Happy Anniversary?

I made it to the third anniversary of our car accident. Three years ago no one gave me very much of a chance to be here today.

The last few days have been some of the hardest I can remember in a while. First, the Turkey Trot did me in. I can spend 45 minutes on an elliptical, but “speed walking” 3 miles just killed my legs and pelvis. Second, the weather has been cold and rainy. It is true what people say about the weather. My body is just plain achy. The third, and really the thing that has been weighing on me the most as I approach another milestone, is why I survived and the other driver did not? I made a promise to God and to myself to help as many people as I can by sharing our story and providing some inspiration. Forcing myself to analyze what we have been through has made me deal with questions I would have much rather not thought about…

“It is all part of God’s plan.” I have heard people say that so many times when someone dies tragically. I am not sure I can live with that answer. I can’t believe that it was God’s plan that my family would be in an accident and that the other driver would die while we would be saved.

The fact is that the other driver didn’t have on a seat belt. He died at the scene. We all had on our seat belts. One of the big reasons I am alive is because I was wearing it. The Life Lion helicopter got me to Hershey Hospital with only minutes to spare. Highly trained and dedicated trauma surgeons worked quickly to try to save me with the little time they had. I can’t believe that God wanted any of this to happen. What I do believe is that hundreds of people prayed for me, asking God to intervene. I believe that God gave the men and women at Hershey Hospital, who worked to keep me a live, special gifts and that they used those gifts to save me. The fact that all these things came together is a Miracle. Many people , including my self, have thanked God for making it happen.

I know that I did not survive because I am more special or more important than the other driver. As far as know or care, the only difference between us was that I put on my seat belt and he did not. As humans we have the ability to make choices. We all know that smoking and “junk” food are bad for our health. We also know that seat belts save lives. Animals act strictly on instinct but we were created with free will. We can go against our instincts. It is what separates us from animals and makes us more like Him. There is no way of knowing if a seat belt would have saved his life but I can believe that it would have helped. What I can’t believe is that what happened that day was in any way God’s will.

What is special about me has less to do with surviving the accident and more to do with what I have been able to accomplish since. My recovery has God’s fingerprints all over it. Fate dealt us this hardship. Alone, we never would have been able to deal with it all. He has given my family and me the strength and the courage to continue to push through our recovery.

I spent a lot of time today thinking about the other side of the coin. Daniel Martin was a father and a fiancée. He was a son and a brother. He had friends and family who I am sure miss him very much. This day has such a different meaning in their lives. I pray that God is helping them to deal with their pain. I get very sad thinking about the Martin family’s loss, but I would be lying if I said that I am not grateful that things didn’t turn out the other way. Not for my own sake, but for my family’s.

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2 Responses to Happy Anniversary?

  1. Donna Simon says:

    I’m sorry John that this is a late response. I just found the blog through Tonia today. Anyway… It wasn’t Gods plan for the accident to happen or for you, Tonia and the kids to be hurt or for the other gentleman to pass. It was God’s will for you , Tonia and the kids to survive. God put us here, yes , to make our own choices and to live according to his plan. He gave us freedom and with freedom Things happen. Thats why they’re called accidents. God has a plan for you, John. I know this with all my heart and soul. Your survival was a mirculous gift from the almighty. For all those people that question wheather miracles really happen, I think we can all say they do!

    • John Ulsh says:

      Donna- Thank you for sharing. I am starting to understand more of God’s plan. Being willing to make the leap of faith and trust that I am understanding correctly is the challenge. Feel free to comment any time. I enjoy hearing other peoples thoughts.


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