On August 16, 1998, I was helping my friend move to Macon, Georgia to attend Macon State University in the Fall. She rented a moving truck and we started loading her furniture, personal items, etc onto the truck. We stopped at the gas station before we started the long, vigorous moving trip. I was getting a very strange feeling that day before we left the apartment. Our trip was delayed because of a short rainstorm, but the sun came out right about the time we left to pick up the truck.
As my friend pumped the gas into the vehicle, I stood between the gas pump and the truck. I just felt extremely anxious and nervous. I was shaking inside and immediately sat down inside the truck while my friend went to pay for the gas.
As we started on the highway, we smelled something burning. Since it was a hot day, we thought it was the air conditioning unit so my friend turned it off. We played music and talked about her new beginning at Macon State. She mentioned that the truck was not picking up speed and we were going no more than 50 mph.
As we continued to drive, the burning smell grew stronger. Suddenly, we saw a man on the right side of us, waving his arm outside of his car window, flagging us to pull over on the right side of the highway. We crossed over three lanes of traffic, but as we entered the emergency lane my friend was pumping on the brakes and the truck would not slow down. We was going about 50 mph when she decided to slam onto the emergency rail to slow the truck down. We continued to bounce back and forth onto the emergency rail while my friend yelled for me to jump out of the truck. I thought she was crazy. I told her I was not jumping out of the truck.
I immediately looked into the rear view mirror and saw a trail of the blackest smoke that I ever saw in my life. It smothered the entire highway. My instinct told me that I had no choice but to jump. When I opened my door, there were flames shooting from under the truck. I did not expect to see fire. I did not look back to see what my friend was doing, I didn’t think about anything but getting out of the truck. As I jumped, I felt tremendous heat on my legs. It felt like I was moving in slow motion. I somehow landed on my feet and stumbled to catch myself. The truck continued to roll. I felt my friend’s arm hug me as we stood and trembled and cried together.
As the truck rolled, the front area where we sat burst into flames. Suddenly, it started to thunderstorm severely. I stood in the heavy rain screaming and crying. The man who flagged us down pulled his car to the side of the road to help us. There was a woman and child in the car. We sat in silence inside their car as we waited until the fire and emergency unit came on the scene. In the faint distance, I heard the screeching sirens of the ambulance and fire trucks.
As I reflect on this dramatic experience, my eyes still fill with tears. I never knew the man’s name that assisted us. I can’t even remember what he looked like. I never even got the opportunity to thank him. Amazingly, my friend and I did not have a scratch or burn on our bodies. We were not crippled or paralyzed. Nor did we perish on that day. I sometimes reflect on all the things that could of happened and I probably would not be here to even tell you the details of this incident.
The Lord lifted us out of that truck and gave us another chance at life. I never quite looked at life the same after that day. It’s a testimony that I will carry for the rest of my life. I didn’t understand why my life was spared on that Saturday afternoon, but after years of walking with Jesus, I come to realize that this incident was the beginning of my ministry. I’ve had several accounts of testimonies through severe trials, obstacles, tribulations. But through it all, I’m standing in victory. God is faithful.