We all fall into our own routines, but that doesn’t mean we should forget how precious life really is. After all, anything can happen in the blink of an eye. One minute, we’re driving on a familiar road, and the next, things have turned upside-down—literally.
That’s exactly what happened to one young woman from South Carolina. She had no idea that, when she climbed into her car one night, her entire world was about to change in a way that would force her to rethink everything…
One day, a young woman was involved in a serious car crash that left her with both physical and emotional scars. When she built up the strength to return to the scene of the accident, she discovered something that sent her back in time to that fateful day—and made her reconsider her entire life.
It was October 4, 2015, and Erika Wright—then 28 years old—was driving home after spending the day with some of her friends. She had no idea that this ride would change the direction of her life forever.
She was just miles away from her home in Columbia, South Carolina, when a cascade of water appeared out of nowhere. The flash flood rushed toward Erika’s car, flipping it around and pushing it against a tree—with Erika trapped inside.
Erika had no way of getting out and she was sure she’d drown. Luckily, her windshield struck a cement block, and the frantic woman kicked at the broken glass. She hoped she could escape that way, but it was no use.
The water was rising too quickly and there was too much debris in her way. Erika was running out of options, but she refused to accept the idea that she would die this way. She had to escape.
Thinking quickly, Erika turned her attention to the sunroof, which was open. She pulled herself out, but her ordeal was far from over: the powerful floodwaters were rising faster than ever, and with them came more obstacles for Erika to overcome.
The rough current swept her toward a patch of trees. Erika instinctively reached out her arms; she managed to grab a branch and hoist herself out of the water. It was cold and dark, and she watched in horror as other cars were completely submerged.
All alone, freezing, and crying out for help, Erika struggled to survive. Then, about two hours into the ordeal, she noticed three men who were stuck in a truck nearby. They were being rescued!
From a distance, Erika could see that the rescuers were gesturing and calling out to her. She couldn’t hear them over the rushing floodwaters, but she later learned they were simply telling her to do her best to hang on.
Still, their acknowledgment was all the encouragement she needed. Erika kept holding on, confident in the belief she would be saved. Finally, after almost five hours of being trapped, the fire department rushed in and rescued her.
Unfortunately, Erika sustained major injuries. The poor woman had torn her rotator cuff and damaged several other muscle groups—never mind the fact that she nearly drowned.
“I was put in a heat suit to warm my body up,” Erika said. “I had scrapes and everything all over my arms and hands, and some on my face from when I hit the trees and vines.”
Still, Erika was one of the lucky ones. Days later, she learned that a man in a car near hers had not been so lucky. “It’s a daily talk I have in my mind with God,” Erika said. “Just trying to figure out, why did I make it out?”
Months later, in an attempt to heal her emotional wounds, Erika returned to the scene of the accident. However, she had no idea that what she would find there would affect her so deeply…
While walking through the woods near the spot where her car had been, Erika was shocked to stumble upon some of her personal items. She found tickets to a convention and even a floral lei that used to hang around her rearview mirror. But there was something else that truly moved her…
There among the leaves was a sparkle in the sunlight. Erika grabbed a clump of debris and pushed away the dirt surrounding it—and realized it was her cherished gold cross!
It was the exact same cross she’d been wearing around her neck during the accident, and she thought it was gone forever. She’d wept over losing the gift, and finding it again felt to her like a sign from God.
Erika said that finding the cross that day filled her with love and hope. She believed it was God’s way of telling her that everything was unfolding for her exactly as it should—and that things would be okay.
Whenever people heard her story or saw photographs of the flood, they would remark that the whole event seemed like a movie. While Erika agreed up to a point, she was the first to say that it was definitely all too real.
Knowing just how close she came to losing her life wasn’t something Erika took lightly. Now, she makes it her business to live every day to the fullest, knowing just how precious life truly is!
Erika’s story is truly amazing. How awesome is it that she was able to come away from her ordeal with such a hopeful attitude?
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