final judgment

I was literally shaking as I waited to enter the courtroom the other day. When I woke up that morning and realized this day had finally arrived, I felt the usual goosebumps on the back of my leg. One of my friends teased me, but it’s honestly the very real sign of nervousness for me. It’s when I know that I’m not just anxious for the heck of it. I’m downright freaking out. It always happened on test days and when I realized I was going into labor. Kidding. Kind of. 

The goosebumps and shaky hands may have also been a result of the fact that I truly didn’t know what would happen. Most often, you have a guess right? I mean, I’ve been in a courtroom before (I know, the horror!), but I’ve had a reasonably good sense of what was going to occur. I had a sense of the final judgment.

In this case, I just didn’t. The good news was that the judgment wasn’t going to be for or against me. I actually was just a witness. Well, I guess I was more than a witness. In this case, I was the victim. I hate that word and I’ll probably write a separate post about that someday, but for now, that was my role in this case.

You may recall I wrote about the moment of impact a while back. The judgment I was waiting to hear was a result of that. The details aren’t important, but it made me think about the final judgment and how scary it could be to stand there not knowing my fate.

I had the opportunity to write an impact statement for the judge. It was something I spent a lot of time on (and actually e-mailed because of my janky wrist!) but the last question proved incredibly difficult. It asked what ‘I’ felt should be the sentence in this case. I knew immediately that it just wasn’t up to me. Thankfully, I am not a judge but I am also not ‘the’ judge. My response netted out to essentially that. I reverted back to my thoughts that this happened for a reason. It happened for a reason for me as much as it did the other driver. And although I didn’t choose to get hit that day, I was there and became a part of the aftermath. Even still, I can’t judge the other driver. It’s not my place.

Ultimately, a final judgment came down and quite honestly, it wasn’t what I’d hoped. But as I’d said in my statement, my wish was that the other driver was given what was needed (as opposed to what some might have felt was deserved) … so all I can hope is that this is exactly what he will need.

I think about the day I’ll face a final judgment. I’m thankful that events like this one have occurred because my ability to give out grace and forgiveness has gotten so much higher. Crap happens! You know? I just know that as I go through these periods of uncertainty over what the outcome will be that my confidence in what’s to come at the end becomes even greater. For that final judgment, the one that actually matters, I hope to walk in with steady hands; without any goosebumps (aren’t goosebumps just totally weird?) but most importantly, with the knowledge that I’ll have no fear or uncertainty in what that judgment will be.

letters to the editor

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