“Making It Through…Again”
(c) December 4, 2005
By: Lisa Velez
Our Pastor, Pastor Tom once told us that when the enemy keeps on attacking you and those you love you just need to keep praying through no matter how bad things get. And let me tell you it’s one of the hardest things to do when the world is caving in around you. Still, it must be done, and I’m ashamed to say that I don’t pray nearly enough, not even close. And I know, especially now that I’m going to have to change my ways and fast.
With everything that’s happened this year, my car accidents, my injury, my husband and my financial problems, my friend John going through tests for cancer, my other friend *Dee being sick with her lungs, my Mom’s foot surgery, my Labrador’s two ear surgeries, my Pekingese getting dehydrated and going to the hospital, etc., etc., if it weren’t for Christ and His love and mercy I think I would have died a long time ago, because I just would not have been able to handle it all. And now with the year almost through, more things are happening still.
It occurred to me the other day that when I had my severe accident on March 8th and I totaled my car during an ice and snow storm, it was about a week or so before our Church’s Easter play, which my friends and myself are heavily involved in. And now, with our Christmas play less than a week away, this past Thursday it all started again, satan and his antics running amuck!
Thursday I left work around 4:30PM-ish and I was at the rear of the parking lot, stopped at the stop sign. And I did what I usually do; I inched up slowly, so that I could see and get ready to make my left turn so that I could go home, take care of my dogs and then wait for my husband so that we could go to play practice together. I looked left, and there were no cars coming, I looked right and realized there was like a line of cars passing me so I had to wait. I looked again really quickly left and then right. The road was clear for me to turn, or so I thought.
As I began to slowly pull out of the driveway, this burgundy Mercury comes out of nowhere on my left, and I wind up hitting it’s passenger side door! And boy do I ever thank God, my Heavenly Father for helping me not floor the speed of my turn like I sometimes do. I was only going about ten miles an hour or so, give or take a few miles.
I just could not believe that, for the third time this year, in 2005, I was in an accident. Mind you it wasn’t a deadly one, but it was something I never pictured happening again so quickly. I felt stupid, I felt like I never wanted to drive again. I was practically at a loss for words and I was shaken up beyond belief.
After the accident, the other driver, a middle aged thin lady, pulled over with me to the grass on the side of the driveway where our accident happened to make sure the other was okay and to check out the damage done to our vehicles.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. The other driver, who was really sweet about the whole thing, after she went in to my Church to call for a police car to arrive on the scene, came back out and took a good look at her car. Her car only had a big scratch, no dents no nothing. But what happened to my car? My front bumper was hanging on by the skin of its teeth! I could not believe that with our collision not happening very hard or strong, and at the speed I was going, that my car would endure that much damage.
Now there was no way I could afford a tow truck to come out and take my car, so what did I do? I took the heal of my pumps and literally stomped hard on the part of the bumper that was still hanging on so that it would fall off and I could drive home. Thank God it worked, that’s all I can say. But it was so strange what came out of the back of my bumper. Styrofoam! I couldn’t understand that! Was the car made that way carelessly, was it repaired for something before, even though our Car-fax® print out before we bought the car claimed it was never in an accident? I just wasn’t sure of much at that point.
Well, it was so cold as evening was falling and we waited anxiously for the police to get there. We couldn’t believe how long it was taking since the police station was right around the corner. Maybe they hadn’t finished their coffee and donuts or something. Hey, I’ve got to humor myself through all of this, right?
The ground was so muddy that my thin heals were sinking in to the mush. It was so gross. And I had a skirt on so all the cold air was going up my skirt and I just wanted to be back in the heat somewhere, but I’m sure the other driver, whose name I still can’t remember, was just as cold if not more so.
As I stood by my car, letting my mind call me every name under the sun, some of my co-workers and friends passed by, wondering how the accident had happened, and they pulled over to the grass with me to make sure I was okay. And actually, when my friends pulled over, the lady who’s car I hit was still in the church trying to get the police on the phone, so they started making me laugh. One friend, I don’t remember if it was Ibis or Deena, took a picture with their cell phone of the lady’s car’s scratch, aka: “damages”, so that I would have proof of what happened.
