Thursday, January 11, 2007

Some things are hard to explain

There have been a few times in my life when things have happened that are just impossible to explain in simple terms.
I woke up feeling like I HAD to share some of these today and decided to just go with the feeling. So pull up a comfy chair.
When I was 18, I went camping in the mountains of Vermont with a group of friends. It was October so there was a chill in the air. The campground bathrooms were closed except for the main facility which was about a mile or more from where our tents were set up. My friend and I decided we would take the hike to the bathroom before heading to bed. We didn't have a flashlight but at our age, good judgment was not exactly something we thought about. We made it to the bathrooms fine but on the way back we got lost, took a wrong road, ended up scared and confused as to where we were. We wandered around looking for the right trail for what seemed like forever. At one point we both tumbled down a hillside. Layers of fallen branches covered the hillside and our legs broke through scratching up our legs quite bad and we tumbled often on the way down. At the end of this Jack and Jill type tumble we stood silent, knowing we were really in trouble now, so far away from where we needed to be. We heard rustling in the branches, it was a bear, we could see that but perhaps he was sleepy by the cold air and thinking more about hibernating than eating us, the only prayer I could muster was, "oh God !" The bear walked away in the opposite direction.
Roberta and I were scared and we actually knelt on the ground at the bottom of this hill and prayed out loud. It seemed so hopeless we were almost sarcastic in the way we prayed. "Dear God, send us a light, send a light, to show us the way out of here." We laughed at how dramatic we sounded. But I sit here telling you in 100% honesty that in less than 5 minutes, we saw a light at the top of the hill and we set off like maniacs running up that brush encrusted hillside towards that light. It kept shining right on us. It was a flashlight. It seemed a bit odd to both of us since the campground was empty except for our group and they were all asleep. We were not even sure if we were still in the campground as we had wandered for hours. But up the top of the hill was a group of young men, 3 of them. We had never seen them before. Two young girls lost in the woods found by 3 young men, might not be the best situation, but these young men were so kind. Asking if we were lost and we told them our story. They said, "we'll take you back to your tent" . The 5 of us set off in silence and like true young girls, my friend and I tried talking to them and having some sort of conversation but they were quiet. Handsome, from what we could see, at 18 you notice that stuff. I remember to this day commenting on the beautiful blue eyes of the one with the flashlight. He said nothing in return to my compliment. We walked a trail for some time and soon saw all the familiar tents. Needless to say my friend and I were thrilled to see them. She and I walked fast to reach "home". We both turned around to thank these wonderful kind young men and no joke, they were gone, disappeared. There was enough light from the campsite to see quite a ways down the road and honestly, there was no trace of these three young men who saved our lives, in two seconds time.
All my life I have felt that we had been in the presence of angels that night. We were both sure of it and still are. We prayed almost jokingly to " see the light" and we did.

Yesterday something odd happened that made me think of the above story again and think of one more time when things cannot be explained. I was almost mad the day before yesterday that I left the house to pick up Emery, without my camera. The sunset was gorgeous and I knew it was going to be even better in a few minutes time but I left without the camera anyway. Sure enough, as I was driving the sky filled with the colors of pure gold and that pink gold you sometimes see used in jewelry. If there was ever a purple gold, it would be just like the clouds in the sky as the golden sun set. I was awe struck and mad that my camera was at home. I tried to think of words to go with what was before me, but there weren't any.
Yesterday I saw clouds forming in the early evening sky that looked like the ones I had seen the day before. I left to pick up Emery but decided to go back in the house and get my camera, just in case it was going to be a sunset like the day before. I was not about to miss it a second time.
I took a back road to get a better view of the sky, but it wasn't right. Looked at the clock on the dashboard and decided there may just be enough time to go one more place. I did, but it took me on another wild goose chase. Nothing was right. Even the sunset seemed like a dud. I was running late now, and as I rounded the corner to get on the road I should have been on 15 minutes ago, I saw a huge line of traffic and the CareFlight Helicopter raising up from the road. Further up, I saw the lights of police cars, ambulances and fire trucks.
If I had just left the house when I first set off, I would have been right there at the time of the accident, right on that very road. Sobering thought.
One more story.....a short one. We live on a road that is called a Spur. A connecter road to a Farm to Market road. At the end of our road is a busy road that has lots of accidents. One day a couple years ago, I was pulling up to the stop sign and something made me stop about 2 car lengths before the stop sign. It was weird of me to do that and it was like I was frozen there, not able to pull up to the corner. I remember thinking how glad I was no one was behind me. In a flash, a woman came up the busy road in the turning lane to come onto our road but missed the turn and went straight, flying through in a huge car, going about 60 mph, never slowing down, right through the spot I should have been sitting at. She drove off into the grass, shaken. If I had been in the spot I was supposed to be in, she would have slammed into the drivers side of my car at 60 mph with her huge car. I am sure it would have killed me. I was white as a ghost, but very thankful.
You see, when strange things happen, or delays that may seem aggravating, sometimes they are the very things that save our lives.
Today, think about that, think about that annoying phone call that keeps you from leaving the house and wonder if maybe it just saved your life. You just never know.
I have learned to thank God for each and every delay, never quite sure if it was a life line.

