What My Recent Brush with Death Taught Me

What My Recent Brush with Death Taught Me

I felt a rush of adrenaline with my previous brushes with death (two near drownings have stuck to my mind like leeches from a murky-looking slough I swam in), but with the latest one, I had a delayed reaction. For it wasn’t until bedtime that it really sunk in. And then tears slipped out and soaked my pillow as I realized how close I’d come to leaving this planet I don’t call home.

What My Recent Brush with Death Taught Me Wendy L. Macdonald blog memoir

Heaven is my home.

Don’t worry, I’m not in a hurry to get there; however, I’m not anxious about leaving my earthly life behind, either. In fact, the older I get, the more cautious I become—well…usually. I’ve also got no interest in suffering more than necessary. That’s why I hope my eventual exit won’t involve a horrific rendezvous with pain. And speaking of such…I think my son may very well have saved me from a painful death…

“Hurry!” he shouted.

A car honked at me as I walked across the last few paces of the four lane highway.

Like a deer with poor judgement, I assumed I had lots of time when I started crossing the road. A quick glance, earlier, told me the car was far enough away. But what I neglected to notice was how fast it was going. How fast it was coming. How fast my life was flashing before my eyes—before the driver’s eyes—before my son’s eyes.

Fortunately, I got out-of-the-way just in time. The poor driver didn’t have much room to maneuver as it swerved slightly towards the other lane where there was another car driving alongside of it.

Fear etched my son’s face like tire marks on a road. “It almost hit you! Why didn’t you run when I called?”
“I didn’t notice I was in danger. Until I heard you. Until I heard the car’s horn.”

What My Recent Brush with Death Taught Me Wendy L. Macdonald blog memoir

My son and I headed towards the trail that follows Rosewall Creek. As we made our way down the steep gravel path, my feet slipped and I grabbed onto some bushes—just in time. I exhaled, relieved not to land on my already sore hips and sore tailbone that hadn’t aged as graciously as my still strong arms and legs.

It was going to be one of those just in time hikes.

Not sleeping well, or long enough, the night before, probably contributed to my lack of alertness. Guilt now plagued me for terrifying my son, for giving the driver gray hairs, and for almost causing an accident.

What My Recent Brush with Death Taught Me Wendy L. Macdonald blog memoir

My son mentioned something about how scary it must be for parents to guide children near traffic. I nodded and suggested I probably needed to be led with a toddler leash. Then I reminded him about his own close encounter with a speeding truck.

It happened sixteen years earlier as we walked down a quiet country road to our school bus stop. A neighbor girl jumped out in front of him and blocked his passage as we approached the bus shelter. He dodged around her just as a truck zoomed by. The truck’s side mirror narrowly missed my young son’s head. My arms and hands—busy pushing a stroller and holding my infant daughter in a sling—weren’t quick enough to grab him in time.

We didn’t have a near-death experience in that spot again.

What My Recent Brush with Death Taught Me Wendy L. Macdonald blog memoir

Fear is a good teacher if the student realizes death is a one-way door.

There aren’t any get-out-of-death-for-free-cards. Flesh-and-blood living isn’t a board game we can toss back into a box and start all over again. This is it—right now—this is your life. The choices we make, the things we believe, and who we trust in determine the final outcome of our souls.

What My Recent Brush with Death Taught Me Wendy L. Macdonald blog memoir

When our bodies get placed into boxes or sprinkled across seas,

our souls will be sent into eternity to be with–or without–our Creator.

And here’s where I say what I learned after my latest brush with death. I learned I really do believe. I really do trust in God to keep my soul secure in Christ. For I know how stupid I can be with the least of things, never mind the big stuff. I can’t be trusted to cross a road safely.

But I’ve trusted what Jesus did on the cross.

He’s the bridge I’ve crossed in order to enter the sheepfold

of those Jesus calls His own.

What My Recent Brush with Death Taught Me Wendy L. Macdonald blog memoir

Any day, and at any moment, we could be run over by any number of things. Heart attacks, cancer, strokes and the like don’t like us. They’re often silent killers who don’t honk horns and shout warnings of impending doom. The best soul insurance and—in the now—assurance is found through faith and trust in the One who has already suffered, died, and rose again so that we may have eternal life in Him.


Don’t wait for a near-death experience to get things in order. Sometimes people don’t get a second chance. Sometimes speeding cars doesn’t see, swerve, and save you.

But Jesus saves.

John 3:16 says so:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,

that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 NIV

I’d like to close with a short poem and a video of the waterfall:

Jesus is faithful to save
For He knows we’re far from Home
We’re lost—we’re doomed
Without His grace
But Love washed away the hate
When pierced Hands bled
So we can be called
His own.

Glad to be alive blessings ~ Wendy


What has a brush with death taught you? I’m nosy-to-know.


What My Recent Brush with Death Taught Me Wendy L. Macdonald blog memoir


48 thoughts on “What My Recent Brush with Death Taught Me

  1. Wendy, that is a wonderful story of God’s love and grace. His arm of protection is always around us, embracing us, shielding us from dangers seen and unseen. Thank God!