One of my other friends, Annette, said to me that since we work with small children, when they were ready to do their art project the next day, they would come outside and put my car back together. Now that made me laugh, because all I could do was picture these one and two year olds patching up my bumper with tape and stickers and such, which actually wouldn’t have been that bad, upon thinking about it. My friends just laughed at how I had managed to get the remainder of my bumper off and then put it in my backseat, smooching it in there really good and tight. Annette continued to make me laugh by bothering me like she usually does and said that while I was out there waiting for the cops I should have taken some of the daily-diaper reports from inside and filled them out to keep myself busy, so that we’d never be without them. Those girls are just too funny and they couldn’t have come at a better time because I really felt like I was going to loose it before they actually showed up.
What was funny too was that the principle of our school, Tom was passing by in his van and didn’t even slow down or stop to see if we were okay, he just smiled coyly and waved as he passed us right by. We thought it was funny though because his face was priceless. It was one for next month’s bulletin that’s for certain.
Now we all stood there wondering why this lady was so worried about calling the cops when she hardly had any damage at all, except for a scratch that could easily be covered with touch up paint and a smile. Because she really seemed to be such a nice person, as I talked to her, I just didn’t understand why I was standing there freezing my butt off for her minor boo-boo.
Anyway, since our school is connected to my Church, there stands, where we were waiting for the cops, a big sign telling the passerby drivers about the weekly events going on there. And with the Christmas play coming this week, I actually had pointed the sign out to the lady driver and invited her to the play, to which she replied that she didn’t think she had anything to do and probably would be coming to see it. After that, I just couldn’t contain my laughter as I said to the lady, “You know, I’m going to tell Pastor Ken”- (the music Pastor in charge of our choir and our productions) –“that I went all out to save a soul and invite someone to the play and that I’m never going to do it that way again!” Even the lady laughed with me, as I giggled with my friends over it until my side hurt. Oh does God ever know what we need at the exact moment we need it. He’s just remarkable.
Once the officer came and information was exchanged with him and so forth, he got back in to his car and me in to mine and I balled. When he and the other lady saw me crying as they passed by they stopped at my window to make sure I was okay. I just couldn’t believe, as I said before that I had three accidents in one year. Even though my March 8th one really wasn’t my fault because of weather and road conditions, I just felt that evening like there could not have ever possibly been anybody else who could have had more than one accident in one year. I just hated myself. I wanted to roll up my car like a piece of paper I was going to throw in to the garbage can.
With all said and done, I proceeded to go back in to the school side of my Church, one because I was shaking somewhat and did not want to drive that night, and two to try to call my husband at work again, since I had tried to call him a few minutes ago on one of my friend’s cell phones while waiting for the police to arrive outside.
When I called his desk when I was using my friend’s phone, he still didn’t answer. I even tried his friend that works with sits really close to him. His friend, Gary told me that he thought Ramon had left already. And when I went inside school to call Ramon again, there was still no answer. I called Gary again who said that Ramon definitely left around 3:30PM; which I thought was weird that he got out so early when they’ve been having computer problems. When I said to Gary how surprised I was that Ramon left so early, he said, “Yeah, didn’t you hear? Ramon left early because he just found out this afternoon that his Grandma in Puerto Rico died suddenly.” Even though I knew that someone was next to me using the other phone I couldn’t help, with hearing that news shouting a sudden, “What?” I mean Ramon and I had known she was sick with cancer, but we couldn’t believe how suddenly she died and how young. She was only about sixty. I felt so bad as I thought to myself how all her years of drinking possibly caught up to her this way. I felt really bad for Ramon’s Mom, who herself recently went through three surgeries; one was a hysterectomy, which the doctor messed up. Then another surgery to repair the damage he’d done, and then another one yet to repair his 2nd mistake, leaving his Mom with a bag in the back and front temporarily for her bodily waste. She wasn’t feeling that well at all, and then to find out that her Mom had suddenly died. No one had even told her that her Mom had cancer; they kept it from her so she wouldn’t get sicker, and now this. Oh what a year. I just can’t wait for it to end and start over fresh.
And so, yesterday evening after 10PM, Ramon, his sister Betsy, her daughter Saira, his sister Maritza and her husband Ronny, all flew down to Puerto Rico to be with their family during this hard time to console, comfort and pray with them, and to be at the funeral tomorrow. I joked with my husband today to make him smile a little by telling him that I know the real reason why he went to P.R. I said to him that he went to a tropical climate because he knew it was going to snow here in New Jersey today. Still, I have to say that he’s been strong, even though he’s broken down and cried so that he could be there for everybody, letting his sisters lean on him, even though he may be crying his eyes out at any given moment.
