Five weeks ago, we had a beautiful night at Whitefield's Daddy Daughter Dance (a masquerade ball this year). Admittedly, one of the things I love the most about putting on the event is planning it with an amazing committee and my best friend, Gretchen.
This picture was taken exactly two hours before we left the dance that night. The entire committee left by caravan and Gretchen and her three girls were just a few minutes ahead of us in their van. It's crazy how a magical night can change into a nightmare in an instant. We arrived just moments after their van was hit by another vehicle that had lost control and was spinning in the middle of the highway. Gretchen had hit the other car that spun wildly into her lane at highway speeds.
When we got to the scene, it honestly looked fatal. The thought flashed through my mind that I might have enough time to say goodbye to Gretchen if I ran fast enough. There was tremendous relief when I saw Gretchen climbing through the driver's window, see me, and scream that she needed help getting her babies out of the van.
The next half hour was a whirlwind of wreckage, rescue crews, and following the ambulance going 80 miles an hour to the nearest hospital all while whispering prayers of peace and protection. Miraculously, God protected their family and there were only minor injuries considering the head on collusion after a night in the hospital.
We've looked back at those moments that could have been life-changing dozens of times. We're astounded at God's sovereignty over it all. The timing of the accident and the ability for Gretchen's husband, our family, and another dear friend to be at the scene moments after it happened to offer help before rescue crews got there. The saving grace and protection for Gretchen and her daughters as well as the other driver. And the ways in the weeks that followed that an entire community came to love and care for their family as they worked to recover and heal.
This was what was left of a chalkboard that was decorated for the dance that was in the crash. A few days later, Gretchen's mom turned the mask into angel's wings and hung it in their home as a reminder of God's goodness and faithfulness.
I'm incredibly thankful for a God who dances with us in our celebrations and protects us in our tragedies, even when they are sometimes moments apart.