FEATURE STORIES

Out of the Wreckage


by Tiffany Peterson
Jan 2009

 

I’m not sure why, but God still just absolutely amazes me. You would think that I’d be used to how incredible He is by now, after all He has done in my life.

But this time, wow: the occasion I am going to reveal was truly amazing and only possible through God.

It began as a day like any other – until I opened my email, which contained a message from Andrew, Katy's fiancé. Five years ago, in an auto accident for which I was responsible, I had killed this man’s soon-to-be-wife and daughter. I had not heard from Andrew since the day of my prison sentencing five years ago. I had wondered what his life was like. I have wondered what he was doing, feeling, and experiencing. Did Andrew blame God for my choice? Or did he allow God to help him through the devastation that I caused?  I had no idea what to expect. 

It was never my plan to hurt anyone. Not me. I was a good girl from a great family. (That was my rationalization anyway.) I would never, ever hurt anyone. But, that’s the thing: when you make stupid choices, you cannot always control the consequences of those choices. When I got into my car after having way too much to drink, I eventually woke up in a hospital being told that I had just killed two innocent people as a result of that choice!  I had killed both a 21-year old girl just 30 days from being married and her unborn baby.

To this day, I have no memory of the accident. But, now I know what happened. Andrew told me. He had heard my testimony and was upset that I was lying about the details of that night. Lying? I couldn’t imagine what he was referring to. Andrew contacted me and gave me the facts that I had been wrong about all these years: that I was going 118 miles per hour (not 75 miles per hour) and, secondly, Katy was not thrown from the truck as I’d always pictured.  But, that was so confusing to me. Where did I come up with that information? Did someone tell me that speed of 75 mph? I still have no idea how I came to believe the wrong details. I guess the mind plays tricks on us sometimes, or maybe it’s a measure to protect ourselves, I don’t know.
 
Although Andrew was understandably upset, he was still so very kind. Andrew said that he thought “three years in prison was enough, that God changing someone’s life for the better is always a positive thing.” I was incredibly stunned by that comment. It answered my question: had Andrew turned away from God? Apparently not!  Praise God.

Not only did I take away Andrew’s daughter and his fiancé, but it turns out I also broke Andrew’s back in three places at the time of the accident. He had to walk with a cane for three years. As I read his words, I could only pray that God had a plan for this.  That something good had to come out of something so horrible. I prayed that God was doing something, but I had no idea what.

Less than a month after that first email I received from Andrew, he sent me a picture of himself with Katy and a sonogram of their baby, a letter and a poem about Katy to post on the website, to share his side of what happened that devastating night. He then told me: “I believe this is the first time that a crash victim and the person who hit [the victims] have ever compiled together to reach people on a larger scale, to tell the truth about choices, and to show people that not only is God out there, but he walks with us, works with us, and works through us.”

Wow, how truly amazing is our God! I believe that he is working through Andrew to help others, and maybe even to heal some of his wounds.

I ask you to please pray for Andrew’s complete healing. I know that anything is possible through God. He hears our prayers.

 

Editor’s note: Read Andrew’s side of the story at Tiffany Peterson's website, href="http://www.mtmchoices.org/">www.mtmchoices.org. Also, you don’t want to miss reading Tiffany’s column.