It is incredible how a near-death experience can throw the landscape of your life into sharp relief.
Suddenly, the things that seemed SOSOSO important simply aren’t (and probably never were all that important in the first place), and the things taken for granted, the things that seemed so ordinary and mundane and even boring are seen for what they truly are: the most precious things in the world.
But isn’t that always the way it goes? Miracles have a way of changing your perspective.
I was the recipient of a miracle—there is simply no other explanation for it. The circumstances were too coincidental to be mere coincidence (if that even makes sense—but I’ve found that miracles seldom do).
I had a seizure while I was driving 70 miles per hour, and I managed to not only survive it, but to do so without crashing my car—I somehow managed to get myself into the median and slam my foot on the brake and keep it there, all while I was unconscious. And if that wasn’t miraculous enough, an ambulance was driving by at that exact moment, saw me, and called for backup, and my husband, who is a volunteer firefighter, just happened to hear a page for a vehicle “incident” (as it was termed) on the interstate and dropped everything he was doing to check it out, just in case it was me. He got to the scene just as the police did.
I remember none of this. I only remember waking up, super confused and covered in glass. (I didn’t wreck my car, but because my foot was on the brake, they couldn’t open the car door, so they had to break my window to get me out.) Eventually, my faculties returned to me, and I figured out what had happened.
My first emotion was terror: I was sitting in my car. I knew I’d had a seizure, which meant I’d been driving while unconscious. My second emotion was relief: I was alive. I hadn’t hurt anyone. My husband was near. The emotions that followed were a kaleidoscope: rage/devastation/despair/grief/frustration/acceptance/self-pity/annoyance, playing on a continuous loop.
I hate the way epilepsy renders me completely helpless. I hate the way it destroys my sense of control over my life. I hate being at the mercy of others during and following my episodes. It’s frustrating. It’s humiliating.
If I didn’t have epilepsy, I wouldn’t have needed that miracle.
But if I didn’t have epilepsy, I wouldn’t have gotten that miracle.
Miracles are bittersweet, aren’t they?
They are what we hope for. They are deliverance. They are grace and goodness and salvation itself. But the fact that we even need them at all speaks to the dire nature of our circumstances. We are so very fragile, and miracles remind us of that.
People don’t get miracles unless they need them. That’s the whole point.
I guess I just needed one.