I just recently read the book “The Vow” by Kim and Krickitt Carpenter.
It’s a nonfiction book and there is a movie based off of the same story, but I wouldn’t bother with the movie because it’s NOTHING like the true story. The Carpenter’s story is such an amazing declaration or what love and commitment is really all about. The authors do not shy away from proclaiming the gospel page after page and their detailed account is incredible. The couple was married for just 2 months when they were in a tragic car accident that nearly killed them. Their lives were spared, but Kricket’s memory was not. She didn’t remember her husband at all and the rehabilitation and emotional challenges that followed were almost painful to read, but <spoiler alert> it has a happy ending.
This got me thinking about the time I was in a horrific car wreck.
Some of this will be a repost from what I shared 7 years ago, but I think the story bears repeating because not only is it a testimony of God’s provision, it is also a reminder to wear a seat belt and have infants properly restrained in a car seat while on the road.
It was March of 2008. I was in Kentucky with my 6 month old (Z) visiting family. It was time to head back home to Dallas where my husband was waiting for us. My mom drove us to the airport and while we were riding along on the highway going about 70 MPH the traffic ahead began to stop. My mom hit the brakes in order to avoid a collision and the car started to swerve, first to the left then to the right and we headed off road toward a ditch.
In that moment I honestly never thought I am going to die! I just saw the car vearing off road in the grass and thought Oh No, this is bad and by bad I just figured we would come to an abrupt stop and that we’d be late and miss our flight. Of course all these thoughts happened in a matter of seconds.
Next thing I knew the airbag and a bunch of dirt came towards me. Then I woke up just moments later with grass, glass, dirt, and debri everywhere. It was as if the car was a shovel digging up the earth. I didn’t immediately realized the severity of the wreck. All I could think about was my baby boy in the back seat. I literally screamed at the top of my lungs like you see in the movies “OH GOD! MY SON! SAVE MY BABY! JESUS CHRIST HE HAS TO BE OKAY! My window had been busted out so I jumped through it and ran to the back of the car screaming. I had completely LOST it.
I tried to get him out through the window, but the car seat was too heavy for me in my condition and the door was smashed shut. My mom got out and was able to reach him from her side. She immediately assured me that he was fine. She went from looking at my 6 months old who didn’t even seem phased to looking up at me from the other side of the car. Her face was an expression of shock and horror. With tears in her eyes she said “but Natalie you are not”. I had a nasty head injury. At that moment I felt light headed and collapsed on the ground and just wept. Once I knew my baby was fine the motherly adrenaline drained out of my system.
My mom brought the baby over to me so that I could hold him in my arms. Some people pulled over to help and were on the phone with emergency services. I didn’t even realize that the car had rolled over until I heard someone tell the paramedics. I had hit my head on the roof of the car and had a huge knot on the right side about the size of a baseball and was bleeding in several areas. We were all 3 rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. Everyone there reminded me over and over that my baby was okay and that did help me to calm down a lot, although I was still trembling. They did all the appropriate tests and in the end all of three of us were okay.
We got another flight and were back home several days later. I had to go to the chiropractor for a few months for neck issues, but other than that the only thing I came away with from the accident were scrapes, bruises, and a big chunk of missing hair that I guess had been sliced off by the broken glass. It looked funny when it grew back in because for a while it stuck up like alfalfa. I didn’t have a smart phone to take pictures and I didn’t blog back then, so lucky for you I won’t be sharing any gruesome photos. Although I do have this picture of my mom’s car which of course was totaled.
One thing I will never forget about that terrifying day was that the whole time I was strapped to that stretcher forced to stare at the ceiling with my neck brace on the worship song “He Loves Us” by John Marc McMillan was going through my mind.
He loves us, Oh how He loves us, Oh how He loves us… I felt those words flowing through me over and over bringing me peace in the midst of it all.
And I know that He does love us. He truly does.