It all started with a trial that turned my world upside down. I was in my late twenties at the time. It was a struggle that brought me to my knees, knowing I’d never get through it without the help of my Savior.
Often, prayers are answered through other people. After driving half a day, my sweet mom showed up on my doorstep with her suitcase, dinner, and Magleby’s chocolate cake. I could not remember a time when I needed her more.
Earlier that day, my husband broke the news to me that our marriage wasn’t going to work. We had just adopted a baby four months earlier. He abruptly moved out of our home and in with another woman- I hadn’t seen it coming. If there were red flags, I had missed them.
Falling asleep was difficult that night, but when I finally drifted off, I dreamt of driving down a beautiful highway at the tops of the mountains. My surroundings were gorgeous, and I felt calm and peaceful. With my seatbelt buckled I felt safe. Ahead in the distance was a bright blue lake, glints of light flashing in the water. With my window rolled down I could smell spring in the air, my favorite time of year. The majestic tips of Mount Timpanogos were dusted with snow, and green grass was sprouting at its base. Glancing in my sideview mirror I noticed there were no vehicles on the road, just me, listening to the soft hum of the engine.
Suddenly, my car, with a force that came from nowhere, hit the guardrail, crashed through it, and began rolling down a steep slope. Over and over, it tumbled. I heard the sickening sound of crumpling metal and shattering glass. I could smell the powder from the airbag that had exploded; it was stinging my eyes. Knowing I would not get out of this alive, I closed my eyes to block out the dizzy scene and prayed it would be over soon. The car finally rocked back and forth a few times before settling upright at the bottom of the hill. I opened my eyes, shocked that I was still alive. I reached down and unfastened my seatbelt and tried to open the door. It creaked and moaned but I was able to push the smashed door open far enough to squeeze out.
Expecting to see cuts and gashes; I looked down at my arms … nothing. Surely my hands would be trembling. I held them out in front of me; they were still and steady. I focused on my legs, no pain … no broken bones. Unruffled, I started walking away. Strangely I felt calm. In slow motion, I looked back at the car. It was totaled, yet I had escaped unscathed. As the dust settled, I fixed my eyes on the top of the hill. With a quiet confidence, and my heart completely at peace, I began to climb.
Waking, I remembered my mom was in the guest room, “Mommy?”
I was 27 years old, and I had just cried out for my mommy! I was both embarrassed and relieved when she came into my room and sat down on my bed. I told her about the dream.
She was quiet for a moment, then she told me this dream had meaning for my life. Although I did not know it at the time, this was the beginning of my journey into discovering who I really was.
It took me years to understand my dream, but now I know that it was personal revelation for my life. Dreams were not typically the way I received personal revelation. Eventually it became clear that the car crash represented trials in my life. Sometimes we cause our own trials from mistakes we make, and I have made plenty of them, but this particular one was caused by the poor choices of someone else, causing my life to feel like a car wreck.
The seatbelt in my dream represents the safety in making and keeping sacred covenants as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The peace and calm I felt after the crash represent always having the Spirit with me to comfort me. Walking away from the wreckage symbolizes emerging from adversity unharmed (spiritually) and being able to become stronger and wiser because of it.
During the next few years, I was taught important life lessons, and was learning to be humbler, forgiving, resilient, and self-reliant. And just when I was least expecting it, I was led and guided to meet and marry my wonderful husband Jeff, a man who was always making me laugh. Jeff brought out the best in me and I knew he would be an amazing husband and father. The day before Valentine’s Day (not wanting to be too predictable), he asked me to marry him. We have been married now for 24 years and have adopted four children.
Looking back, I remember when I was smack in the middle of a divorce, it felt like it would take forever to solve. At times, it felt like no one was listening, not even God. It was hard to have an eternal perspective. But hindsight really is 20/20. God is aware of all the sad, bad, and unfair things in the world. In Doctrine and Covenants 90:24, we are promised, “Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things will work together for your good..” When your life is hard, remember you’re not forgotten. Although it took time, things really did work together for my good.
So . . . always remember to buckle up! The road ahead is gonna get crazy, but we’ll make it!