to me. I felt hands that lifted me up and placed me on His lap and then began to comfort me in my grief. I opened my eyes to see whether I was still conscious, and I was. As I closed them again, I felt comforting hands begin to stroke my hair as you would an upset child, as if to say, ‘There, there.’
I rested on Jesus’ lap for a while, crying on Him, but less out of grief now and more out of relief. I felt Him so tangibly with me and was so comfortable right there in His arms that I didn’t want to be anywhere else. I relaxed and let His peace wash over me as I sobbed over and over again. When I finally got my tears out, I heard a voice say to me, ‘I’m going to fix your broken wing, so you can soar again.’ And with those words, I got up, went to bed and haven’t had a nightmare or an anxiety attack since.
Excerpt taken from The Search For Home book written by Beatrice Smith available now.