The Day My Family Was Shot At

It was a chilly day on our road trip. My family was bundled in warm sweatshirts and fuzzy socks as we drove quietly down the long stretch of the two-lane freeway. To our left were deserted rolling hills and to our right was a thick blanket of forest We had already been traveling for a few hours, and we had a few more hours left to go before we arrived at our destination. We hadn’t seen another car for ages.

In the front seat, my dad sat conversing casually with my mom who was driving the car. In the back seat, my sister slept soundly in her carseat, her blonde hair pinned back with a bow and her stuffed animal tucked under her arm. My brother sat beside her with his headphones on and scribbling away on his drawing pad. We had pulled down one of the middle seats for easy access in and out of the suburban and I sat comfortably in the other middle seat, losing myself in a great book.

Suddenly, a loud pop and a crash broke the quiet setting. The whole car jolted to the right by the force of the blow. The book flew out of my hands as I looked up. Luckily, I was wearing sunglasses as I watched glass fill the car. The window to my left spewed hundreds of small pieces and I was immediately coated from head to toe in shards of it. My mom, who started screaming, pulled off to the side of the deserted road as the blistering cold air rushed inside the vehicle.

“Is everyone okay?!” She looked at us frantically and shrieked at our bewildered faces. “Are you okay?!”

Nothing was hurting…”I’m fine,” I turned to look behind me. My sister had awoken and was very confused. She looked like she was sparkling after the glass had showered on her peaceful form. My brother had removed his headphones and looked completely shocked. My dad was shouting concern and my mom, with tears in her eyes, began reeling off instructions.

“Don’t move. Don’t touch anything!”

“What happened?! Was it a rock?!”

My mom began to get out of the car until my dad grabbed her arm. He had stopped shouting and he looked very worried. He was staring at the broken window, with the sunscreen still pulled over where it had been seconds ago.

“Get back in and drive as fast as you can away from here.”

We immediately drove away. While I carefully picked pieces of glass out of my sister’s hair and checked that there was no blood on either of my siblings or myself, I noticed what my dad was looking at. The screen that was pulled up over the window was completely intact except for a very obvious part. There, in the very middle, was a perfectly round hole. And it looked like it was made from a bullet.

When we arrived to the nearest city, a small town over 45 minutes away, shivering and still picking glass out of our hair and clothes, the local machine shop owner inspected the damage. Afterwards, he pulled us aside and began to tell us how lucky we were. This was something he had seen a lot. He explained that we had probably avoided being robbed, or maybe something worse. Gesturing to us kids, he implied that without the screen being up, there could have been significant injury.

In the end, we definitely ruled out the blast being caused by a rock. But we couldn’t find a bullet anywhere in the car. So who knows if the car shop owner was pulling the leg of a couple of tourists or not. The point is that life is unpredictable. Crazy things happen every single day to people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. So don’t procrastinate on life – live it. Don’t play mind games with people – tell them the truth. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone – everything you want is right outside of it. Don’t save something for tomorrow that can easily be done today.

I thank God for saving my family from situation that may or may not have happened… but it was a wake-up call.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Psalm 23:4

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
Corrie ten Boom

– Jenni

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