Our family almost changed forever on Friday afternoon. In a horrible way. Most of you reading this will already know about the situation I am going to be sharing, but I need to write about it. I have been hiding on facebook since Saturday, only giving quick thanks and updates. But my heart had too much in it to share in that format. There's no way to put a million thoughts into 150 characters.
Ainsley was struck by a car on Friday afternoon as her and our neighbor girls were scootering home from school. A large SUV came up on the sidewalk as it was backing up, and its back tire hit Ainsley's foot. The vehicle knocked her sideways and she was saved from falling all the way to the ground by her scooter's pole, which she grabbed to stop the fall. The vehicle "flew off", in Ainsley's words. And she did the same- screamed, righted herself on her scooter, and flew towards home, with tears streaming down her face, and only putting weight on her right heel.
Friday afternoon and evening were overwhelming. We followed up with the school, the school nurse, the Arapahoe County Sherriff's Dept, and the urgent care. We talked to police officers and X-ray techs.
At the end of the day, Ainsley had a badly bruised foot, crutches, and an ace bandage. The best description we had of the vehicle was that it was a large, "silverish" SUV type vehicle.
Anger. Intense fear. Overwhelming gratefulness. Desperately wanting to cry but being unable to because I had to hold it together for my little girl who needed reassurance she was really okay. I didn't cry for six hours- the only time I broke was when Onnie called from her friend's house and I had to tell her. I was texting Ron about it, so it was not quite as emotional as having to hear our oldest daughter's voice and explain it to her. I wanted to kill the driver. I honestly wanted to take my Glock down to the school and start shooting at people in silver SUVs. Lest you feel that response is wrong or irrational, then I would say to you perhaps you aren't a parent.
But God broke through, as He always does if we will allow Him a crack into our hearts. My anger overtook all other emotions on Friday afternoon. I guess there was a thought of thankfulness it wasn't worse at some point before 7pm, but I don't really remember that. My daughter got hit by a car- how could it be worse than that?? I wasn't thinking clearly, or past the fact Ainsley was hurt, regardless of how seriously. The first person to say those words to me was my mom when I called her on the way to the dr.
"Thank God it wasn't worse than that." If you know my mom, you know she did not mean that in a flippant way- she truly meant, thank you God.
Then the horror of the situation completely knocked me sideways. I had a moment to pause from the "doing"- of phone calls, police reports, driving- to truly ponder what could have happened. You may find it crazy or insensitive I didn't think of the awful possibilities before this moment. It was indeed lurking there, in the corners of my heart- thank God my baby is not crushed or dead- but the "what could have been" hadn't struck me full yet, until that instant. The thoughts were suffocating.
But God did not leave me there, floating in the unthinkable fathom of what if.
God protected Ainsley. Completely and absolutely. Yes, she could have been crushed, maimed, or even killed. I am so aware of all of those possibilities. But she had a very minor injury for being struck by a car. Yes, she is living through the fear and the pain in her foot. But God protected her from that driver and the car.
I don't know exactly how it happened, but I have a pretty vivid imagination, so I have seen all kinds of scenarios in my mind. Maybe her guardian angel- NOT a frilly girl with a harp, but a strong gigantic creature with calves like rocks and the sword from Braveheart- grabbed the wheel of the SUV and jerked it to the side, pulling the vehicle off the curb and back into the street. Perhaps the angel punched the driver right in the mouth, leaving the driver with a sudden jolt of awareness. Or, this is my favorite- maybe God himself jumped in between Ains and the SUV, putting out his eternal hand and shoving the vehicle out of the way just like Edward did for Bella.
I am not making light of what happened. On the contrary- something miraculous did indeed happen. I do not believe for a second it was mere coincidence Ainsley's injuries were very minor. I do not leave my daughter's health and safety to chance, circumstance or coincidence. I prayed for protection and blessing over my girls on Friday morning, just like I always do. But very rarely do I ever see in the present the reality of God's protection. I know it happens every day, but it's kind of like terrorist threats- we usually only know about the ones which were successful, not the hundreds thwarted.
I do still have anger, of course I do. I honestly still hope the driver was unaware of what happened and didn't flee the scene in cowardice. I pray the driver is found and disciplined in the proper way. Who knows if this was a one time incident of reckless driving or if the driver is a constant danger on the road?
But the ultimate truth remains strong as steel- I know in my heart what happened that day, what could have happened, and this beyond all doubt: My precious Ains was protected.
Peace dear readers. Hug tightly those you love today.