I was brought up in a Catholic family. I grew up a “Catholic school girl.” I went to mass twice a week; I sat through one hour of religion class every day.
My faith was never forced upon me; I made the ultimate choice to pick it as my own.
Although I have had many revolutionizing “faith experiences” over the years, I have never witnessed what may be known as a “textbook” miracle. In my lifetime, no water has been turned into wine and the only thing I’ve seen multiply like fishes and loaves is the number of chores my mom puts on my to-do list every week.
As my faith has taught me to, I believe in the existence of miracles.
But more importantly, as I have learned on my own, I believe that miracles exist in every day life. I believe we create our own miracles, and I believe we create miracles for each other—everyday.
The second ambulance ride of my life occurred last April. Shortly after pulling out of the parking lot at my high school, as I waited in traffic at a red light, I was rear ended by a driver going almost 30 miles over the legal speed limit.
In the weeks prior to the accident, I had made a nasty habit of failing to fasten my seatbelt until I was well past the traffic light I was at when I was hit. By any means, I should have flown through my windshield upon impact, onto the pavement.
By chance, I had subconsciously decided to buckle up before leaving the parking lot that day.
That was my miracle.
On the way to the hospital, I struggled to stay awake as the bright light above me blinded me with confusion. I spoke groggy words to a kind firefighter trying to keep me from blacking out, trying to keep the miracle alive.
The emergency room doctors told me to consider myself “lucky” that the only injury I may have sustained was a broken back. “Thank God you were wearing your seatbelt,” I remember hearing.
After hours of x-rays, tests, and scans the doctors determined that no part of my spine had been fractured during the accident—results they determined a miracle.
I don’t know that I will ever be able to define the appreciation I found for my life after that accident. For a long time following the accident, I found myself frantically checking my rear view mirror at every red light.
Even now, I sometimes catch my eyes wandering up to that mirror. But instead of looking back in fear, I look into the eyes of someone whose life I consider a miracle.
I woke up this morning blood pumping, lungs breathing, and thoughts churning in my head. Tonight, I will go to bed with high hopes of waking up in the same state once again tomorrow. And if I do, that, itself, will be a big enough miracle to last me a lifetime. Because I am the miracle. You are the miracle. We make the miracle. We live the miracle.
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