By Linda Knudsen
I stood outside the store holding Nettie’s hand, my other arm full of groceries and 3 other children standing behind me waiting for my sign to go. We came to a car that was backing up. I looked the old man in the eyes to be sure he saw us. He stopped and waited for us to go- but then as we passed behind his Buick he began to back up. He thought he was pushing the break so when the car didn’t stop he pushed harder. Within a flash I felt Nettie slip from my hand. I dropped the groceries as I vainly attempted to push the car away from me as I, too, was about to go under. I felt the car as it ran over the top of her.
Scared for our lives I climbed under the front of the car. My daughter was pinned under the front axle and her left arm ajar under the tire, though gratefully I was able to pull it free. Pushing her head down against my arm my hand raked against the pavement; I pulled her out of the way of the vehicle, just in case the old man decided to shift back into gear. I knew I couldn’t move her any further as it might increase her injuries. So there I lay cradling my two year old while waiting for the paramedics.
How could one predict that when we left the house that late afternoon for a quick trip to the store that our lives and our resolve would be put to the test?
Just a few weeks before this accident my husband and I had attended a seminar. Les McGuire, the speaker, told us about a law which governs our lives. The law states that nothing we experience is fundamentally good or bad. (1) Our ultimate success in life has more to do with how we think about a situation than the situation itself. Yes- even when a daughter is run over, Life-Flighted many hours away, spending a week in the ICU, and over a month in a body cast. Even had we lost this precious child, it would be up to us to see the good. Choosing to see our circumstances as good means we are in control of our lives. What we choose to focus on will determine not only our immediate happiness, but our long term success as well.
Seeing life as good is not something which came naturally to us. We really needed the practice! When nurses, doctors, grandparents, and friends told us how horrible and bad this accident was we had to speak up and say, “This is a good thing!” Being novices with this mindset we quickly followed with, “We don’t know how yet, we just know that it is. All things will be for our good, even this!” What an empowering feeling we had as we moved forward toward healing both the body and spirit of our daughter and our family!
Later, through the help of a good friend, Dr. Paul, we learned about all the good things from this experience.
- We can do hard things.
- We can help others through hard things because we know what it feels like.
- Instead of feeling ill toward the old man we feel compassion.
- Our neighbors and friends were unified as we rallied around Nettie through her healing.
- Others were given the opportunity to compassionately serve our family: meals were brought in, older neighbor girls came to visit Nettie, and countless prayers were given in our behalf (turning many hearts to God).
- We are more careful going through parking lots, we are more aware of dangers and so in the long run we are now safer.
- We have our sweet Nettie with us today; healthy, happy, and as strong as ever.
Each difficult situation you face this week, stop and ask yourself, “What is good about this? What am I learning? How am I growing?” I promise you, by law, that as you do so you will find immense peace, happiness, and success now and in the future.