“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
(The next portion of this story is graphic, but continues to serve a beautiful purpose. So bear with the gore and grit of the next few paragraphs if you are easily sickened or squeamish…)
I don’t know how much time passed between the accident and the moment I regained consciousness, but when I awoke, everything was very dark and very quiet. The air was as still as a placid lake and my mind was fogged and burning. I couldn’t see, couldn’t hear, but I could feel. I woke myself up coughing. I could feel the seatbelt cutting into the skin on my neck and realized I was hanging upside down, dangling like a limp ragdoll. Blood was draining from my mouth and seeping into my nose, choking me and causing me to gag. And with each cough, more blood boiled up from my chest. Unable to breath, I squirmed and writhed, trying to relieve the pressure on my lungs. But I was pinned, strung from my seatbelt and unable to wrap my head around the balance of a world turned upside down.
Realizing that my writhing was only causing more pain, I stopped and hung stationary, limp. I could still only feel. So, I started at my toes and began moving each body part slowly and methodically. Toes. Knees. Fingers. Arms. One-by-one, I moved each limb. Making sure that I was all in one piece. Making sure nothing was broken beyond repair. But the energy it drew from me to think and to move, quickly faded into a foggy exhaust. I felt the heat of my boiling blood rising into my throat and, after taking a rasping breath, drifted out of consciousness again…
The next thing I remember, I awoke on the ceiling of my car. I still don’t know how I was able to squirm from my tangled seatbelt, but I found myself sprawled atop a field of debris and glass that had compiled inside the vehicle. Dazed and confused, I sat up and tried to gain sight. A tight stream of light broke through my left eye and I realized I could partially see. I couldn’t figure out why my sight was so limited. Couldn’t figure out why my right eye was so numb. So, I tried making a noise. Tried screaming for help. But in my attempt to spew words, I instead spewed hot blood. I vomited and felt my throat strain and tighten. I tried to draw a deep breath in, but couldn’t muster any power or steam from my lungs. I felt choked and muffled. Unable to utter an audible sound. Exhausted, I laid down and found my mind wandering into an unknown state…
You see, in my attempt to avoid hitting the deer, I had lost control of my car at 80 miles per hour. I had hit an embankment and flipped my vehicle 3 and a half times, narrowly avoiding a steel sign-pole and, instead, slamming into a tree mid-roll. The impact of the crash had ripped the front of my Jeep clean off and stripped the engine from the vehicle–leaving a mass of twisted steel and automotive debris, with my body trapped inside.
At that moment, I was completely vulnerable. Broken and raw and stripped of control. Fragile and accessible–at the mercy of the earth. I was completely alone. I was left trapped at 1:30 in the morning, no witnesses in sight, tangled amidst the stern tree trunks that lined the road.
And at that moment, that moment of complete vulnerability, that moment of raw and naked fear, I have never felt more at ease. I have never in my life felt more safe. I have never in my life felt more fearless, or comforted, or REAL. I felt something that I pray every single person has the opportunity to feel in their lifetime–I truly felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. I felt wrapped in the grace and the heart of our KING! I felt consumed by the Holy Spirit and completely assured of my purpose and my worth. I felt the arms of my daddy wrapped around me and the hands of God holding me. I felt GOD. I felt purpose. And I felt LIFE.
It was in that very moment, on that eerie November night, that I fully committed my life to Jesus Christ. Bloodied and beaten and bruised–I was beautiful in His eyes. Helpless and vulnerable and broken–I was comforted by His touch. I had escaped the grip of Satan and had grasped the warm hands of my King. I was never letting go. I was captivated…
(to be continued)