Our intern Jacob took this picture when he went out to assess what had happened. I spun backwards into the sheep fencing, which is what is all connected to the four-wheeler. All the sheep got out in the mayhem.
The girls and I were involved in a four-wheeler accident on the property today. It's a long story and needs more time from me at some point, but I will say this: I flipped the four-wheeler and we were all three trapped underneath the four-wheeler. I had not brought my phone or my walkie talkie with me, JB and his parents were out of the country (they went to Mexico for his youngest brother's wedding), from all I knew our intern Jacob was asleep (it was his day off), and the boys were playing in the house.
I'm still not exactly sure how I flipped but it boiled down to my lack of experience and my panic. I hit the gas instead of the brake, started spinning, and when I finally slammed on the brakes, we went over.
As we struggled to get free and seconds (but what felt like minutes) ticked by, I had my first near-death experience. I truly thought we were going to die. Actually I wasn't worried about me very much, but I thought my daughters were going to die. Abigail was trapped next to me, Hannah was trapped on the other side of the flipped machine, they were both screaming, and I had no idea if they were injured or how they were or how to help them.
It was at that moment, I prayed. I called out to God out-loud and asked him to save us. I remember feeling adrenaline and begging God to give me the strength to get out. I had images of JB in my mind. Of him losing his wife and both daughters in this stupid way. I felt so guilty for taking them out when I was still such a novice rider. I had had two "holy spirit" checks that morning -- two different times I felt God leading me away from the path that I ended up taking -- and I ignored them both. And now here we were, trapped in a field where it would be hours before anyone realized we were missing.
Somehow, and I still don't know how, Abigail wriggled free. She realized that her boots were trapped, but she was able to pull her feet out of the boots. I'm not sure if it was her slipping free that loosened things for me, but I pulled free next, and when we went around to the other side of the four-wheeler, Hannah was standing up.
We managed to all walk back to the house. Hannah was complaining of belly pain, Abigail appeared fine, but I was nursing quite a few injuries -- the worst of which was my left hand. Here's a video of my hand injury:
In a whirlwind of trying to figure out what to do, Jacob gave up his day off to take over on the farm. I called my friend Kim who is the children's minister for our church. I knew she'd be at church (we skipped due to me running the farm solo) and have lots of people there who could help. I knew most of the people I knew would be in church with their phones off, but that Kim, who ran things, would have her phone on. I ended up deciding I could drive, drove all of us to church to drop off the kids, and headed to the ER.
I had some major bruising on my left leg and of course the injury to my hand. I had some rib soreness too, but praise the Lord, all x-rays and the CT-scan came back free and clear. My hand wasn't broken! (I was sure it was!) I was so blessed that my kids were with Ms. Kim and that my friend Natalie (a surgeon) could go with me to the ER.
However, once we got back to church to pick up kids, Hannah threw up. Natalie said she should go to the ER since she had been complaining of belly pain and was now throwing up. Hannah was a trooper. She had a lot of bruising on her pelvis and back that I hadn't previously seen, but got an IV and did her own CT-scan like a champ. I was so proud of her. All came back free and clear!
Hannah wasn't impressed with this clothing attire.
She opted for nakedness over the tiger gown.
My little awesome kid!
Here's what I learned today:
- This life is so temporal, and things can change in a minute.
- I love my children more than I can even put into words, and the thought of losing them due to my error was more than one mom can bear.
- God gave us adrenaline for moments like these -- what a neat invention to get an extra "boost" when you need it most.
- LISTEN to those STILL, SMALL voices. I felt a nudge to have my phone or walkie talkie with me, but I didn't go back and get it. And I felt a nudge telling me not to go down into the area I did with the girls on the four-wheeler, but I did it. LISTEN!
- I believe angels are real. I believe God sent me supernatural help to lift the four-wheeler up enough to get out.
- God provides what you need when you need it. My housekeeper came today to help at the house while I was gone, my sister-in-law Danielle took my initial losing-my-mind phone call and talked me down off a cliff, so many people from church stepped up to help, Natalie went to the ER with me, Jacob was here covering the farm, Kim had the kids all day ... God provided what I needed when I needed it.
- Our kids are watching us. Hannah told her Sunday School teacher: "We got out because mommy prayed." She saw that. She heard it. She's watching.
- Farming is not for sissies.
I'm still processing this, but like is usual with me, processing through writing is how I do things. So I'm doing that and sharing with the world.
Thanking the Lord that JB and his parents are back from Mexico, and we are all sleeping soundly under the same roof this evening.