Happy Birthday to Me!!! :)

So just yesterday I turned 26! But oh what a day it was! Let me tell you about it:

Chase and I woke up at 4:30 a.m. because we were taking our NBT guys to the airport in Phoenix and needed to leave at 5. I had wanted to bring the kids with me, but Chase thought we should leave them at home and Jen agreed and kept them at her house to sleep the night before. So we headed out to Phoenix with Mr. Charles and Mr. David. They slept most of the way so Chase and I got to catch up on some visiting we had been missing all week during NBT and it was nice. We dropped them off at the airport and did some shopping! Chase took me to Target, my all-time fave store and we ran some errands for the church at Sam's Club and then hit another Target and a Ross. :) Then we headed out of the Valley and planned on stopping for some lunch in Payson. We were having a great drive, talking and singing. I was torturing Chase with a love song by Lonestar "I don't know how you do what you do...I'm so in love with you...it just keeps getting better...I want to spend the rest of my life...with you by my side...forever and ever..." when CRASH-I thought we hit something huge that I hadn't seen in the road. I then realized our back left tire had completely blown and we started swerving. We swerved to the left and almost into the wrong lanes and could have gone off the mountain, (Chase said I was now yelling, 'Babe!' 'Babe!!!' BAAAAAABE!!!!' I don't remember this at all!) but we were pulled to the right. My window was now facing the traffic coming as we went off of the road and started to roll. We both had our seat belts on but somehow I was thrown forward a bit and hit my head on the roof (I think) that had caved in a little by the windshield. It was one of those moments where we were rolling and I thought I was going to die...but I had peace about that. Then it occured to me (isn't it amazing how fast the brain goes??? This was all in a matter of a couple of seconds.) that I was alive and there was no way both of us were surviving this so I must be losing my husband-which I had NO peace about! :)

We stopped rolling and my Excursion had ended up on her right side with my window in the dirt. As Chase and I are hanging there, we yelled back and forth at the same time "Are you ok?!?" and were very relieved to discover we were both alive and fine. At first I thought I was bleeding from where I hit my head but was relieved to find out I was covered in Dr. Pepper! We realized the vehicle was now surrounded with people who were checking to make sure we were ok and to help however was needed. Chase started climbing out of the car to talk to them and I looked for my shoes and started throwing all my stuff in my purse which had spilled everywhere. I then started realizing I was also covered in tiny tiny pieces of glass, and had some small scratches but was mostly just being poked everywhere by glass. Chase helped me climb out of the car (which resulted in him getting a cut on his wrist.) and I sat on the car for a second until the crowd helped me and Chase off and onto the ground.

I stood there, a bit shocked and shaky and everyone asked if we were ok and we said yes. People started talking about the crash and who saw it and what they saw and Chase talked to them. A lady who said she was a Registered Nurse asked me to do her a favor and go sit on a blanket, drink some water and let her check me out. I did and she made sure I was responding well to everything. We sat and visited for a minute before I had calmed down enough to realize I had a painful lump on the back of my head. While she was checking that out, the man who's car we had nearly crashed into while sliding across the road approached me and said he was a Pastor and asked if I needed anything. I explained my husband was also a pastor and no, I was fine, but thanks so much. The men continued to talk about the crash and some people continued on their journeys after finding we were fine. My nurse told me she was a little concerned about my bump and said they would probably take me in the ambulance to Payson to check it all out and I should let them. We waited for what seemed like forever waiting for EMS and the police to come. But in the meantime, a off-shift DPS officer drove by and stopped, then two guys came at the same time who had never met but were prepared with their medic kits from when they were Medics in the Army Rangers and Air Force! They also were concerned about my bump and started taking vitals and holding my head in C-Spine...whatever that is! :) They were sweet guys and nurse and they took good care of me. Then they and the nurse decided to move me into a car with a/c and so they carefully carefully transported me to the Pastor's truck where a Medic kept me in C-Spine. Then a couple of off-duty Payson firemen were driving by and stopped to help. I found out later that the guy Chase was talking to was a guy who was finishing his law degree and was helping Chase with all the legal info and what to take pictures of, etc! Anything we could have wanted or needed showed up on-scene within minutes of the crash. Amazing.
Also realize if you have never driven from Phoenix to Payson that the drive is mostly on the side of a mountain or up in the air with nothing on either side. Where we blew a tire was a great place to do so because there was land to land on! :)
When I was in the truck and after the EMS guys had checked me out, they decided I needed to fly to Phx to make sure I was not bleeding or swelling on the inside. I said, "Are you kidding???" Which of course they were not. The Pastor's wife was sitting with me in the car and could tell that I was getting fearful. Immediately, she grabbed my hand and prayed for me. She prayed for my husband and my children, the process of insurance and for my flight. It was so encouraging. She gave me a quick hug and they put me in a C-Spine neck brace and loaded me onto the stretcher.

I was then moved to the ambulance where they hooked me up to 2 IVs, checked my blood sugar and prepared me for flight. They gave me some stuff to help the nausea and some pain meds. I waited a LONG time for the helicopter, which was able to land just a little bit away. So I talked to the EMS guy a bit and then I heard the helicopter and instantly I was afraid again.

At this point in the story, I have to tell you about some of the weird random things I hate and/or am scared of... this is not a complete list. lol.

