Why Did I Wait?

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“Why Did I Wait?” Ensign, Feb. 1996, 57

Why Did I Wait?

Kneeling by my bed one morning, I asked Heavenly Father to bless my little family. At seven months pregnant, I also asked that my actions during the day would bring no harm to me or my unborn child.

Later, driving to the store, I approached an intersection just as the light turned red. I pulled into the left-turn lane and waited with growing impatience for the light to change. Drumming my fingers on the steering wheel, I shifted my eyes momentarily to my expanding stomach. The baby was very active.

The light turned green. Normally I’m the first driver to pull into the intersection when a light changes, but this time I waited, even though traffic was heavy and I was impatient to go. Something was holding me back. None of the other cars moved either, which struck me as unusual. The moment stretched out. Time seemed to move in slow motion, but in reality only a few seconds had passed when finally a van in the far right lane moved forward. Just then, running a red light, a pickup truck sped across the intersection in front of me and collided with the van. The impact spun the van around and shattered windshields in both vehicles.

I sucked in my breath and dropped my hands onto my stomach in maternal reflex. At first none of the other drivers around me stirred; then cars slowly moved out of the way. I turned the corner and pulled into a parking lot, shaking. That could have been me!

Dazed, I realized that if I had pulled into the intersection, the pickup truck would have hit my small car on the driver’s side, seriously injuring or killing the baby and me and certainly demolishing the car. I could not stop trembling. My thoughts raced repeatedly over the accident, and I heard myself asking, Why didn’t I move?

The answer came silently but was unmistakably clear as I mumbled a prayer of thanks: You asked for protection this morning—that no harm come to you or your unborn child.

It was simple but profound. My morning prayer had been answered through a silent warning that kept me from entering into that intersection and into certain death. Now I use more care when I pray, because I know that our Heavenly Father really does listen.