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Carol, 45, Newark, Delaware

She slammed her car into my husband's car. He suffered a brain injury, lost his job, our health insurance, our dream home, and his personality. He had to re-learn how to walk, how to make change for a dollar, how to use a cell phone.

At first, I was stuck in anger. Then I heard Oprah say "surrender." I surrendered to the situation, and realized that God had a plan for our family. I wrote the woman [who hit my husband] and told her what her actions had done to our family and that I had forgiven her. From that point, I was able to move on, to make the best of what we'd been dealt and to realize that even though the accident was a surprise to us, it was no surprise to God.

I started a company, Pike Creek Coffee, [through which] my husband began to regain his skills. The coffee bean is an analogy for our life. To make a good cup of coffee, a green bean has to be roasted at high temperatures, its outer layer removed and ground up [before] near-boiling water is poured over it. That's the hope I hang onto, believing that we will see that from the challenges of this accident, our family is better and stronger than before. And none of this would have been possible without forgiveness and surrender.
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