Two years ago the life I thought I had under control came crashing down around me. Well, actually, I crashed into my boyfriend’s truck, totaling both our cars, but at the time it sure felt as if everything was falling apart.
It was three months into my fourth year of teaching and I was having a crisis. Something told me that the stress and frustration I was feeling wasn’t the typical school year stress, but that just made me try harder...which resulted in increased stress and frustration. I was foolishly trying to fit a square peg into a round hole; that the peg didn’t fit anymore scared me. Miss Independent over here couldn’t stand the feelings of confusion and helplessness and certainly didn’t want to admit that she couldn’t make it all work on her own.
One evening my boyfriend was up at school to keep me company as I graded and planned. Finally after 6 p.m. we decided to call it a night and get some dinner. I wish I could say the roads were slick or that I swerved to avoid an animal in the street - unfortunately I have no real explanation for the crash other than I was distracted and tired and wondering what on earth I was going to do about the mess that was my life.
After the jolt of the crash I was in shock. I had to crawl over to console to the passenger side because my door wouldn’t open. I looked at the front of my car, took in the damage to my boyfriend’s truck, and saw that there was another driver in front of us who’d been hit as part of the chain reaction. The embarrassment was overwhelming. How could this have happened? What had my life become? Could it get any worse? What was next?
I assumed my boyfriend would be angry - how could he not be? A car crash is not something you’d expect 6 weeks into a new relationship. Anticipating the worst, I apologized. But instead of being angry, he hugged, asked me if I was all right, and told me not to worry - it was just a truck. The grace dumbfounded me.
In the hours that followed, I stood back and watched as this man who I hardly knew handled insurance issues and car towing with a cool head. Standing in the middle of the mess, I realized what an asset he was. The men from the towing company asked me if he was my husband. I said no but that, after this, I should probably marry him,
In the wake of the crash and burnout, what had seemed like a terrible ending turned out to be a wiping of the slate and a fresh beginning, It was the kick in the pants I needed to start a new career and a new way of life, but - most importantly - it was a powerful lesson on how God can take bad and turn it into good.
Oh, and in case you were wondering what happened to the boyfriend, I married him ten months later.
Written by Whitney
The 12:12 Project is sponsored by Katy First United Methodist Church.