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Itís Easy to Forget

by Suzanne Nizza

Sometimes itís easy to forget that God is always watching over me. Iíll never forget that again!

It happened on a Monday morning near the end of spring semester. Finals were coming up, and my stress level had been climbing exponentially for weeks. I felt more frustrated than I usually did when things didn’t go right. During my low points I found myself questioning if I was even where God wanted me to be.

I usually slung only a small messenger bag over my shoulder for carrying my books to morning classes. I really didn’t want to drag around my much larger backpack, but since I needed two notebooks I pulled it over my shoulders anyway.

After my classes I was hurrying back to the dorm for a quick lunch. At Johns Hopkins University the dorm I was living in was located on the other side of Charles Street, across the street from the main campus.

A lot of the streets in Baltimore, Maryland, are constructed in odd ways. Charles Street has a single southbound lane, then a grassy median, then another southbound lane, then three northbound lanes. Strangely, the median doesn’t separate the oppositely flowing directions of traffic, it only separates one single lane of traffic. Complicating the situation is the fact that the one non-separated southbound lane is open only during rush hour.
The difficulty of keeping track of which lanes are open when and in what direction traffic is flowing has earned this lane of Charles Street the nickname, the “Death Lane.”

As I began crossing the street to head to lunch, I was walking in the southbound lane of Charles Street that was supposedly closed to traffic. Glancing briefly to the left, I started crossing while looking right—where all of the traffic should have been coming from. That brief glance to the left wasn’t enough, though.

The next thing I knew, I felt a powerful shove from behind that propelled me into the air. Then I crashed down onto the pavement.

Confused, I didn’t realize yet what had happened. Getting hit by a car was the furthest thing from my mind! Yet fearing that was what had happened, I scrambled to get up and move out of the street as fast as I could. It terrified me to think that the van that had just hit me might run over me!

I staggered to the side of the road and sat down on the curb. Other students who’d just witnessed the event crowded around me. They were marveling that not only was I OK, I’d just gotten up and walked away!

Help arrived quickly in the forms of an ambulance and a fire truck. While I didn’t have any broken bones, I did go to the nearby hospital just to get checked out.  Miraculously, nothing was wrong with me—except for a giant hole in the seat of my pants!

Saved by my backpack

In the days following the accident I ached all over, yet there wasn’t even a bruise anywhere on my body. People told me, “You’re lucky—extremely lucky!”

Had I not been wearing my backpack that day, the result of this experience could have been much more tragic. You see, the van actually hit my backpack. But since my side was facing the van when it hit me, I still haven’t figured out how the van hit my back or how my backpack absorbed most of the impact.

While I can’t explain why things happened the way they did that day, I know that God was watching out for me. Romans 8:38, 39 reminds us that nothing, not even the devil’s plans to hurt us, can separate us from the love of God. Even when it seems like everything is going wrong, He is there, and He has His plans for us. It took an encounter with a van to remind me of God’s

constant presence and watchfulness over me, and I’ll never forget it.
Suzanne Nizza is now working on her Ph.D. at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

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