I’m sort of surprised I’m alive right now.
And I’m not being over-dramatic.
One day last week, I was driving home from work and lost in my own little world as I belted the Taylor Swift lyrics playing on my stereo. From what seemed like out of nowhere, another car almost side-swiped me as he cut in front of me into the left lane. I swerved slightly to the left to avoid being hit, and I went straight into those flexible pole things that separate the HOV lane from the standard lanes of the highway.
This was not a good situation.
I hit so many of those things, and they really aren’t made to be run over at such a speed, and when I was finally able to turn my wheel to the right again, my car was out of control. It started making that noise it does when it sleets or ices in Texas and starts skidding on the ice. I don’t know how to describe this situation accurately, but I will try my best: My car started skidding/spinning across all lanes of the entire highway at, going back and forth at highway speed; no matter what I did, I couldn’t get it back in control; at one point I even went up on only two tires, and I was sure my car was about to flip; the beeping noise wouldn’t stop, and I didn’t know how I was supposed to get my car back to normal–it was as if it was possessed; I was almost certain I was going to crash and maybe even die.
But I didn’t.
In what was one of the strangest moments that I definitely can’t put into words well, all of a sudden my car completely straightened out, and I was moving forward again. I glanced in my rearview mirror and noticed all of the cars behind me were a significant distance away. Obviously they had hit the brakes when they saw the spectacle before them, but what’s really miraculous is that not one of those cars was next to me in the other lanes when I lost control of my vehicle. I’m still shocked I didn’t hit anyone else.
For the rest of the drive back, I really wanted to cry. It had been a pretty long day, and that whole incident wasn’t a good thing to add to the mix. My car was now in control, but my head was still spinning wildly out of control.
We can often find ourselves in times like these in our lives, though they last much longer. We find ourselves suddenly skidding and spinning, and it feels like we won’t be able to get things back in control. We feel powerless and certain that complete disaster is inevitable. I honestly didn’t do anything special to make my car stop its spastic near-destructive moment–all I did was hold onto the wheel (of course trying to steer it back in one direction) and try not to freak out too much. It was a sheer miracle that nothing bad happened and that I only have a few small marks on the front and side of my car.
Certainly not everything is always going to end so well. Some of those skidding/spinning moments might end in crashes or damage that we wish would go away. But there’s hope. There’s also a weird comfort in knowing that we can’t control everything like we might want to. Obviously me trying to control my car wasn’t working out so well for me. It took something greater. Someone greater. Perhaps I needed a wakeup call or reminder that I can’t do everything, because I’ve certainly been trying to lately with as busy and chaotic as my life has been.
You can’t always control the things that happen to you in life, but you can control how you react to them. Even though you don’t want those times to happen, you still have to be in those moments. Just make sure you always leave enough room for hope.
Because hope is what will keep you going and trusting your wishes and dreams will come true.