Every morning when you wake up, and take in a deep breath of air…you should be grateful.
Every morning when you open your eyes and you see everything in front of you as it was before you went to sleep, you should be grateful.
Every morning when you wake up, and you hear the whining cries of your children begging for breakfast, or your dogs barking, or the morning weather forecaster predicting the forecast, you should be grateful.
I am SO grateful for life, health, and strength…I’m just so grateful to be alive.
It has been almost a year since my life could have ended…BUT GOD….
December 11, 2016 was the day that one of my closest cousins was planning on getting married to her best friend in Berrien Springs, Michigan. This event was significant for me as we both were waiting for this moment our whole lives. You see, growing up, we spent long hours fantasizing about the day we would get married to our “Prince Charming”, so being that her moment had arrived it was very important to me. She wanted me to sing in her wedding, and she wanted my husband to be the main pianist for the wedding as well. Even though at that moment when we received our invite we didn’t know how we were going to get there ($$$$), we could not miss this wedding for the world.
Financially, we were not in a place to fly to Michigan with a family of 6, so the only reasonable option was to take the 13-hour drive. My red Honda minivan was not able to handle such a long journey, but praise God because He blessed my husband with a GMC Envoy right before the trip. As a result, we were able to go. Even though all of our ducks were not correctly lined up in a row, by the time we were ready to head to Michigan, we still loaded up the car with our kids, clothes, food, and $400.00 to travel with and left.
As we were driving towards Michigan, we were informed via weather stations, and from family members, that there was going to be a great snow storm heading that way for the weekend. The roads were projected to be dangerous and unsafe. We prayed to God that He would keep us safe. As we drove through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and finally Michigan; in the span of 13 hours, we witnessed in this particular order– rain, sleet, snow, sunshine, rain, and snow. Praise God we made it to Michigan safely.
That Friday night it was snowing, and the weather forecasters predicted more snow for the weekend. By the time Saturday morning arrived the snowfall was heavy. A little panic had set in my heart, but I quickly erased my fear with praise. “God has this under control.” That Sabbath we went to church, we praised God, we had the wedding rehearsal and dinner. Everything seemed to be going smooth, except for the weather, but we managed. Sunday morning, was finally here!!! Wedding day!!
That morning, the weather was worse. The road conditions were poor. My cousin seemed overwhelmed, and there was a sense of disappointment because of the snow. I sought to encourage my cousin and remained positive. I curled my cousin’s hair the night before, so I needed to meet her at 9:00am at another location, where all the bridesmaids and photographers were meeting. We got up early, got the children dressed, shoveled the snow off the car (with the help of a dear friend) and set off to meet the bridal party. As we were driving, the roads were extremely slippery. I kept praying in my heart, as I was nervous. As we were driving down a hill, carefully and slowly, the car spun out sideways off the road down a slope. Thank God we were safe and my husband was able to reverse and drive around back to the main road, and everything was ok. After that we drove even slower.
We went to the wedding, everything was beautiful. We cried tears of happiness and joy. I especially cried when the stepfather of the groom sang a song by Travis Greene entitled “You Made a Way.” The words of that song were so powerful, and it made me reflect on where my cousin and I came from, and all the struggles and hardships we faced during our childhood. Despite those situations we were “standing here only because [God] made a way.” Following the wedding, we had the reception and once again it was beautiful. After we ate, sang and fellowshipped, we informed my cousin that we had to leave early because we had a long trip back to NY.
We went down from the reception room to the waiting area, and changed the children into more comfortable clothing. As we were changing my other cousin (the bride’s brother) came up to me and started talking to me. He discreetly pulled me off to the side and puts $50.00 in my hand. I was shocked and tried to give it back, but he said, “No. Keep it.” Then he walked away. I stood there and was like, “God Thank You!.” So, we left the Campus of Andrews University where the wedding was held, and set off back to NY during this snow storm. We were driving very slow and took our time. Prior to getting on the highway, we stopped at the gas station to fill up. While we were pumping we realized that the gas was being dispensed at an irregular slow speed. I mean a young man purchased gas after we did and left before us and we paid for a lesser amount. We couldn’t understand why our gas was taking so long to dispense. Nevertheless, we waited until it was done and set off. As we were driving down the highway we noticed numerous amounts of cars over turned and tractor trailer trucks that were jackknifed to the side. Those were horrifying scenes, as we watched other trucks and cars speeding by us in the snow storm. We were driving about 35mph on a 70mph highway.
Once we entered Indiana, my youngest baby started crying and screaming that he had to pee. We placed a pull up on our 2-year-old (at that time), but when you’re potty trained according to this little man; it’s never ok to pee on yourself. So I unbuckled my seatbelt and turned around to help him pee in a bottle. He cried and cried that he didn’t want to pee in a bottle, but rather in a bathroom. I told him there were no bathrooms and he had to pee in the bottle. The air in the car was heightened and very stressful. I just turned back around and sat down. I sat down quickly, but before I could put my seatbelt back on, the car started spinning vigorously out of control off the road. My husband’s face looked so bewildered, as he tried to regain control of the car. It was like a movie clip…something you NEVER want to experience. We did a 360 turn twice on the busy highway, and slid down a steep hill off the side of the road into a ditch. We were stuck. We sat there stunned. The kids were crying. I was shaken up, and my husband looked stumped. He tried to move the car, but nothing happened. We sat there wondering what we should do next. So we prayed. We thanked God for keeping us safe, and we asked Him to help us. Right after our prayer, a highway patrol pulled up and set up flare lights. It was a miracle that he saw us as we were pretty low in the ditch. He checked on us to see if we were all ok. He let us know that he had called a tow truck, and it would arrive in about 30 minutes. He advised us to sit tight and stay in the car. We sat and watched him leave and literally 1 minute later a tow truck pulled up. We praised the Lord for His mercy. The tow truck driver came down, and assessed everything and gave us specific instructions on what we had to do so that he could get us out. We did not know the severity of damage to the car, or if we would even be able to get back to NY. We didn’t have money to do anything, so we were in a little bind. After 2 attempts, the tow truck man was able to pull us out of the ditch and get us back on the road. After he rang up the total cost, everything came to $125.00.
After I gave him all the money we had left to travel back to NY, I remembered the $50.00 sitting in my coat pocket. I began to praise the name of God!! My cousin giving me that $50.00 helped us to still have enough to get home. God knew what was to come, and provided for the need before we knew we needed it. The tow truck man looked at the car and realized that the muffler came down a little bit. He put it back up and praise God, we were good to go. After driving even slower than before, we stopped at a rest area to eat and sleep. When my husband went inside to get food, I got out of the car, looked at the car and the song “You Made a Way” came back to my mind. I started crying hysterically, overwhelmed with all the events of the day, but praising God at the same time for “making a way”. We could have all been dead!! When we were spinning out of control, we could have been hit by an oncoming car or truck–but God made a way for my family and I to be standing here today. Thanks be to God; we drove back to NY with no additional troubles. It took us almost 20 hours to get back, but praise Jesus, we made it back alive. God is so awesome. I thank Him for ALL of His blessings and provisions along our Michigan journey.
Never take your life for granted…ALWAYS be grateful.
~ Candace Mezetin
~ Love is the answer~