May 29th, 2009 at 5:57am, my life changed as I knew it. I was driving from Norfolk, Virginia to Tampa, Florida on leave to take a Caribbean cruise with a friend of mine after having returned from Bahrain recently. My eyes were heavy, the exit didn’t have any hotels, so I got my iPod out to put an upbeat playlist on. In the time it took me to put the iPod down in the cup holder and look at the clock (5:57am), I had drifted into the emergency lane and looked up in time to see the back of an 18-wheeler, yank the steering wheel to the left, and slam on the breaks.
I won’t get too much into the details. Those are in the memoir I am writing. 😉 I will say that the past 6 years have been filled with ups and downs. I’ve had 11 surgeries, spent about a year and a half total non weight bearing after operations, and had to develop a new “normal” in regards to my mobility. In fact, I am still unable to walk unassisted since my total ankle fusion in January.
But the joy of the Lord is my strength.
I have learned to be ever so dependent on Him and Him alone through this journey. I have learned things about Him and myself that I would have never known otherwise. There is beauty in the breaking, and new life in the resurrection of what was once dead. I have been blessed to be humbled, recognizing that I do NOTHING by my own strength.
To God alone be the glory.
May 29th also happens to be the 3 year anniversary of when I went through deliverance with Above & Beyond Counseling Ministries. I received freedom from my past, from things that have kept me in bondage for so long and hindered me from receiving breakthrough in different areas of my life. Since graduating Deliverance Training Boot Camp last month, I have the privilege of assisting A&B with their Released to Soar Deliverance Seminar that began last night and ends tomorrow. The timing is impeccable. It’s the week of Pentecost. Today also marks 1 year since A&B was featured on the Lisa Ling show “Our America: Fighting Satan.” I don’t believe in coincidences.
He is faithful. You may look at what I have been through and am still going through and wonder how I can claim that. The answer is simple: I AM ALIVE. I was told by two head orthopedic surgeons that it is the worst they have seen, and I would never walk again. I AM WALKING (though not unassisted at this time). I have not had to pay the hundred’s of thousand’s of dollars in hospital bills from surgeries and therapies, nor had to pay for the medical equipment I’ve needed: braces, crutches, walkers, shower chairs, canes, bone growth simulator’s, boots (I actually just had to pay $50 for the last one since I used Tricare, but that’s nothing), etc. I have been able to minister to so many others due to my handicap and pray for and encourage them. It’s a conversation starter. For that I am thankful. I have also been off of ALL medications for over 2 months, after being told I would need to be on them for life. The best part is, I know that no matter what happens, God is in control. If they end up needing to amputate, it’s not the end all. He sustains me.
It all comes down to perspective. How are you looking at your current situation? Initially I was angry with God for allowing my accident to happen. I focused on all that I wouldn’t be able to do. I was in despair. But I was quickly reminded of all that I could STILL do, even if confined to a wheelchair for the rest of my life. Suddenly my despair turned to hope, and complaining turned to praise. “Thank you God that I am alive!” It was then that my healing began, and I got word that there was blood flow to my talus, and I would be able to begin weight bearing. This was after 5 months or so of being told I would never walk again! Thanksgiving ALWAYS proceeds the miracle. Hallelujah!
Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to be reminded of whose you are. God is a God of love. All sickness, disease, and tragedy come from the pit of Hell, but sometimes God allows things to happen to us for a reason that may take us a lifetime to understand. We do have a free will. We do suffer consequences for our actions. I drove under a semi. It’s NOT God’s fault. But He has touched me through this. He has changed me through this. And I will praise Him all the more while still believing for my creative miracle. For each thing that I can no longer do, there are about 50 (or more) that I CAN! We serve an awesome God who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think—according to the power that works in you (Ephesians 3:20).