How bad is it?

Bad decisions have a lasting effect, even when they’re not your bad decisions.

She showed no emotion, “How bad is it?” My one-word answer hung in the air, “Bad.”

It was dusk. The streetlights were coming on. Gray skies, heavy humidity, and heat defined the evening.

She was twenty-two. He was twenty-four. He had decided to break-up with her. She tried to drink her pain away.

Bad choices always have a ripple effect.

I lived within walking distance of the hospital. I was on my way to work. There was a parade of old convertibles filled with laughing teenagers on the road in front of me. Homecoming?

I smelled the exhaust and heard the car behind me before I saw it. It was barreling down the street with no intention of stopping. She flew through the stop sign and clipped the back corner of one of the convertibles.

It flipped over and landed upside down.

I was the closest person to the scene so I ran over to the car.

The wave of nausea I felt took me by surprise. After all, I had seen plenty of catastrophic injuries as an RN. I didn’t expect to see a large pool of blood and brain tissue on the pavement.

A group of guys ran over and lifted the car enough to slide chairs underneath it.

I felt dizzy. I took a deep breath and checked…one student had a pulse and one didn’t. They were too mangled for me to do anything else. So I waited. The ambulance was on its way.

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered — how fleeting my life is.”


The runaway car ripped through a pretty flowerbed, finally stopping in front of a small house.

She was sitting behind the wheel with her head down.

“Are you okay?” She nodded yes. She said she was a student and told me about her boyfriend. Her car reeked of alcohol. Other than asking how bad it was, she didn’t say much else.

When the police approached her car she started to cry.

They put handcuffs on her and I started to cry.

She sobbed as they led her away.

That day, many lives were changed forever.

“Wise choices will watch over you.” (Proverbs 2:11)

Several months later, I was a key witness for the prosecution. I sat on the witness stand and stared at a room filled with devastated family members. Her parents, the parents of the young man that died, and the parents of the young girl that was still in the hospital sat in that courtroom hoping for justice.

Who knows how many others were impacted?

What is the takeaway from this tragic story?

-Only God can heal our broken hearts.

No indulgence can fill the hole left in our heart by a hurt.

“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.”

(Psalm 147:3)

-Life is short. Choose wisely.

“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)

-Bad decisions affect many.

“Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.” (Proverbs 4:7)

Life is hard.

But God helps.

Life hurts.

But God heals.


Visit Ally at and see more of her work here

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