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Mysterious Ways: Get Out of the Car, Now!

I drove my pregnant wife to work safely one rainy February day... but I almost didn't make it back home.

By Chris Teti, La Jolla, California

WEB EXCLUSIVE

When your wife is pregnant, you try to take every precaution possible. Which is why I drove my wife Katherine’s Toyota to drop her off at work one rainy February morning, instead of my pickup truck. San Diego doesn’t get many chilly days, but this was one of them. “My truck has no heat,” I reminded her, as I pulled out the driveway, “and besides, the roof leaks. The last thing you need is to get sopping wet.”

I dropped Katherine off downtown, found the freeway and headed toward home. Man, there were a lot of accidents. Every few minutes, it seemed, I heard the whine of a police or ambulance siren. It doesn’t rain much here, and when it really pours, it throws drivers for a loop. I pulled into the slow lane, thinking, No way am I taking any chances.

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Just then, an SUV slid across the road in front of me. It skidded into my lane, out of control, hydroplaning. I braked hard.

The SUV flew past me, through the guardrail and down an embankment. My God! I thought.

I pulled to the apron of the freeway, reached for my cell phone and dialed 911. “I want to report an accident,” I said. The police dispatcher said they’d respond right away. I debated getting out to check on the driver, but it didn’t seem safe. Cars whizzed by me. I’ll just wait in the car until help arrives.

The strangest feeling suddenly came over me. As perilous as it looked outside, I heard a voice from deep within me urge, Get out of the car now! Maybe the other driver needed me?

I bolted as if given an electric shock. Left my wallet, my cell phone, didn’t even turn off the car. I sprinted toward the embankment where the SUV had tumbled. The driver was making his way up the hill. He had been alone in the vehicle and was unhurt. I was about to say how glad I was for him, when a runaway pickup skidded across the highway just as the SUV had.

The pickup missed me by ten feet, then smashed full-bore into my wife’s Toyota. The thing was t-boned. If I had stayed in the car, I’d be dead.

Katherine gave birth five months later. I’m thankful to be a father, and thankful for the mysterious urging that helped me live to see that joyous day.