What I Learned From a Brush With Death

Remember to live for Heaven, because death will come like a thief in the night. 

I’ve never been so close to death.

The car was silent.  My kids were sound asleep, safely strapped into their 5-point carseats. I swung my car around and backed it between the two white lines up to the curb and the grassy divider.

I turned the car off and hopped down from the grey cloth driver’s seat onto the hard black asphalt.  I side-stepped around the car and up onto the divider to open the back hatch, quickly removed the stroller, and hustled back around the car to release my kids from their restraints.

I opened the back door and climbed into the car to unbuckle my one-year old.

Suddenly the furious screeching of brakes and the squealing crunch of metal against metal shattered the silence.

An angry lurch jerked the car forwards and to the side. The impact threw me out of the car and into the open door.

My head spun and my mind reeled.

I tried to refocus my eyes and understand the scene around me.  The rear of my car, where I stood not five seconds earlier, was fused together with the front end of another car.  The car was mangled from the height of my knees up to my ribs.

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If I had still been standing there, that havoc would have been wreaked on my  midsection.

Thank You, God, for One More Day

God, my Father, I almost pinned and crushed between two cars.

Never before have I looked death in the eye.

Would my life have ended immediately?  Would I have survived, permanently injured with no hope of recovery?  Would I have had time to ask for a priest as I was being rushed to the hospital?

I wonder if I would have seen my family one last time.  Thanked them for the gift they have been to me.  Told them how much I love them.

God, You could have called me home that afternoon.

But you gave me one more day.

One more month.

One more year.

You still have a purpose for me.  Work I need to do for Your glory before I meet You face to face.


You still have a purpose for me.  Work I need to do for Your glory before I meet You face to faceShare on Twitter


Then someday I will die.

That day will come “like a thief in the night.”

And I will have to face many regrets.  All the times that I have lived for myself and for the world.  All the things I have preferred to You.

I will see all my failures in a new light.  No longer will I view them with my dismissive and careless eyes.  I will recognize their true weight: the way they pierce Your heart.

I will grieve each sin.

Each cutting remark.

Each selfish act and every evil desire.

You will reveal my impatience and disregard and I must account for it all.

On that day, I will leave behind all the things I cling to:  possessions, comforts, bad habits.  I will recognize how foolish I am to consider these things so important.  Even my own body will be separated from my being.

Why then, do I live so enthusiastically for the physical?  For food, drink, pleasure.  I let my bodily desires control my spiritual wellness.

On that fateful day, my body will be out of sight and out of mind.

It will return to dust.  But my soul will live on forever.  Only the state of my soul will remain when I stand before Your throne and receive my eternal sentence to join You above or suffer below.

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I choose that final destination with every choice I make today.

Every decision to give or take.

I must choose Heaven now, with every thought, word, and action.  I must choose to serve You, to love You, to see You in others.  In every blessing and every sorrow – I must live each moment with my final moment in mind.

Because I don’t know which moment will be my last.

I don’t know how my end will come – whether by accident or natural cause or martyrdom.  Death will come sooner or later.  I have no way of knowing the events that lie ahead until the moment in which they happen.

Prepare me now, my God!

Let me put the world behind me now so it may be easier to leave when my final day arrives.

Help me thank You every day for one more day.

Help me live each moment for You, my family, my salvation.

Help me die to self today so I may live with you forever in Heaven.

Amen.

I will never forget

The car that could have ended my life had lost its brakes, rolled downhill, gained speed, ramped upwards over the divider and pummeled into the rear of my car.

My thoughts rushed to the safety of my children before my own bumps and bruises registered.  Though their silence was shattered and replaced with squalling, they were still safely strapped into their carseats.

The silence of my mind was also shattered that day.  Instead, my mind reeled with thoughts of my mortality.

Thanks be to God, the day ended with all of us alive and safe.  I escaped with minor bruising, and my children were treated to an ambulance tour.

But I will never forget that near-death feeling.

Make today count.

It could be your last.


Make today count.  It could be your last.  Share on Twitter


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Your Turn:

Have you ever looked death in the eye?  I want to hear your story!

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10 thoughts on “What I Learned From a Brush With Death

  1. I remember being on the snowmobile. We were lost, it was night, and it was snowing… We had no idea how we were going to get back. I didn’t know if we were ever going to see our children again. We were riding furiously through the woods, and I started to tear up, but I tried to stop crying because it was fogging up my helmet. There was NO ONE in the woods that weekend. We had only seen one other group of snowmobilers out there that weekend. We knew we were all alone in the woods.

    We were going down the path, and all of a sudden my husband stopped and said, “No, we can’t go any further, we have to turn around.” Just after that, we were approaching a logging road, and we saw headlights, and we realized we were saved! It was such a relief, we ran up to them and asked them for help. We knew my husband’s guardian angel had directed us to help us find people.

    Maybe it wasn’t a brush with death, but I definitely had the feeling. That was the biggest moment I had a fear of never seeing my children again. I remember the thankfulness that everything would be okay.

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  2. When I was little about 10 years old, I was hit twice on my bike. Once by a motorbike and another time by a car. Both times I know I was protected because neither occasion was I injured. I am sure I have done more refection as an adult on those incidents as I did back then. I am so thankful.

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  3. I am so sorry that you had such an experience! I am so glad it all worked out with no one being hurt! This is an important lesson that most people don’t learn until after they have suffered a loss. Prayers to you and your family!

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  4. What a wonderful lesson to take away from such a scary situation! Thank you, Sara, for sharing your experience and beautiful thoughts… Thank the Lord you and your family members are safe!

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  5. I had one car accident where we were hit from behind by a drunk driver with such force that our car hit the side of a house. I certainly thought I was going to die. My husband was in the car too and I remember I told him I loved him. I hope he appreciates that I said that with what I thought would be my last words. 🙂 I wish I still had pictures of my car, which was totalled–I ended up with stitches in my lip and that’s all, even though the car was too old to have an airbag. My other brush with death occurred when my own SUV door knocked me down (long story) and the vehicle ran over me. By the grace of God, as it backed up it turned (because the wheels were turned from when I had pulled into the driveway). It went over my foot and lower leg and then off. I remember lying there watching the tire approach and thinking, “I guess this is it.” I wasn’t scared either time I faced death. It was as though since there was nothing to do I just accepted it. Both those things happened a long time ago now and so I appreciate your reminder here of how quickly and unexpectedly our lives can end.

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  6. That must have been terrifying. I’m so glad everyone was relatively unharmed. It is such an important reminder to live each day as if it is our last day. Thank you for that reminder today.

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