Since I had my camera yesterday I took a picture of the traffic from the very serious accident

(you have to understand that in the country, more than 4 cars stopped means heavy traffic)

The sunset last night, pretty yes, but nothing like the night before.


Anonymous said...

THANK YOU for posting these stories. The first one gave me goosebumps. I too believe the 3 men were angels. How wonderful that God has protected you all this time. He has a purpose for your life and needs you on this earth.

BTW, very nice blog. I have been lurking for 2 or 3 months and enjoy your musings.

God bless.


Anonymous said...

Reading this brought me back to a time when I was a very young mom, living in a neighborhood full of little ones.
I heard a story on the radio, about a young child who was hit by a car, and killed, when he ran out from between two parked cars, running to an ice cream truck.
Those trucks were always in our neighborhood. One day, months later, I was driving down the road, going home, when I spotted an ice cream truck coming from the opposite direction. That news story flashed in my mind, and I suddenly braked, and slowed down . Just then, a little boy dashed out in front of me, from between two parked cars.
I know, with certainty, that if I had not suddenly slowed down, I would have hit that child. I thanked God that He made me aware, and saved that little boy.

Anonymous said...

I just LOVE stories like this - sends shivers down my spine and confirms my belief that there is a life after this one, that there is a God and we have angels to protect us. I've had many similar experiences also. One time Phill and I were driving on the highway in the country and we got stuck behind a huge semi-trailer. Phill put his indicator to overtake and started to make the manoeuvre but I said in a very quiet but direct voice "don't overtake, there's something coming". A few seconds later a huge truck came hurtling down the hill (I couldn't see the oncoming lane at all). If we had overtaken, we would have had a head on collision and certainly been killed! I remember him saying to me "how did you know that?"

I think many people get these kinds of experiences all the time but some would call them coincidence. My faith is strengthened every time I hear a story like this.

Anonymous said...

I have never left a comment on your blog before but I have to say I love your blog.

These stories are amazing and what a wonderful reminder they are. I was just doing my Bible study and I was studying Romans 8:28-38. It is all about God's love and how he protects us and this story just confirms that.

Carrie J said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Carrie J said...

Patty, your stories reminded me of something that happened to my daughter. It is too long to post here so I put it on my blog. When things get tough and scary and we feel lost, we should always remember that we are loved.

(sorry, Somehow I accidently deleted my earlier post)

Caryn Verell said...

I thank God you were protected by some unseen force I like to refer to as angels of heaven and the angels among us. I rarely comment in any blog, but I want you to know that I love visiting yours and that I pray for you and yours daily. Fondly, Caryn from Mississippi.

Shellie said...

Patty, I had at least one similar moment to your camping story. At 20, I was trying to drive to a friend's wedding a few states away at night because the car check-up was delayed when the car died on the interstate in contruction traffic around 10:30 on a Friday. Right behind me was a tow truck. The driver's name was Angel and he had his wife with him. They lived nearby and were heading home for the night but instead towed me and my car almost 200 miles back home.

It's amazing how God nudges our lives in so many small ways.

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