Last night, I had the joy of seeing some dear friends whom I hadn't seen in a while. Tracy, Heather, and I were at KBC together in the ancient days, and while Tracy and I have stayed in touch through the years, we've only recently gotten to catch up on Heather's life thanks to Facebook and blogland. I hadn't seen Heather since Rex and Shawna's wedding almost 11 years ago - and then, only for a few minutes. Tracy and Heather hadn't seen each other in 23 years!
We had a lovely evening catching up and enjoying each others company (and the amazing food) at The Cheesecake Factory last night. The weather eventually made it evident that it was time to leave our outside table and head for home, but it was a sweet time.
The wind was really whipping by the time I hiked out to the van, and I was thankful that I didn't get drenched on my way. What was obviously a large storm system was moving in quickly, and I thought I might have some heavy rain on my way home (I had about an hour's drive ahead of me).
Within minutes, it was truly pouring. As I got out of the city, I could see less and less. The water moved in waves across the road toward me - it seemed a bit like driving in the ocean. I considered pulling over to the side of the road, but I could still barely make out the white line, and I was going slow. I figured as long as those two things held true, nothing bad could happen.
Less than a half mile from where I made that decision, the world seemed to explode. It takes far more time to describe what happened than it took to happen, of course.
BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! It was as if several people set off rapid-fire, overlapping gunshots directly outside my window. The world shook with each "firing." The light was brighter and more intense than I could describe. The whole left side of my body felt numb for several minutes, while the rest of me hyperventilated!
Initially, I thought that the van itself had been struck by lightening, which actually is possible. In hindsight, it seems more likely that the lightening struck one of the mile markers along the highway. I was in the right lane of a 4 lane divided highway, and I'm certain the lightening was not as far away as the median.
I briefly re-considered pulling over, but I was too scared. I think I thought of myself as a sitting duck if I pulled over. Plus, I wasn't sure I could have made myself get back on the road until the storm was over, and I desperately wanted to get home.
It was a wild experience, to be sure. What a display of my God's awesome power! I was shaking most of the rest of the way home, and was so thankful to reach home safely.