81: Wrong Turn

81: Wrong Turn

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and More

Wrong Turn

God didn’t bring you this far to abandon you.

~Author Unknown

My daughter was fragile. Suffering from severe bipolar disorder and a wicked anxiety disorder, she’d turned to drugs to ease her pain. Bad drugs.

After hospitalizing her several times, we ended up putting her in a residential facility for a year to learn to control her moods and find a way to deal with her mental illness. Since coming home, she’d been doing well. She’d stopped doing drugs. She went to Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings regularly. She had a sponsor whom she could call if she felt tempted. She also took her meds, saw her therapist and was attending college.

But then an old friend overdosed, and my daughter’s world came crashing down. She wondered aloud if life was worth living, if anyone could really stay sober, or if her hard work was for nothing.

She stopped going to NA meetings, refused to call her sponsor, and refused to see her therapist. She began to spin out of control.

Until the day she slammed the door behind her and raced to the car. I was yelling and distraught as I tried to stop her. “Please, God,” I prayed as she sped down the street. “Let her be okay.”

But, despite my prayer, I was unprepared for the scene when she came home.

Less than twenty minutes later, she burst through the door, all smiles and kisses as she grabbed my shoulders and spun me around.

“Mom! Mom! It was a miracle!” she gushed.

“What?”

“I was almost in an accident!”

And while this statement did not feel like the beginning of a miracle to me, I sat down as she laid out her story.

My daughter had raced down the street intent on finding drugs. Despite so many months of sobriety, she felt she couldn’t handle another minute of pain without a drug to numb her feelings.

She’d made a call, found a connection and was hurrying to the rendezvous spot. But just as she turned left onto the street, another car swerved from the right, heading in the wrong direction. My daughter slammed on the brakes and swerved to the side of the road to miss hitting the wayward car. At the same time, the errant car swerved, and the two ended up off the road, but out of danger.

As the other driver ran from her car to check on my daughter’s safety, my child was shaken to her bones — for the driver of the other car was her NA sponsor — the woman she should call if she was in trouble!

“I’m so sorry!” the woman cried before seeing my daughter’s face. “I don’t know what happened — I just took a wrong turn.”

Right then and there, by the side of the road, my daughter confessed where she was going and what she was about to do. But her confession was not just to the woman before her — it was to the universe.

“It was God!” my daughter cried into my arms. “God stopped me from making a terrible mistake. He made her take a wrong turn to keep me from taking a wrong path. He literally stopped me in my tracks and sent help.”

And the message was received.

My daughter has not done drugs since that day. She finished her college program, regularly takes her meds and sees her therapist, and is finishing up an internship program that will lead to a solid career.

But more, she’s gained a faith in her destiny, her ability, and her worthiness that keep her walking steadily on her path — and help her avoid wrong turns.

~Susan Traugh

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