May 15, 2009
The text message came buzzing on my cell phone at 7 am. It was from my 21-year-old daughter, Cristi, who attends Greenville College in Illinois.
“Mom, don’t freak out….” Okay, stop right there. Any message that begins that way cannot be good; it instantly set my heart racing.
“….Two girls and I were driving to our field experience and we were in a really bad accident. But everyone is okay.”
Panic. Fear. Relief. Jumbled emotions danced in my mind as I immediately punched in her number.
“Hi, Mom.” She answered, sounding very healthy and rather calm for someone who had just been in a bad accident.
“What happened? Are you okay? Was it your car? Were the others hurt?”
“Mom, we’re okay. And no it was not my car.” She proceeded to tell me how the accident happened and said she would send a picture of the car to my phone. We talked a while longer and I hung up, breathing a sign of relief that she really was okay.
A few minutes later, my phone buzzed with another message. This time it was the picture of the car, with a door panel ripped off. My stomach was seized with what-could-have-happened panic.
Driving to work that morning, I tearfully thanked God for watching over her. It was not the first time I had come before Him with gratitude for her protection since she’d gone to college. There was she day she called and said they’d hit some black ice and careened off the road. And earlier this year, she called when stranded in some God-forsaken podunk town because the snow was too slick on the highway as she drove home from the St. Louis airport; she had to pull off the road and wait in a deserted gas station all alone for two hours until friends rescued her. We kept her on the phone until her battery died and waited anxiously to hear she’d gotten rescued. Talk about feeling helpless!
In moments like those,we as parents are faced with only one option to help us keep our sanity: trust God. That’s it. There’s really no other choice. We certainly can’t follow our kids around everywhere. We can’t keep them at home forever. And we can’t monitor all their adventures.
Either we trust God or we go crazy with worry. It’s a challenge I’ve faced but still have not totally conquered!