    1. Thank you, dear Diane. <3 Your stories always bring a smile to my face and wisdom to heart. The older I get, the more like a toddler I become…my poor kids. 🙂

  2. My own brushes (like you some near drownings, an illness that came within a week of killing me, and my son’s death from an aneurysm) have taught me that these experiences, even those we survive, leave scars. Those scars, those imprints on the soul, can save us if we learn from their reminding us or can cripple us, if they consume our awareness. I’m glad you made it through this time.

    1. Michael, I doubt there’s a deeper scar than the loss of a child. You’re living out an excellent example of Christ “imprinted on the soul.” Blessings as you continue to share His Truth and Love, dear brother. Thank you for your encouraging words.

    1. Thank you, dear Tammy. <3 I've become more aware of my need to heed whatever call He has for me. All else is dung compared to His riches. Blessings as you continue to follow Him.

  3. That picture of you in the tree is the cutest. Goodness! <3 And I'm so thankful you are okay … and your baby so long ago. I love this–"Flesh-and-blood living isn’t a board game we can toss back into a box and start all over again." Amen. Beth Moore calls them "God stops" … when you get so close … but … <3

    1. I love you & Beth Moore, dear Shelli. <3 Over the years, I've played a lot of board games; I would console myself with "It's just a game," when I was losing (I'm competitive). This consolation doesn't apply to the game of life. "God stops" are good pit stops for the soul.

  4. Like you Wendy, I discovered that I actually believed what I claimed to believe. We should rightfully fear pain, injury, and disfigurement, but because of Christ we don’t have to fear eternity. Beautiful photos! Stay safe!!!

    1. Amen, Gene, that “because of Christ we don’t have to fear eternity.” I made a point of staying safe in traffic today. Our town isn’t too busy; I’d hate to drive in a big bustling city. 🙂

  5. Thank you for this inspiring message reminding us how precious this life is, and for the breathtaking photos and video!

  6. I was a depressed mess, before my doctor informed me that I had cancer. Suddenly I realized that I would not be crying my eyes out, if there wasn’t something about this life that made it worthwhile.
    It is ironic that I did not appreciate life until then. 5 years cancer free.

    1. Wanda, how wonderful you’re 5 years cancer free. <3 I'm amazed how powerful a motivator even a hint of a cancer diagnosis is at making people appreciate the life God has breathed into them. Just finding a lump, and having it investigated, made my thankfulness leap tall buildings. It turned out I didn't have cancer—not yet—anyways.

  7. Wendy, your post brought back a similar memory for me. Several years ago, while walking my dog, I was nearly hit by a car as well. A car approached me from behind and made a fast turn in front of me as I crossed a neighborhood street. It was so close that I could have touched the car’s hood if I had stretched out my hand. But something inside me triggered in that split second and I somehow made a huge leap – falling into the curb with my dog. God gave me a pinch that day, for sure. Those events stay with us and remind us we still have work to do! Thanks for this post to refresh our memories and inspiration! 🙂

    1. Wow, dear Jamie, that was way too close to ever forget–that’s for sure. I love how God can use anything for good in the lives of those who trust Him. It’s something I’ve been learning a lot about in the last few months. Blessings on your weekend, friend. <3

  8. Happy you are fine! I’ve had some close calls too… more than 1… and they always hang with me a while too. Yet thanking God. I am a bit torn between my family here and wanting to be in my Heavenly home. I think God understands. ❤️❤️ Hope you have a beautiful weekend!

    1. Heather, I think I know what you mean about being torn between here and Home. Although I’m excited about what’s yet to be here on earth concerning God’s plans for us, they pale in comparison to whatever He has in store for His people at the end of this story. <3

      1. Exactly, Wendy! 🙂 Thanks for requesting access to my site. It reminded me to take it off of “private” which I did the last year while we were going through so very many hardships. I want to write again. 🙂

        1. Hardships soften the soul, creating tilled ground for poignant seeds of creativity to germinate in. I hope the hard times have abated for you. I enjoy leaving the valleys way more than living in them. <3 Keep writing, dear friend.

  9. My brush with death happened just over 3 months ago. A car collecting a bike will always have one outcome. The cyclist will be the biggest loser.

    Sitting on the side of the road with a broken back, in extreme pain and not knowing if I was going to live or die made me realise whatever happened next, I would take it as a second chance.

    It hasn’t been easy, but I struggled through not just the physical pain, but the mental agony I would suffer.

    My journey to recovery had started, but there is a long road ahead.

    I have taken this opportunity as a second chance to try and help others, but also to stop and smell the roses.

    1. I admire you for already taking this as an “opportunity…to help others.” Hope is the heart of any sort of recovery. By encouraging others to have hope, you are multiplying your own too. Blessings as you bless others. Nice to meet you. 🙂 I think you might enjoy reading Bill’s blog about hope. He’s one of my favorite bloggers. Here’s the link to his site: https://unshakablehope.wordpress.com/

  10. Hi Wendy, nice reminder you got here.
    I am making a blog article relating to near death experience as well. And while gathering up inputs I bumped unto your site. This is encouraging. Thank you 🙂

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