I have been terrified of being in a vehicle that is rolling over.
I HATE having my neck covered up-it makes me feel like I need to vomit. I won't even wear tight collared t-shirts because it is too constricting!
I HATE having my feet covered up!
I get claustrophobic and definitely need my space.
I hate heights...they freak me out.
I HATE IV's and needles of any kind.
It makes me uncomfortable to be surrounded by men I don't know and not have my husband present.

My fear is something the Lord has been working on me with because "He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind."

I have to tell you all this because at this point, my neck was covered, my whole head actually was in this weird brace thing that was duct taped to the stretcher! I couldn't move it at all!
I was strapped to the stretcher by numerous seatbelts going in all different directions.
They put my feet in this really hot net thing to keep me from kicking around in the event that I go crazy and somehow break out of the restraints like the Hulk.
I couldn't move anything.
My husband was not allowed to go with me.
There was no room in there-a guy's knees were actually on either side of my head and I became pretty acquainted with his nose hair.

Then we took off. And while I knew the flight shouldn't have been more than 20 minutes, it seemed to take an hour. I don't know how long it took, but it seemed like an eternity. I was doing a pretty good job of staying calm-I had been so busy being distracted by the crash and the people around me that I hadn't realized what was happening to me. But as time ticked by in the helicopter, I am realizing I can't move...I have stuff covering my throat, etc. etc. etc. And I am starting to freak out. Fear started to creep up from my restrained feet and was taking over. I started to feel like Job and pictured Satan talking to God and asking permission to completely scare me by doing all the things to me that I hate. And I pictured Christ saying "Ok, but it can't be dark. She needs to be able to see and you can't touch her babies." I realized how much more awful it would be if my babies had been in the accident and I was taken away from them or worse if they were hurt and flown somewhere else! Or how absolutely petrified I would have been if this would have happened at night and I wouldn't have been able to see anything. Darkness is my arch-nemesis. :) It all might sound silly to you, but these are very real fears to me. And God was asking me to face them and call on Him. So I did. Over and over I repeated every verse that came to mind on fear. "What time I am afraid I will trust in Thee." "Hear my cry O Lord, attend unto my prayer, from the ends of the earth will I cry unto Thee. When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that I higher than I."
I asked Him for help and He was there. He gave me peace and kept me calm.

Once I got to the hospital they did some x-rays and some ct scans and were very nice. I had a great nurse and everyone was really great. They put me in my room but I was still not able to look around or sit up. Until the results got back that I was OK, I had to stay flat on my back and keep moving to a minimum. The hospital social worker made some phone calls for me and let me know that DPS was bringing my husband and that Dan and Jen were on their way.
To make an already very long story shorter, I was fine. My tests all came back looking good. I am pretty banged up and bruised, but I am just fine! No internal bleeding or swelling! I was released just as Chase made it to the hospital! Our amazing friend Joe Hicks drove us to meet Dan and Jen. Then we ate some dinner, answered all the calls that came pouring in and went home! We actually stopped at the exact spot where we crashed and thanked Jesus for His protection. We made it to the Jerome's house, picked up my babies and went home to find that some of my girls had broken into the house to clean up, and make us dinner! Thanks you guys!!! You are amazing!!! We love you! :) And so much thanks to the Hicks and the Jeromes!!! We have the best friends in the world and you all mean so very much to us! THANK YOU!!!

And get this, when we got home Chase checked the mail and brought in some birthday cards that had come in. My card from the church said:
"Just think,
You're here not by chance, but by
God's choosing.
His hand formed you
and made you
the person you are.
He compares you to no one else-you are one of a kind.
You lack nothing that
His grace can't give you.
He has allowed you
to be here at this time
in history to fulfill
His special purpose
for this generation. -Roy Lessin"

Kinda timely, huh?

Thank you, Lord for a memorable birthday and for Your perfect plan!

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  1. Wow Gina! How amazing. Thanks for sharing your story. We hope to see you soon.
    Ayanah Newsum

  2. Oh girl! That is an unbelieveable story! I'm so glad you shared that. It's an awesome reminder of how God, even when we aren't always noticing, takes care of us. Even down to the little details. Happy Birthday, I hope you feel more blessed than you ever have! I'm sorry you had the accident, I'm sure you were totally terrified! But I'm glad you could experience the good Lord's wonderful grace and mercy! SO glad you're ok! :)

  3. Gina, I could think of better ways to spend a birthday! It is awesome to see God work and to hear someone recognize his work even in a horrible situation. I'm happy that you guys are doing good and just wanted to say thanks for sharing your story.

  4. Thats a great story, I am so glad that you and chase are doing well, You are really good at writing,you made me feel like I was there in the car too. God is Great! luv you guys. :) Brenda Harmon,

  5. Praising God for His protection and how He has grown you to trust Him in every situation! What an amazing account of something that could have been used for evil, but that you have recorded as good because it was your Father who ordained it all for His glory! I enjoyed, again, your writing and sharing your journey. Thanks for the encouragement! ~Terri
    PS/Love the new look:)

  6. Oh, forgot to say, Happy Belated Birthday!

  7. What an amazingly wild ride you had for your birthday. Now, I guess you really need to go out and do what God has planned for you :) And Happy Birthday!


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