Be Careful What You Pray For

April 10, 2005 I was driving home from church with my little sister, and we were hit head-on by a drunk driver passing in a no-passing zone along a two-lane highway. Over the next month or so, I would like to use my posts on Fridays to share this story with you because I need to remember how faithful God has been in my life, and I need to share the story of his faithfulness with others.

During my senior year of high school (especially second semester), it seemed like our school was surrounded by a huge cloud of tragedy.

I believe it all started when a football coach and his family were in a car accident that paralyzed their little girl (around one-year-old) from the neck down. He was injured badly as well–though I don’t remember all the details and don’t wish to wish to write in error. After this accident, it all seemed to snowball out of control.

January: A senior girl was killed in a car accident.

February: A junior football player and his girlfriend were in a car accident, and the whole right side of his body was pretty much crushed when their car was t-boned.

April: I don’t remember all the dates exactly, but either April 1 or 2, two freshmen boys, who happened to be brothers, were in a one car accident. The older brother walked away with minor injuries while the younger one had to be put on life support. A couple of days past with no signs of improvement, and his family made that decision no one should have to make. He passed away, and left our school and community reeling with pain and questions about why God would let this happen.

As if that wasn’t enough, a senior boy and his grandfather were driving to the wake for the freshman when their car was t-boned killing the grandfather.

The Thursday after all this latest stuff had happened, I remember sitting in my English class when a student asked our teacher what he thought about all the tragedy that was going on. My teacher replied that God doesn’t really care about our pain and that he was probably up in heaven just laughing at us all.

In my heart I screamed, “No! That’s not true!! God loves us so much and hurts deeply when we hurt!”

But who was I to speak about God’s faithfulness in the midst of great pain? Compared to most, my life was free of any real tragedy. I wasn’t close to any of the individuals involved in the accidents mentioned above. I grew up in a home with two loving parents who were always supportive of me. My life was full of blessings.

I didn’t really know what to pray, but I knew my community needed to see that God did love them, and he certainly wasn’t laughing at them in their pain.

So I prayed this: Father, it hurts me to see all these people suffering and thinking that you don’t care. I don’t wish that anyone else would have to go through a tragedy, but I know that this world is fallen, so tragedies will come. I don’t know how to say this… I really don’t wish anything bad to happen to anyone. But I pray that when tragedy comes again, that this school could see an example of someone praising you and trusting you in the midst of the pain because you are the only one who can truly give us comfort and peace in this fallen world.

Just a few days later on that Sunday, April 10, my sister and I were in a car accident.

The ways God protected me and my sister during the accident are amazing. How he carried me and my family through the months of recovery after the accident is beautiful.

I still don’t know that I’m worthy to speak about God’s faithfulness in the midst of great sorrow because I look around and see so many people going through things far worse than what I’ve experienced.

But God gave me this story, and I share it in hopes that he will use it to bring glory to his name and remind myself and you that he is never absent or disinterested during our trials and pain.

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8 thoughts on “Be Careful What You Pray For

  1. Holli Smith says:

    I’m so glad you are sharing this story. The Lord’s faithfulness is so evident in your life–thank you for reminding us of it!!

  2. Marie says:

    Thank you for your sweet spirit, Sarah. I am looking forward to reading the whole story and how the Lord Himself was with you and your family. Tragedy comes in different shapes and sizes for everyone and this is something we all need to be reminded of.

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