After the Van got Smashed

| 11/7/2011 7:02:00 PM

Becky, Andy, Elly, Ethan, and LiamWhen I last wrote, I was sitting comfortably in a Bergstrom dealership, sipping coffee and eating cookies while our ten year old van was getting brand new tires and brakes.

It's been over a month since I wrote and there's a reason. Just two hours after I drove away with hundreds of dollars worth of work, a full tank of gas and a few errands to run, I was rear-ended on the highway by a loaded gravel truck. It was an accident that couldn't be avoided.

Before you worry, I am ok. There are many blessings in the event, such as the fact that the truck that hit me completely demolished the rear end of the van, but left the brand new tires unscathed. I was able to drive off the highway and effectively use the van normally. The kids were not with me (a rarity these days). I had enough sense when I saw the truck about to hit me to accelerate forward, thereby reducing the impact to both the van and my body. The man that hit me was very shaken and apologetic and made sure his insurance assumed full responsibility for the accident. When we learned two weeks later that our van was deemed totaled by the other insurance company, we were greatly saddened. Almost to the day, we had purchased that van three years earlier; our first family vehicle when we were expecting Ethan and about to take a road trip to Colorado. (And visit GRIT!)

But there is a blessing in the van being totaled as well. Instead of a fixed up, high mileage vehicle, we got a check in the mail for an amount just $300 under what we paid for it in 2008 (and 65,000 fewer miles!). Starting at 1:30 pm, September 30th (the time I got hit) and culminating about a month later, God put our family on a lesson-journey into the world of our hearts concerning material possessions, family and where our true values lie.

When I said the accident was unavoidable, I did mean that no matter what, God was going to allow our van to be liquidated. We had just stuck $700 into it and suddenly it was taken away. Yet God did it in such a gentle way. I mean it! The brand new tires, with rims, were able to be salvaged and will likely sell by themselves for a few hundred dollars. Any other vehicle hitting the van would have taken out the rear axle in a crash like that. And then there's my own well-being. God allowed the van to be totaled in such a way that I am only experiencing minor whiplash effects, and my chiropractor care is being funded by the truck driver's insurance.

At the end of September, the perspective of Becky Sell was this: a good van, a nice back-up sedan we bought from our friends in July, a really nice TV, a giant storage unit full of great stuff waiting to fill a home and a great family. And...the treasure of my heart in all the wrong places.

Amanda Gillenwater
2/20/2012 11:24:49 PM

I just read this post about you not being able to find your son. I just have to take a moment to share something with you. I know exactly how you felt that day! I am a mother of two girls, one is 5 and the other is 10. I had taken them to the mall one day to have a girls day out. We had just finished getting our nails done and we had walked into Sears. My 10 year old was looking at a rack of clothing and I stepped to another rack to look at something. When I turned around...she was gone. At first I thought maybe she had gone to the fitting room so I calmly walked to the fitting room....she was nowhere to be seen. I asked a store clerk to help me find her. I must say that the staff in Sears that day were awesome...everyone stopped what they were doing to help me find my daughter. It must have only been minutes but it felt like days. Nobody could find her anywhere. I, just like you, started to have awful thoughts about what could be happening to her at that moment, if I would ever see her again, what my husband would think. All kinds of things went through my head!! Then all of a sudden, as if God was standing right next to me, I heard (not audibly, mind you)..."You have asked everyone else for their help, why not ask for Mine?" I dropped my bags and knelt down right smack dab in the middle of Sears and prayed out loud that God would help me find my baby! As soon as I said Amen, I heard..."I found her!". She had went back to the nail place next door to get a finger nail fixed without telling me. I was so angry with her but so relieved to know she was safe. What a blessing God gave me that day!! I am glad that both your situation and mine turned out so well! God bless you and your family. Amanda

Nebraska Dave
11/8/2011 3:27:39 PM

Becky & Andy, it does take a traumatic event to make us realize just what is the important things in our lives. I come to the bottom line in my life which is relationships. If I were to be laying on my death bed today, I certainly wouldn't be saying, "Oh, I wish I'd made more money or Oh, I wish I'd bought more stuff." No no, I'd be wishing I spent more time with family and friends building deeper relationships. I've not had a near missing child experience but I expect even with the strong spiritual faith that I still would be an emotional wreck and the same thoughts you had would be streaming through my brain. I'm glad that every thing turned out good for you and Ethan. I too have much stuff. Mine, however, is stuffed in a basement and needs to be cleaned out so it can be used again. I have good intentions but have not tackled the massive task as of yet. What needs to happen in this case is probably a dumpster in the driveway for a few days to remove all the stuff and get it gone. Thanks for the incentive to start thinking about that again. I hope and pray that things will continue to work out for you and your family.

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