You are not your bad days. You are not your mistakes. You are not your scars. You are not your past. Be here now, and breathe.
Tragedy strikes a woman who isn’t yet old. A minivan traveling toward her on a dark mountain highway hits her car nearly head-on just after sunset. She grips her steering wheel as hard as she can and veers into the rocky mountainside until her car screeches to a halt. The minivan flips onto its side and skids in the other direction off a cliff, plummeting nearly 500 feet to the ground below. Inside, a young family of five on their way to grandma’s house for Christmas Eve dinner.
The woman doesn’t recall the events that followed during the next several days. She doesn’t recall the three eye witnesses who comforted her and assured her that it wasn’t her fault—that the other driver had swerved into her lane. She doesn’t recall how she got to the emergency room or the fact that she stayed there for over a week, through Christmas and into the New Year, to treat a severe concussion and broken bones.
What she does know—and clearly recalls—are the endless string of days she passes sitting alone in her bedroom, crying and thinking, “Why me?” Why after 48 years of Sunday church attendance, unwavering faith, and regular community service and charity work, would God ask her to spend the rest of her life knowing that she single-handedly killed an entire family?
She has a family of her own that tries to comfort her ailing heart, but now she sees them only as the family she has taken from the world. She also has an overflowing network of close friends who want to see her smile again, but they now represent friends that others have lost because of her.
The woman who isn’t yet old begins to age more rapidly. Within a few short months, she is a shell of her former self—skin and bones, wrinkles creasing under her eyes, a despondent downward gaze, and a hole in her heart that has grown so wide she feels like there’s nothing left at all.
All the people around her—those family members and friends who care so much—have done everything in their power to revive her to her former self. When love didn’t work, they tried relaxing vacations. When vacations didn’t work, they tried getting her involved in healthy community activities. When the community activities didn’t work, they tried doctors. And now they have resigned from trying. Because the woman who is now an old woman has completely resigned from…