Our Christmas Eve quickly went from "Best Day Ever" to "Worst Day Ever" in our kids' eyes. We invited some good friends of ours, and took my mom and step-dad, Larry, with us up to the mountains were we had a really fun day of snowmobiling and 4-wheeling in the snow, despite getting various vehicles stuck several times.Hailey and her friend, Hannah, being pulled behind the snowmobile on the inner tube.
We built a fire and roasted sausage dogs and s'mores. These are our awesome friends, Cora and Tony, who really helped save the day later. Love these people!
Mom and Larry had so much fun on the snowmobile. It was Larry's first time on one and Mom hadn't been on one in 25+ years.
Cora is riding behind me as we pull the kidlets on the sled. We loaded up at dark and started home. It had been snowing all day and they had just grated the road. Needless to say it was extremely slick. We should have chained up. We got about a mile down the road and hit our first big corner. We were going slow, but it wasn't slow enough. The ATV trailer slipped and pushed us right into the ditch. It was a deeper ditch than we anticipated, and we ended up vertical on our side.
This is the first time I've ever been in a wreck in my 37 years, not even a fender-bender. I was in the front sitting between Larry and Michael. Mom was in the back between Hailey and Josiah. All of us in the front were OK, but Mom broke her collarbone on Josiah's car seat. Josiah's part of the truck got it worst. His window shattered and so did the back window. We are so thankful he only cut his elbow (we were able to butterfly bandage it back together). We are still getting glass out of his car seat.
It was really tricky getting out because the passenger doors were so heavy and the truck cab is big. I had to stand on the steering wheel and get pulled out by friends. Michael got Josiah out the back window into our friend's waiting arms. They held the extremely heavy doors in a really awkward position in order for the rest of us to get out. Mom's shoulder was incapacitated so it was really tricky getting her out. And it was a LONG drop to the bottom of the ditch.
By a miracle, we were able to get cellphone service and call another friend to come get us because there weren't enough seats for us all to get off the mountain. The tow truck even refused to come that night. We are only 5 miles from home, but there are some extremely steep miles still ahead of us. Praise God we all managed to get down the hill even though there was some sliding involved. The men decided to go back up that night and they were able to pull Michael's truck out of the ditch and he was able to drive it home (they were all chained up by this point).
To say were were shaken up is an understatement. I felt so bad for the kids, even though they were OK. It was so scary.
After a night of tossing and turning, I awoke Christmas morning to this sight in our driveway. I fell to my knees in gratitude to our God, our Helper our Protector. It could have been so much worse. Josiah was in the back seat. No wonder the window shattered.
Praise God the snowmobile was tied down securely. It stayed in the back and didn't penetrate the cab.
The cab and bed are destroyed, but the frame looks like it might be OK. We only had liability insurance on it since it was over 10 years old. Big mistake. Now we are out of truck. Michael says he will drive it like this back and forth to work until we can save up for another used truck. This is just metal. We can replace "things", we can't replace people. I praised God as I filled out that accident report and didn't have to write "deceased" on that paperwork.
God woke me up early Christmas morning with an urge to do my regular bible study. I'm currently working on a Beth Moore study called, "Stepping Up" about the Psalms of Ascension. It happened to be on Psalm 124 that day. It is a Psalm that gives you permission to entertain the "What ifs". I realized the "What ifs are what make me grateful for the "What is".
"A vicious battle is being fought over your life. You are not imagining that somthing's going on, and yes, it's more than meets the eye. From heaven's vantage point, your story is exceedingly more exciting than you can conceive-replete with dangers, near misses, and great escapes. As many bruises, scars, and successful hits as the enemy may have given us, as we study this psalm, I want you to celebrate that Satan didn't get all he wanted." - Beth Moore
I began to list the things I was grateful for from the beginning of the accident to the end:
1. We were with friends who are great in a crisis and they were behind us when it happened and were a tremendous help.
2. The kids had a warm vehicle with their friends in it and didn't have to watch on the side of the road while the rest of us were pulled out.
3. That if we were going to wreck that it be on that corner and not the hill with the drop-off we were about to dive off of without any chains!
4. A broken collarbone was the worse injury sustained
5. That we had put Josiah back into his car seat a few weeks ago, after a trial run without it to see if he was big enough. He had complained that it was rubbing against his neck, so we put him back in it. Thank God or he could very well have sustained some terrible head injuries.
6. The truck didn't land on any rocks or a stump or anything else in the ditch that could have penetrated that side of the cab.
7. The snowmobile was tied down securely and didn't penetrate the cab. The snowmobile only sustained minor injuries as well. Broke the headlight and windshield is all.
8. The four-wheeler was still upright in the trailer, even though the tongue was completely twisted.
9. The passenger windows didn't break and rain glass all over us.
10. Our friends were able to get us all out safely.
11. Other friends were able to get up the mountain to get us and bring us safely back down
12. Our friends were able to winch the truck out off the ditch and Michael was able to drive it home as the frame wasn't bent.
Yep, the truck is toast. But it is just metal and metal can be replaced. Flesh and blood cannot. My husband is really struggling with guilt about this, so I would ask that you pray for him. I did not have a very godly response at first, but God has brought me quickly back where I need to be. Again, we all have much to be thankful for!
Psalm 124:7 - 8 (ESV)
"We have escaped like a bird
from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken, and we have escaped!
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!