I must have been about 8 years old. I was on my way home from “lesson,” an after-school academic booster class that was the norm in the Nigerian culture back then.
For me, the best part of that whole dreary affair of “school after school” was getting to spend extra time with my friends. And we were having a whole lot of fun that particular day.
As part of our usual play routine after “lesson,” we were playing “catch me if you can”, and hysterically running and screaming as each of us tried to avoid being “caught”.
In my own excitement, all common sense had gone out the window and I was fully engaged in the game, squealing in delight and having a lot of fun…
And that’s when the unthinkable happened.
I remember vividly, as if played back in slow motion, catching a glimpse of my friend Lateef sprinting towards me and in my determination to evade him, I ran blindly into the road and into the path of a speeding car.
And, well, yes, with no warning whatsoever to prepare the driver, I was hit at full speed by the car. The force of the impact was so strong that it lifted me up in the air and unceremoniously dropped me a few feet away.
In my mind’s eye, I can imagine the shock and panic that followed. Now, I really do have to imagine it because I didn’t have time to see how people reacted because what happened next was completely out of this world.
It couldn’t have been more than a second or two after I hit the ground, that I, with an energy I can’t explain till today, sprang to my feet and ran in the direction of our home as if I was being chased.
When I got home, Id simply carried on as normal. Not a single scratch on me. Not one bruise. No one in my house had any idea what had just happened to me.
Being the child I was, I didn’t quite understand the gravity of it until some random woman who happened to have been at the scene of the accident showed up at my house a couple of days later. She’d managed to find out who I was and had in her own words “come to sympathise” with my parents.
My mum, understandably, had been very confused. “Lawunmi ke?…But there’s nothing wrong with her!” The woman of course, had gone on to recount the incident and how she’d believed that my reaction had been purely out of shock and that I most certainly would have collapsed sometime later because of the force of the impact she’d witnessed.
Now, I’d tell you how my mum responded to hearing this, but for people who don’t know much about the Nigerian culture, you may not quite understand.
Let’s just say I didn’t get a hug. Lol.
What happened that day was nothing short of a miracle.
It’s impact on me was infinitely multiplied when Lateef, the same friend who was with me that day, was shot in the head by armed robbers about five years later, and is no longer with us.
That day, I could have died too. Or maimed. The conditions were certainly right for it. Why Lateef and not me? I don’t have the answer to that question but I choose to thank God for sending his angels to protect me that day, when I had no power to protect myself.
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And I wish I could tell you that I’ve always cherished that memory. No, I haven’t. In fact, I had forgotten all about it until God reminded me of it about eight years ago, when he told me I was acting like the Israelites – who, every new challenge seemed insurmountable to them because they were too quick to forget the miracles of the past.
He’d told me to start documenting his many miracles in my life, and to, like David, use them as powerful weapons in the face of every new Goliath that shows up.
And since then, I have collected pages and pages of the demonstration of God’s goodness towards me that I thank him for daily. I can tell you, that habit has been almost singularly responsible for my belief that, with God, there is nothing that is impossible and has attracted inexplicable victories into life.
Remember this: Gratitude attracts miracles into your life.