Thanksgiving Day has come and gone, but the spirit of thanksgiving should be with us each and every day. Sometimes our blessings come in disguise or so it appears to me. One such blessing comes to mind often. This happened in February of 1966. A friend and I planned to visit our other good friend, who was away from home in college. We chose the President’s weekend as the best time, since it would give us a three day holiday. I had just turned nineteen and this would be my first trip away from home on my own. A few days before we were to leave, I went shopping and had a bad accident on the way back to my parents’ house. I was taken to the hospital and was terrified as to what my mom and dad’s reaction would be. When they arrived at the hospital, all that mattered to them was if I was okay. I was thrilled because I feared the car had been totaled and it was almost new, a Christmas gift to me. I escaped with a small cut over my right eye and was brought back home while my dad arranged to have the car evaluated by the insurance company. I had been right in my estimation; it was a  total loss. I was more than disappointed but my parents’ were truly understanding and that helped me more than words can say. Of course, our trip was cancelled and that too was a disappointment.

I needed to see our family doctor to have the stitches removed from above my eye and during my checkup it was discovered that I had high blood pressure. Of course, I need to mention that at nineteen and 5′ 5″ I weighed a whooping 193 pounds. I’d been overweight as a child and can remember the embarrassment of weighing 126 pounds in fifth grade. My mom and I would go on diets. We’d lose some and then I would rapidly put it and more back on. I was unhappy about my weight, but still didn’t comprehend the danger it signified. My dear doctor first suggested that I go on a low salt diet for two weeks and return to him. My next visit showed no improvement in my blood pressure reading and the dear man boldly suggested that I needed to lose weight. This in itself made me angry enough and I decided I would show everyone that I could and would lose weight!

I was determined to succeed this time and I received a sensible diet plan from Dr. Mandler as well as the permission to cut all bread and other carbohydrates from my diet for a few weeks in order to speed up my weight loss. When I returned to his office two weeks later, I’d lost 17 pounds, my blood pressure was down quite a bit and I was feeling much better overall. My weight loss slowed down after that, of course, but the weight continued to come off a few pounds a week. By summer vacation, I was down to about 145 pounds and truly enjoying my new body.

Unfortunately, my spiritual life was at an all time low during these college years, but a seed had been planted during my childhood years in the Lutheran church close to our house. It took some years for me to reawaken to the Lord’s love, but when I did I realized that He had kept on loving me all the time. I now am able to see the huge blessing He gave to me almost 50 years ago and I am so very thankful. Although I had strayed away from Him, He had never forsaken me. In fact, He had plans for me that I would never have imagined possible. Thank You, dear Lord, for my car accident! It was a blessing I’ll never regret.