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Finding Gratitude in the Storm

What started out as a promising lazy Sunday morning turned out to be a lot more than I expected. I just had a lovely evening with a group of friends and I was looking forward to spending some much needed quality time with my boys. My boys stayed the night with my parents. I told them I would pick them up first thing in the morning. After waking up, I looked out the window to a beautiful rainy day. I had my plan in mind, pick-up the boys, crawl back into bed for another hour, get my day started with a little work and then take the boys out. We all decided it was a great day to go the movies. The boys were getting in the car, for the first time Ian decided to ride shotgun. He looked at me and smiled with his beautiful half-moon eyes, kinda looking to see if I would say okay, I smiled back. We talked about what they did at their grandparents and decided on a movie. Then there was a couple moments of silence. My heart was smiling just thinking how lucky I was to have amazing children, my family and all of the wonderful friendships I have, I truly have everything I need. In my head I started to think about the wonderful day we were going to have. I was making a lane change, moving onto the exit ramp. Only a couple minutes from home and in what seemed like a blink of a moment our day was about to take a detour.

My vehicle made it through one puddle and there was another just after the first, the second was just a bit too much to handle. In the moments of losing control of my vehicle I was trying to think of what I learned about hydroplaning. Caught somewhere between panic and staying in complete control, I felt the back end of my vehicle give way, I knew at that moment all I could do was pray. God, just get me to the other side, no one hurt and no other cars involved. In a matter of seconds the vehicle spun around and made impact with the concrete wall median before coming to a complete stop. At the moment of impact all the airbags deployed. A couple of breaths past before I could even figure out what happened. I remember looking at my boys and asking if they were alright. Both were shocked if not more than myself. They were good, I was trying to look out the window to make sure there were no other cars involved. I couldn't see any. Thanking God and the universe for answering my prayer. Just like that…in a blink of an eye, my day had changed.

Before, I could look for my phone the OnStar attendant was on the speaker. I was still in a state of shock, it took all of me to formulate a complete sentence. After, completing my call, someone who had watched the accident walked up to making sure we were all okay and notified me he had already placed a call to 911. All of a sudden I was overjoyed with a greater sense of gratitude. Without looking at the outside of my vehicle I knew there was extensive damage, but that didn’t matter. What mattered is no one was hurt, no other cars were involved and my world was still intact.

Waiting for the police to arrive allowed me a few minutes to acknowledge the present moment and realized I had a lot to be grateful for. It also gave me a chance to finally accept help from others, which is something I'm learning to do. Here we were in this smoke filled car on a rainy day. I didn't want my children to be in the car as the inside was filled with smoke from the airbags and it was pouring outside. My family and friends were on their way to help us. I was overwhelmed with gratitude by how many people reached out to make sure we were okay, those who offered to help and those who offered their cars and services.

There was nothing I could do about what happened in that moment. But what I could control was how the accident would dictate the remainder of my day. I mentioned my initial plans to my friend and she looked at me and said you are still going to take the boys to the movies, you are still going to continue on with your day just as you had planned. That was exactly what I needed to hear. I was trying to think of what was keeping me from continuing on with my plans, there was nothing. I had a setback, I added a couple things to my day. Within an hour those small additions were taken care of, I had a moment to regroup and get back to my plans for the day.

When I though about it a little more, it kinda reminded me of the past couple years. The moments when the storm was overhead and I was caught in the whirlwind, the moments when all I could do was breathe. My life seemed to calm down the moment I let it be exactly what it was supposed to be. There was a lot of hard moments. Like the end of the collision, I had to pick up the pieces and begin again. Those moments were just moments and life was waiting for me to get back to living.

We all hit bumps on our journey, something changes, our plans get a little off track. In those moments of not knowing or the feeling losing control, pray, put it out there what you need. The Universe/God will deliver. Then return to the present moment, because that’s where life and love exist. Trusting everything will work out exactly how it’s supposed to, sometimes we need to let the crash happen to fully surrender and see the Devine at work. Find grace in the storm and trust it happened for a reason. Then be grateful for whatever experiences may come your way, it’s all a part of your story.

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