Yesterday, this scripture became a reality for me.
WJTL was supposed to be in the Mt. Joy parade yesterday. Stacey, Bobby and myself were all going to be there. Stace and I were waiting at the station for Bobby, until we finally realized he was meeting us at the parade, not at the station.
Stace and I start heading west on 283 in the WJTL Durango with the 10′ WJTL Live Remote Trailer behind. While in the car we’re talking about the Lord, dreams that we’ve been having and how’s he’s been increasing our faith recently. I was behind a pretty slow vehicle so I get in the left lane to pass going about 65 mph.
As I’m pretty much passed the slow vehicle, I feel the trailer start to sway a bit. For those of you who have pulled trailers before, you know that this is normal if it’s windy out. However, at just about the time that I was thinking it was swaying a bit, it started massively swaying back and forth. From this point on, the trailer was controlling the Durango, instead of the Durango controlling the trailer. I said to Stace, “I don’t know what to do when this happens!” We are swerving all over the road (I basically pretending that no other vehicles are on 283 Memorial Day weekend) I knew that we were going to crash. There was no way in my mind that we weren’t. The last thing I remember hearing is Stace saying, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! Please keep us safe!” The next thing I know, the Durango is laying on the passenger side on the side of the highway.
Stace asks if I’m OK. I say yes. “Stace, are you OK?’ She says yes. People are starting to come towards the Durango and Stace gives them a thumbs up and says we’re OK! Since, I’m suspended in air, I unlock the doors, and a man from the outside opens up the driver side door. Stace undoes my seat belt and I climb out of the Durango and hop onto the highway. There wasn’t a scratch or bruise on me!
I start walking towards this crowd of people, and this woman comes up to me, puts her arms on my shoulders, looks me in the eyes and says, “Ashlea!” When I come out of my daze and connect with who it was, I realize that it’s Wendy, a woman I know from work. My eyes light up, I’m like, “Wendy!” and give her the biggest and longest hug. They take me over to the side of the highway and have me sit down. They made Stace stay in the vehicle because she had a little bruise on her forehead and was making mention of how her neck hurt. The man that opened the driver’s side door for me was so gracious to climb on top of the Durango and keep holding the door open so that Stace could stand up inside the vehicle.
All of these wonderful people were helping me. One woman was a nurse and took my pulse, another woman gave me a bottle of water. Everyone was super encouraging and walking me through what the emergency crew was going to do. And by emergency crew I mean: 2 ambulances, 1 firetruck and police cars… probably about 3 or 4. They stabilized the Durango, and then cut the roof off so that Stacey (who while they were cutting was covered with a sheet) could easily walk out of the vehicle. They made Stace go to the E.R. because of the mark on her forehead and her saying that her neck was sore. So they strapped on the neck brace and put her on a stretcher and took her to Lancaster General in the ambulance.
Meanwhile, I’m sitting on the side of the road and when the EMT’s get there, I look up, and here is Alex, a friend from church, Liz’s, fiance. Once again, I say very loudly, “Alex!” with incredible excitement that once again I knew someone that was helping me. They took my blood pressure and pulse and everything was normal. They asked if I felt any pain and I kept saying, “No, I don’t feel any pain.” They asked if I wanted to go the hospital… I adamantly said no. They warned me that I would feel pain the next day, yet, it’s the next day and I’ve been sorer from working out!
Here’s basically what I believe happened: When the trailer started to sway, the trailer grazed the median and then we headed towards the guard rail (this is the part where I closed my eyes… I actually don’t remember seeing the guard rail, but Stacey did). We hit the guard rail and then did a 360 (I remember feeling the motion of flipping in my body) and another time around so that the passenger side door was on the pavement. When the vehicle was coming down, the tire got lodged in the guard rail. When we stopped moving, the Durango tires were facing north and the tires on the trailer were facing south. Both vehicles totaled.
Now, here are the parts that showcase how good our God is:
1. Stace and I walked away with basically NO injuries! Alex later informed me that usually that is not the case. Upon coming to the scene he said that most accidents that look that way, someone usually has died.
2. That Bobby was not with us. If anybody would have been in the back they could have seriously been injured due to the fact that there were large speakers and a large road case in the back.
3. I didn’t hit any other cars. Believe me, there were definitely cars on the highway. I closed down 283 for a good couple hours… traffic was backed up and people were standing outside their cars waiting. However, at the time of the accident, people saw the trailer going and pretty much stopped and watched it unfold.
4. That Wendy was 20 minutes late for meeting up with someone, and happened to be 6 cars behind us. She stayed with me during the whole thing, went to the E.R. with me to see Stacey and made all the important phone calls. She was right where the Lord wanted her. Also, the fact that Alex’s unit got called. From what I understand this wasn’t normal for them.
5. That the tire got lodged into the guardrail. If this wouldn’t have happened we probably would have rolled 2 or 3 more times down the embankment.
Now, I must confess that I felt uneasy from about Thursday about taking the trailer. I just didn’t feel like taking it. However, my last impression was that we had planned to take it, so I should take the trailer. Usually when I hook up the trailer I have someone stand behind to make sure all of my signals work, but since I was getting a reading from the brakes of the trailer inside the Durango I didn’t… for about the first 5 or 10 minutes of driving I felt like I should stop and just double check, but I didn’t.
Looking back this makes me realize that the Lord does indeed speak to me. However, this also makes me realize the graciousness of the Lord that when I miss it or don’t take heed, He’s gracious enough to save me!
I can’t not tell you how amazing it is that I am writing this. This morning during church we sang In Christ Alone. I was in tears… the fourth verse now means more to me than ever:
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
‘Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand
Amen! Jesus does command my destiny! Stacey and I both agreed that there was such a sense of peace in the vehicle. Jesus was with us. If it was my time to go, it was my time to go and there is no fear in that.
But praise Jesus, he has more for me to do, and I anxiously anticipate all that He has!