About year ago I experienced the scariest night of my life. It’s not that dramatic of a story, but I have a story and it needs to be told. I wanted to write this last year, but was honestly too shaken up by the experience to put it into words. Here I am a year later trying again. If I were ever asked to give a talk in church I would probably use this story.
Enough with the intro, let’s get to it.
Last year, on a beautiful fall Sunday I decided to drive through the alpine loop, enjoy the fall leaves, and paint. I told no one where I was going, I just went. (Hello red flag #1).
My plan was to drive from the American Fork entrance out through Sundance. I ended up at a picnic area in American Fork canyon painting and enjoying the changing leaves and all the peaceful beauty around me. It started to get chilly and dark so I packed up and headed out.
While I was driving I kept having this gut feeling that ~something~ bad was going to happen. I had a strong feeling that I would be calling Sean crying. I was almost positive that this gut feeling was telling me I was going to hit a deer and total my car. I was a little scared so I started to pray.
I think it is important to note that I never pray. Up to this point it had been years since I had talked to my heavenly father.
I started praying, one of those prayers where you’re in your car just sincerely talking to God. I’ve always felt like those are the most powerful prayers. Like God is there in your car with you and you’re talking to an old friend. I was praying about everything. Catching Him up on all that I had neglected to tell him in the past few years. I was talking about how freaking grateful I am for everything that he has given me and how I feel like I really take it all for granted sometimes. I ask him for advice….ask to help me be better. More specifically, I was asking for more opportunities to serve. I admire people who selflessly serve so much and want to be more like that. I asked him to please help me open my eyes to more service opportunities because as much as I want to serve, I feel like sometimes I don’t see the opportunities. I was asking God to show me the places I was needed and I would do my best to serve him.
This whole time I’m driving and enjoying the scenery. Sometime during this prayer/drive there was a fork in the road and I went left when I should have gone right. For those of you who don’t know, left takes to you cascade springs and eventually to Heber.
I had been driving on this road for a while when I realized I wasn’t seeing anything familiar. I was confused but wasn’t worried, I figured at some point I would probably end up in Heber and could figure it out from there. It was around this realization that (this is really embarrassing and I really don’t even want to say it) I blew up my clutch. YIKES. I KNOW. I never really learned to down shift correctly okay? It’s not my fault, I mean it is my fault, but I didn’t know what I was doing.
I blew my freaking clutch up.
It felt like I hit a wall when it happened. My car jerked so hard I thought I had hit a huge hole in the road or a small animal. Because I was going downhill and still coasting for a while I didn’t anything was wrong… Until the road started to go up hill and I put my foot on the gas and nothing happened. Uhhh what? I don’t think you understand how scary that is. I was flooring it and nothing. I’m freaking out and put on my hazards and coast off the road. I live in Utah County, where if you put on your hazards by accident 3 people have already gotten out of their cars and are tapping on your window to make sure you’re alright not this time…. A line of 5-7 cars pass me and none of them stop or even slow down. I get out and it smells so bad, like something (my CLUTCH) is burning. I know at this point I have effed up. I thought that when I hit that “dip” something broke on the underneath of my car (yes I’m dumb). I get back in and start my car and try to give it gas, again nothing happens. Well something does happen, I start to roll down hill.
At this point I’m trying really hard to remain calm, everything is totally fine, I’ll just call my mom and she’ll help me. LOL.
No cell phone service.
So here I am, somewhere in Provo canyon, I honestly have no idea where I am except that I think somewhere in between American Fork and Provo maybe headed towards Heber. At some point I took a wrong turn- other than that, no idea. Nobody knows where I am. My car is broken. I haven’t seen a single car in over 15 minutes. It’s dark and cold. I have no cell phone service and my phone is about to die.
I think it’s understandable when I say I had a breakdown.
I was bawling my eyes out, I didn’t know what to do. I mean what do you do at that point? Start walking? Sleep in your car?
I’m standing outside of my car crying trying desperately to call someone, my mom, my dad, my boyfriend, I just keep trying those three over and over. A car drove by and I tried to flag them down. They could have been murders or creepy men that raped me but I figured it was kind of my only option at that point, but they just kept driving.
I walked a few feet from car and hit a patch of LTE (WHAT?!?) I can’t help but think that was an act of God. A 21st century miracle. I called my mom but she didn’t answer! I got a hold of my boyfriend and tried to quickly explain everything to him because the service was spotty. Somehow I was able to send him my location!!! My mom was calling me back, and Sean was on his way. My mom managed to calm me down a little, our calls fell through a few times but she kept calling me back. I couldn’t explain to her where I was and the phone was breaking up so much that she didn’t understand that Sean was on his way. She said she was coming and was just going to drive all over until she found me. Bless her heart, she’s the best.
A car was coming and I don’t even bother trying to stop them, but they stopped anyway. A girl rolls down her window asks if I’m okay and I lose it again. She gets out of her car and hugs me and tells me everything is going to be okay. There are like 5 people in the car with her. All BYU students who went for a Sunday drive and also took a wrong turn. Said they could smell my car for miles but didn’t know it was me or they would have stopped when they passed the first time.
I tell them that Sean is on his way to find me but they insist on taking me out of the canyon. At this point I no longer have service and can’t find any. One of the girls lets me use her phone to call Sean and tell him to meet us at the riverwoods instead.
I’m riding down in their car, they’re feeding me snacks (what angels) and we’re having casual small talk. One of the girls is talking about how she is supposed to lead ward prayer and they won’t make it, but that’s okay because this is way more important. Another girl replies to that and says “I think they’ll understand, especially since our lesson in sacrament meeting today was how to be more SERVICE ORIENTED, and I think this counts as service hahaha”
God is real and answers prayers in very strange ways sometimes. I am extraordinarily blessed at how that situation turned out.
Even if you don’t believe in God, you can’t tell me that all of that was just a coincidence. Anyway this was super long. I tried to condense it as much as possible, but if you’re reading this, thanks for making it through the whole thing. Thank you for supporting me and listening to my story that my heart has been aching to tell.
Happy not dying in the canyon anniversary to me