Posted in Spirituality

The Gift of 30 Years

These past 30 years, they have been a gift. I know, life in and of itself is a gift. But these past 30 years? For all intents and purposes, I shouldn’t have been around to see them.

On 11 September 1989, I came so close to losing my life. It happened on a country road in Nigeria. We were travelling in a minibus very similar to the one in the photo. One of its tires burst, we came off the road and the car overturned.

From that point on, it was miracle after miracle. I was able to get to a hospital in the city, then back to Germany. I was able to get the treatment I needed to ensure I did not die of my injuries, and I even made a full recovery. None of that I take for granted. As the doctor said when I arrived at the hospital in my home town:”Someone must have been watching over you!”. Indeed.

What does one do with the gift of life, given a second time? Initially, everything was fresh and new and special, and oh so precious. It was a watershed moment, life was divided in before and after. That is good. It is good to be conscious that I don’t know how long I have, that none of us know how long we have. With time, normality took over again. Life flowed and built around the event. It will always be significant but is no longer defining. That is also good. Life is there to be lived. Not just in the dramatic moments but every bit as much in the humdrum of everyday life.

Yet as this anniversary comes around, it’s good to stop and reflect. It’s good to say

thank you for the gift of 30 years

(and hopefully many more).

There are many questions that remain unanswered. Why did the accident happen at all? I don’t know. Why did I live when Mark, who was also in the car, did not? I have no answer. I have no answer yet the words that were an immense source of strength and comfort for me in those first couple of days remain true:

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38+39)

I finally left hospital on 9 November 1989. That very evening, the Berlin Wall fell. But that is a different story altogether.


Photo by Eva Blue on Unsplash

Posted in Uncategorized

My life on my wall

I finally got round to putting up pictures in my hallway.  Hunting down just the right frame for each of the cards took ages.  But it was so worth it!

These images bring back so many memories and they make me smile each time I walk past.  Which is quite often, as all the rooms in my apartment are off this hallway!

Unsurprisingly, there are Union Jacks galore!  I just love that crazy country and am so thankful I got to spend 16 years of my life there!

Russia.  One year of living there, and a number of shorter trips.  Not very long, but I still seem to have left a bit of my heart there.  What a place!

Then there are the gorgeous  Indian shoes.  What a riot of colour!  I have never actually been to India but have spent many hours in Sparkhill, the “Little India/Pakistan/Bangladesh” of Birmingham.  Colour is what stands out, especially on a grey November day!  Amazing!

And then there is a fairly generic African picture.  I have only spent a few weeks on that continent but this picture does conjure up some of the atmosphere I remember.

And in between a world map – so I can dream about all the places I have yet to see!  I love maps 🙂