The rain was coming down so hard I could hardly see out of the windscreen as I drove to the hospital to pick up my husband. A truck passed, I swerved and in a split-second my car careened off the road, down a gully and flipped. I called out “Lord please save my life!” He did. But barely. I was airlifted to hospital with my neck and back broken.
As I lay in hospital for nine weeks, I wondered why I’d been preserved. Why me and not my daughter?
Seven years previously my daughter took a lunchtime ride with a friend in her open-top SUV. A car came down the road, her friend swerved and the SUV went off the road, then back onto it again. She lost control and the vehicle flipped. My daughter was thrown out. The SUV landed on her. She died instantly.
She was a beautiful person. A really loving girl. It was only two weeks after her 21st birthday.
Before all this happened my husband had always had a very hard time relating to God because he didn’t grow up with a dad. My husband did Bible studies. He liked the material on God’s love. He found prophecy and the judgement very difficult. Eventually he was turned off.
But then Robert and Sally Ann Dehn came to our community to pastor our church. There was something special about them. My husband and my children, including my daughter, were drawn to them. For her 21st, she didn’t want a party. She wanted to ask Robert and Sally Ann and our family out for dinner. She hadn’t been to church for quite a while. But because of their influence she told me, “I’m coming to church this Sabbath.” That Friday she died.
My husband requested Robert take the service. It was so touching, so hopeful, so complete. During the service my husband walked over and hugged Robert. They grieved together. My husband was so thankful for the support of our church family. They were there for us, night and day. My oldest son played a lovely song on the piano, with tears running down his face. My youngest son was nine. Our family was united in a sort of suffering that I don’t have the words to describe. Maybe for that reason we still find it hard to talk about our shared profound loss.
My husband died in 2009 from a heart attack; he was only 63. Just a week before his sudden passing we had a beautiful conversation about life after death. It turned out the Sabbath School lesson that week was on “hope beyond the grave”. I read it through to him. I think God wanted him to hear it. The joy went out of his life when our daughter died. I think that message of hope meant something deep to him.
I had a dream to work as a literature evangelist. My recovery from the crash allowed me the mobility to fulfil my dream but I couldn’t as I was caring for the man I loved with all my heart for 41 years, as he suffered later in life with debilitating Parkinson’s disease. I’m a shy person but I felt God calling me to share His love. I greatly enjoyed the experience. I retired recently and now focus on giving Bible studies to people I met during my wonderfully rewarding literature evangelism years. Those relationships are so precious to me.
Am I bitter about the loss in my life? No! I am thankful for a loving heavenly Father. I don’t understand everything that has happened. But I have faith I’ll hold my daughter in my arms again. I hope my two wonderful sons, who are men now, will be there to hug their beautiful sister again. And I hope my husband will be there with me, our family reunited, all the pain washed away, complete in a world where fathers never die, where daughters are never snatched from us and where the perfect love of God fills every question, quiets every fear and fulfils every longing. I wouldn’t give up that hope for anything. And I want to share it with everyone God brings to my path.