"What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." James 4:14

The Wreck

“Mom. Someone hit me! My car is totaled.”

Tears bled through her voice.

“Where are you?” I asked.

“I don’t know!”

Another voice interrupted, giving first her, and then us, my daughter’s location.

“Ask her if she’s ok. Is she ok?” my husband Chris said. “Molly! Are you ok?”

“I think so. Come get me!” she said, weeping.

We raced around the house, grabbing boots, keys, and wallets while processing what had happened. What had happened?

We found Molly and met the extraordinary people working the accident – the sheriff’s office, state troopers, firefighters, and EMS team. Their blazing red and blue lights sliced through the darkness. Until then, I did not fully appreciate all they did for us.

After a conversation with them, we peeked into Molly’s car. Her airbags were unfurled like banners, waving victoriously at us – “See? We got her!” they seemed to say.

We didn’t notice the state trooper standing by us. “Her car did its job,” he said. “I keep my child in an SUV, too.” Then, he walked away towards Shelby County’s finest, who were still cleaning up the wreck.

Alone, we stared at the driver’s side door. “Four feet back – no, make that two feet back from the point of impact, and….” Chris’s words trailed off. Molly’s good friend – who witnessed the accident and stood with us, agreed.

Alabama political news car wreck Alabama News

Then, one thought sprinted through our minds: How was she standing here – with cuts, bruises, and a terrible headache – but otherwise unharmed?

Our son-in-law, Ben, called later that weekend because he noticed Molly’s buckled windshield. He patiently explained the physics of what happened – and what could have. The what-ifs cranked up again. It would have been easy to get tangled in them.

And yet, here she was. Still with us.

Her Clarity

Please know that we’ve been on the other end of that phone call – when my father-in-law didn’t escape with his life. And though he’s enjoying his heavenly reward, it’s still an earth-shattering, life-altering phone call. We will not be the same. And neither will those of you who’ve faced similar circumstances.

Either way, while Molly is here and my father-in-law is there, we still say, “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

If you’ve been there, you know there’s nothing like the clarity that death, or nearness to it, brings. It has a particular way of winnowing out what doesn’t matter and leaving behind what does.

Molly knew, almost instantly, that there were things she loved that needed to be dropped and things she had dropped that needed to be loved. Her future came into focus, and it’s been there ever since.

And she understood that God saved her life. We don’t take that lightly. Neither does she.

After weeks of waiting, she permitted me to share her story, ensuring I would include this last part, too – the astounding thing that God gently reminded me.

It was a feeling I couldn’t shake for weeks after the wreck. It clung to me until my heart remembered. We miscarried for the second time on Jan. 13, 1998. On the same date as Molly’s accident, 26 years earlier, God took a child. But now, Jan. 13, 2024, became the date He saved one.

The End

And so I ask you now – what if it were you in that car on that night?

What if you were slammed into, whipped around, and then slung into the middle of the road?

Are you prepared for what comes after if you aren’t allowed to escape with your life?

When my father-in-law died, Chris and I passed a church sign that read, “You don’t have as much time as you think.” The older I get, the more I know that sign was accurate.

Do you know where you will go when you die – are you sure about your eternity? Do you know Jesus? Have you placed your faith and trust in Him?

When you are sure about where you’re going when you die, that certainty brings powerful clarity about your life, how to live, and what to do while you’re here.

And then, do you have a church home that preaches and teaches the truth? Are you in God’s Word?

Though these pages often discuss what’s wrong in the world – and there is a lot – hear me when I say this: Unless and until your life is surrendered to Christ, and unless and until He transforms your heart, nothing we do will do any good. Apart from Him, our righteousness is as filthy rags.

So then, “Seek the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while he is near.” - Isaiah 55:6

Amie Beth Shaver co-hosts Alabama Unfiltered Radio show daily from 9-12 a.m. on News Talk 93.1 fm WAVC, and 92.5, WXJC. Her column appears every other Saturday at 1819 News. To book Amie Beth for media or speaking engagement's, email amiebeth.shaver@1819News.com.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com.

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