#17. It stared me in the face every time I looked at my list of goals for the 2010 year
"What does that even mean? How will I know that I've actually achieved this?" I would constantly ask myself. At this point, you might be asking what I needed to heal from or over (or any other preposition that fits...).
Less than a year into marriage, Friday, June 13th, 2008, I was on my way to meet a friend for coffee and Des Moines was inundated with flood water. Driving across a bridge, I perused the rising water levels of the river below for two seconds and looked back to the road in front of me. "That car wasn't there before! Why aren't her brake lights on?! She's coming so close to me so fast!?! I'm actually not going to be able to stop this time!!!?
Am I ever going to be the same!?"
All these thoughts and more went through my head in the few split seconds before impact. The air bag exploded, knocking the air out of my chest, the smell of its smoke clogging my nose as I went for the gear shift. It felt flimsy in my hand and I didn't understand, then, that the gear's cord had snapped on impact. I couldn't maneuver my car to get out of other people's way.
As my emergency blinkers started, two angels protected me. They both pulled over immediately-one was a nurse, the other a former paramedic. God is good. He is here.
I said outloud, which probably made them both think I was about to lose consciousness. The nurse kept my neck from moving, the paramedic checked for internal bleeding because I was having a hard time breathing. It's one time where I let a perfect stranger lift my shirt to look at my stomach-in that moment, I really didn't care. They asked where it hurt, if I had been on the phone (clearly I hadn't been, my cell phone was on the floor along with the other contents of my purse). Nurse called Gerard while Paramedic checked on the driver I had hit. She was fine and out of her car. Apparently, I was really close to stopping before impact. 25 more feet and I would've had enough room to make a complete stop. Just 25 more feet.
I heard the sirens. Oh God, please! This is going to cost us so much money! I don't need an ambulance.
I felt the neck brace come around me, the rough board wheedle its way under me, 1-2-3, they got me on the gurney and strapped me in SO. TIGHT. Then, it was really difficult to breathe. My ribs, Lord! My back and chest! God, they hurt so much!
I felt the neck brace get some extra strapping down and they covered me up to my chin with a white sheet. Geez, Lord, I'm not dead.
Gerard arrived and could see just the center of my face, I was so covered with apparati. "I'm so sorry, Gerard. This is going to cost us so much! I'm so sorry!" All he could say was, "It's ok. You're going to be just fine. It's ALL ok."
**Fast forward 18 months**
Feeling accomplished, I had finally finished physical therapy for my back and I no longer needed two appointments a week with my chiropractor. I was NORMAL aside from the back exercises I would continue to gain just 25% more mobility on my right side. Left side was at 100%. Life was good. God had been so good despite all my discouraging days and downtrodden attitudes.
Ironically, on the way to that same coffee friend's rehearsal dinner, Gerard and I were rear-ended on a rainy night. Lord! Not again! What are you doing?!
My back was immediately on fire and tingling again. In the days to come, I would become the World's Worst Passenger Seat Driver to Gerard. Gasping at brake lights, yellow lights, blinking lights, cars that came too close (in my opinion). It was torture. The panic attacks started shortly after that, finally getting my attention when I almost fainted at work. Lord, what do you want me to learn THIS time? What have I missed?
To make a long(er) story short(er), there have been many humbling, frustrating, fearful, painful, tearful, grateful moments since October 21, 2009. It took a husband, a therapist, a chiropractor, a lawyer, an insurance agent, a general practitioner and most of all, God
, to help me on my way to healing-and He healed more than just my back. God peeled away layers and showed me deep wounds and insecurities that needed to be addressed. I don't know that those insecurities will ever fully go away, but I can certainly recognize them and combat them with God's Word as my strongest weapon of choice. It amazes me that He would use car accidents as His tool of choice to get my attention with issues totally unrelated to the actual incidents.
All this to say, I've become a huge proponent of getting my hands on any book that addresses Insecurity, or the promises of God that we can cling to when we feel insecure. The past year, I've read through the Bible on a hunt for verses specifically mentioning who I am (who we all are, really) in Christ, what being "in Christ" even means, and those promises of His unconditional love, faithfulness, protection and provision (among others).
Verses like Job 23:10-12 "But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed His steps; I have kept to His way without turning aside. I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread."
Besides doing your own hunt through God's Word--
'So Long Insecurity-You've Been a Bad Friend to Us' by Beth Moore. Beth's story telling capabilities bring common insecurities that we feel to new light and I can hear her southern drawl getting to the heart of matters. They've just released a Bible study in correlation to this book and I can't wait to get my hands on it.
Scottish born Sheila Walsh brings her theological degree and knowledge of Greek to the table when she describes several New Testament stories to show God's relationship to us. Who we are to God. She's given me new information about the culture of Jesus' time and shown His miracles and actions in a new light by doing so. God is a God we can depend upon to protect, provide, guide and most of all LOVE us, no matter what insecurities we may have of our own worthiness. It's called GRACE. And when the stormy winds blow, we can stake our security in Him.
God is so good. God is HERE.
Jehovah-rophe has brought Healing. And to answer the last question I had on impact, I am never going to be the same, but God has brought it about FOR GOOD. (Romans 8:28)
Check #17 off my list.
**I do not benefit from the sale of these books in any way by making these recommendations.