On Sunday evening we slammed into the side of a car that failed to stop, driving out in front of us while we were travelling 80km/hr. We were on our way home from a lovely family Christmas lunch in Barwon Heads.
Steve and I could see them coming, but there simply wasn’t time to avoid it. We skidded for 15 metres before slamming into their front wheel. It was terrifying, and the first major collision either of us have ever been in.
Emelia was distraught and crying with blood in her mouth. The passenger of the other car was at my door very quickly, asking if I was okay. But all I could say over and over was “I’m 34 weeks pregnant”.
My pants were wet. I was frantically feeling around and hoping there wasn’t any blood. I didn’t know if my waters had broken.
Other than that, my only thought was that I wanted to hold Emelia and help her calm down. I was cuddling her and praying with her, thanking Jesus that He had protected us and telling her we were all okay. But I was so frazzled; she just wanted her daddy.
I just kept praying, “Lord, let Gus be okay.” I called my twin sister and blurted out, “we’ve been in a crash. Please pray for baby. I’m with the ambulance now. Gotta go”
It was so strange being driven away in the ambulance. It was strange being given opioid pain medication for the first time in my life, and having so many doctors and nurses descend upon me in the emergency room.
But as I prayed and processed what had happened… as the initial shock began to wear off… I was just so thankful that Jesus had protected us. I was thankful that He hadn’t called any of us home that night.
And as I lay awake in my hospital bed… listening to baby’s heartbeat steadily pounding away hour after hour… I saw the recent news that a 15 month old had died in a car crash on Saturday evening. I prayed for the family – for the difficult Christmas they will have this year, and every year to come.
Friends, for the first time in my life I was personally faced with the reality that our lives are vulnerable, and that the only certainty in this life is that… one day… each and every one of us will die. It may be a car accident, cancer or old age. But one day, each and every one of us will meet Jesus face to face.
And on that day, will Jesus acknowledge you as a son or daughter, or deny you? In the Bible, in the book of Matthew 10:32-33, Jesus says “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”
It may surprise you that Steve and I actually talk about death frequently. What level of insurance do we need to support the kids and I if he dies? Who would we want to raise our children if we both die?
But the one question we confidently know the answer to… where will we be when we die? With Jesus.
As Christians, our joy and peace doesn’t come from ‘positive thinking’. It comes from an intimate relationship with Jesus, and knowing who He is. This Christmas, you may hear a scripture from Isaiah… “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Even in difficult circumstances… even when our car was a write-off days before Christmas and I was laying in hospital waiting to find out if my unborn baby was going to be okay… I had peace knowing that Jesus truly is a mighty God. That no matter what happens to me, He is a good God. A God who saves.
At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus. We hear the familiar Christmas story… we see nativity scenes and beautiful decorations… we hear familiar carols.
But our focus as a family at this special time of year (and all year really) is on celebrating the hope that we have because of who Jesus was, and is.
I encourage you to consider your eternity this Christmas. Pick up a Bible and read the gospel of Luke. You’ll find the account of Jesus’ birth in chapters 1 and 2, and follow his ministry and teachings right through to his being hung on the cross, even though he had committed no crime.
And my prayer is that you will come to know Jesus as your saviour. That you will find the same hope that I have.
By God’s providence, it wasn’t our time to die, and he protected all six of us involved in the crash. As we’ve reflected on the accident, we truly believe that everything happened in the best possible way. The bonnet of our car was the main protection we had… if they pulled out seconds later and into my door, it would have been a very different outcome.
And by God’s grace, it has been a surprisingly uplifting experience. Sure, I would have preferred it didn’t happen. But at every point, God has been with us and supporting us with incredible people.
The emergency services went above and beyond in every possible way. The police dropped the other couple back to their hotel – they were international tourists with no one to call nearby – and then they dropped in to the hospital to make sure I was okay and ask whether I was going to be induced or not.
The couple involved have been amazing; they followed up within hours to ask after baby and I. And with the good news that we were sent home with the all clear, they dropped past our house on their way to Melbourne to deliver a beautiful bouquet and a lovely Christmas gift for Emelia.
Yesterday morning, we had a scheduled growth scan that gave baby Gus the final all clear – his placenta is healthy and unaffected, and he’s big and strong… with an already estimated weight of 2.7kg!
Thank you to all our friends and family who were praying for us. Steve and I are still stiff and sore, particularly in our necks. But praise Jesus that’s all the damage that was done 🙂
We’re looking forward to a relaxing Christmas, and then spending some time nesting over the new year before we welcome our son into the world this January.
If you’ve made it to the end, thanks for reading and Merry Christmas! God bless xx