So here I am. Waiting for another production at Church to begin and praying and hoping for my husband and his family’s safe return home on Wednesday.
I miss him so much and I’m so lonely. I’m not as lonely as I could be because the Lord is always with me, so I know I’m never alone, and I have my three dogs and my rabbit to keep me busy and company.
I probably have said this before but I’ve been told that when the enemy attacks us it’s because we’re doing something right, and we’re living for God in a right way. Satan hates that and tries hard to defeat us, though he never wins. Jesus always has the upper hand and destroys the devil’s plans.
I know that God never gives us more than we can handle but sometimes it feels like we’ve got more on our plates than we can chew. Yet, God always sees us through. I just pray that this is the last chaotic event that we have to go through this year.
I need to pray like I’ve never prayed before. Day in and day out, I need to “Lift up my eyes to the hills from where my help comes. My help cometh from the Lord.”
Oh Lord, I beseech you, and I beg you from the bottom of my heart to please, please help the rest of this year to easily pass us by. I mean I know it won’t be easy celebrating Christmas knowing that a dear loved one has passed. And I praise you, Father that Ramon’s Grandma, Paula accepted your son, Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior before she breathed her last.
And I thank you, yet again for sparing my life and the other driver’s in this recent car accident. And thank You for reminding me, through your servants on Christian Radio Star 99.1 ® FM the other day that, no matter what the circumstances, “I’m still here, and I’m still smiling.” I’m alive, and I’m so thankful. Especially since I found out that my bumper was probably filled with Styrofoam to protect me so that only the bumper would be damaged and the car wouldn’t fold in. And even though I’m still perplexed and amazed that it even did fall off after such a minor accident, I’m still grateful that no one was hurt or killed, because it could have been much, much worse, especially with rush hour that was beginning.
Oh Jesus, please help us to get through this. Bring us all your peace, the peace that “passes all understanding.” Remind us that we will see Grandma Paula again in your Heavenly Kingdom and that you are holding her in your arms, where she is no longer sick and suffering, but saved and smiling. And bring your children, Ramon, and his family home safely to me this Wednesday so that they may continue in your ministry and tell so many more about how wonderful you are.
In your Holy Name, Lord Jesus, I pray all these things.
I’ve also been told that sometimes God puts our faith to the test, which is probably what He’s been doing by allowing these things to happen, especially since I’ve been often times doubting his Son. That being said, I know I deserve everything I get and then some. Still I claim the truth, that Jesus Alone is my Lord and Savior, and no matter what the enemy has me think, I will never believe his lies, for I am a Princess, the child of a King, Thee Almighty King, Jesus my Christ, my everything. For though I may not understand everything, I must remember that He alone is God, I am not, and that He has everything under control and will let me know whatever I need to in His Divine Time. Our earthly clocks never ran on that time and never will, but our hearts need to. And as hard as life is, we must hold to His truths so that we can make it through anything and everything.
I know I’ve said things like this before, by mouth and by things I’ve written in the past, but I must keep on keeping on and saying, claiming these things, so that by His Blood I will be healed and make it through.
Today, as I sat here in my living room, during a cold snap, after the snow had ended, and as I wrote this, I periodically glanced at the movie I had put in, “The Day After Tomorrow.” In the movie, severe weather from dropping temperatures turns in to another ice age. And there is this man whose son goes away on a trip to NYC, where he gets stuck with some friends because of the weather. Seeing as his son cannot get home and there is no transportation to get to him, he decides to walk, weeks upon weeks to reach his son in a different state than the one he himself is in, to save him. And because of his faith, he reaches his son and his friends in the library they were burning books in to stay warm and survive, and they were saved.
It just reminded me that God has done the same for us. He came all the way from Heaven to save us so that we would not die eternally. He came to rescue us from our sins and from everything that burdens us. God did not say that by sending His Son there would be no more problems, but when we call on Him, He promises to be right there with us, running to meet us where we are, just like the father did in the movie, that has actually now just finished.
I am so glad that I serve a God who promises to always be there when I need Him. Even as I sit here a little lonely and blue, I know that He is with me and will help me make it through…. again and again.
*Name changed by request of my friend for privacy and protection purposes…
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