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Rescued by God

The mercy of having a traffic ticket dismissed.

Last year, just a couple days before Thanksgiving, I was in an accident. 
And it was my fault.
Luckily, it was a tiny fender-bender, not a huge injury-laden fiasco with totaled vehicles. I had to replace my rear bumper because it was plastic and they couldn't just pop out the dent. (And because it was my fault, I had to pay the full deductible. Which sucked.)
Basically, what happened was that I had just pulled out of a friend's driveway and wanted to go the other direction. It was a divided road, so I had to get all the way over to the left to pull a U-turn. When I started this maneuver, oncoming traffic was stopped at a light, but by the time I tried to complete the move with the left into the U-turn, traffic had caught up with me. I tried to make the left, but there wasn't enough room and the woman behind me clipped my bumper. 
Her headlight was broken out, and the left corner of my rear bumper had a dent the size of a large grapefruit.  
To make the whole thing just a bit worse, a cop saw the whole thing. I don't even know where he was, I didn't see him at all until after the accident.
He had to write me a ticket. I don't blame him at all. It was a dumb move on my part. I just underestimated the amount of space I had to make the turn. Luckily, he was a really nice guy and only gave me one citation.
Fast forward to January and I decided I had to contest the ticket. Not because I didn't think I deserved a ticket, I know I did, but simply because I couldn't afford to pay for it. So I went to the arraignment and pled "Not Guilty." I then had to make another appointment for the actual trial, which was this afternoon.
I showed up to the courthouse almost an hour early because this whole experience has me paranoid. I don't want to give the police any reason to think anything about me at all. I trust them, I just don't want to get on the wrong side of them, ya know?
If you've ever contested a ticket like this before, you know how it works. Basically, the cop's testimony is the only evidence against you, and because they're cops, the judge will take their word over yours. But if the cop doesn't come, there is no evidence, and therefore the whole case is dismissed.  Knowing that my entire case rested on that police officer NOT showing up, I have been praying rather fervently for that for the last 2 weeks or so.
Last night I even had a pretty epic dream about how my traffic ticket turned into a huge OJ Simpson-style trial. (Complete with gloves.)
I can't even figure out how to describe what I was feeling today. It was rough. The whole day had been pretty stressful (starting with a phone call about my website), so I was more than a little emotional.
When the judge came in, he read off the names of people whose cases had been dismissed due to the police officer not showing up. My name wasn't there. I started to get more than a little nervous because I REALLY don't have the $600 this ticket was going to cost me, plus the hike in insurance rates. 
I started praying more. I was praying that somehow the judge would take mercy on me and dismiss my case entirely. I prayed to be surrendered to the $600 I would be losing, and trying to trust God that he would help me make up that money somewhere, somehow. Mostly, I was just praying to trust God. Trust and Obey (that's what my church is focusing on this year).
I decided to change my plea once I got up there and throw my broke self on the mercy of the court. Confess and let them know I was broke and needed traffic school and community service, and every kind of break I could get.
I was talking to a guy named John for a chunk of the time. He had gotten a ticket for crossing against the pedestrian light, and he was right before me. While he was up there, the bailiff called some people to the back of the room and I'm fairly sure they got sent to another courtroom, but the cops that were part of those cases left too.
When the judge called my name, there was no cop. The judge asked where he was, and the bailiff answered that no one had said anything about going to the bathroom or anything like that. The judge told me that I got lucky and my case was DISMISSED!!!!!
I am honestly so relieved and joyful. God is SOOOO good!!!
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