It was a cold and dark night just a few weeks ago when I was enjoying some long-awaited girl time with my friend, Beth. It's amazing that even though she lives just minutes from my house, finding time to get together is difficult. But on this Friday night, we finally made it happen...and we made the most of it...to the detriment of Brock's bedtime. It was a great evening...and then I headed home.
As I was driving down the two-lane road from the highway to my house, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, a deer right at my passenger door. My first thought was "this can't be good" so I slowed Bluebelle (my car...folks, I name everything) down in hopes the deer would run on. But, alas, she didn't and took that opportunity to dart in front of me, causing her to smack right into my grill and headlights and go spinning down the center of the road. All these guys who sit in deer stands and wait hours to shoot a deer are nuts. People, just drive down the road and you can hit them square between the eyes.
After the impact, which thankfully didn't deploy my air bags, I found myself in the middle of this two-lane road. There were some cars coming the other direction, but thankfully, far enough away that they didn't hit me head on. I directed my car off to the left and thankfully there was a gravel drive that lead into a gravel lot. Now, I've traveled this road a ga-zillion times and never remembered that being there. I circled around, caught my breath, and as I was getting ready to pull out, a man in a truck pulled in. "Are you ok?" I told him I was, just a bit shaken up. He replied, "Well, at least you are safe, that's what is important." He took a look at my front end and said it was pretty banged up, but thankfully, my car was still drive-able. I cautiously pulled back out on the road to head home and passed the poor deer lying lifeless in the road. It was not the way I'd hoped the night would end, but I was so thankful it wasn't worse.
When I got home, I couldn't sleep. Not because I was hurt, but because I was in a state of awe over the protective hand of God. Look at my paragraph above. Count the number of "thankful" words. I think there are five. Five. Honestly 5000 wouldn't be enough. When I recounted the event (which I do so well in my reflective mind), it completely amazed me how God's Timing was perfect. I came upon the deer and saw it before it darted, causing me to slow down to lower the impact. I have a CRV, which sits higher than a car, and coupled with the low impact, didn't cause the deer to flip up and come through my windshield, possibly causing me harm. The cars coming in the opposite direction were far enough away that a residual head-on collision wasn't imminent. The exact spot where it happened allowed me an easy escape to a gravel lot. Most of the that roadside is merely gullys or ditches. My car is drive-able and because of my insurance, I'll be able to get it fixed. My mind was reeling with all these things that were complete reminders that God was protecting me every step of the way.
For you naysayers out there, you might immediately respond, "If God was truly protecting you, He would have kept that deer from even hitting you." Though I believe that God could pick that deer right up and plop him in a neighboring field, I know that God allowed this for a reason. The last few months have been tough. After my company was acquired, it was somewhat like going through a mourning period. One company ends and another one begins, though some of the players are the same, others have departed. It has been a pretty dramatic change and many times during the initial transition, it was hard to see God, though I clung to the fact that He was always there. Hitting this deer and all the circumstances around it was exactly what I needed to tangibly see the presence of God, alive and well as I always knew. But because I'm much like Thomas, I have to 'see' to believe. I'm safe and that deer gave up his life so I could see the One that gave His Son so that I could have life.
My car still isn't fixed yet....parts are on order. And I'm still a bit gun shy when driving at night. But there is one thing I know. God never sleeps and is always protecting me.