Today, I celebrate ten years since the tragic car accident that took my oldest sister’s life and changed mine forever. You may think my use of the word ‘celebrate’ is strange, considering it was a tragedy, but it was a much-needed wake-up call for this girl. This was not the only thing that happened that year, as some may recall.
Here’s a recap: I went into 2013 with a broken heart from leaving an abusive relationship; I fell and broke my right arm and underwent fifteen weeks of physical therapy; the accident happened one day after my last day of PT. I broke my left arm in multiple places, my back (more PT and surgeries), and my sister died 11 days after the crash. We lost Mom at the end of that year to cancer and Dad six days later, bringing my year full circle. You may also recall that we lost our oldest brother just two years before, only one day after Mom’s cancer diagnosis.
I don’t wish my year on anyone, but God used it to bring me to Himself, and true to His character, has brought good out of it a hundred-fold. I often think about other tragedies I hear about in the news and wonder how many lives God changed through them. We only hear the bad portions, but God can use them for good like He did mine. I am amazed at the changes in myself since He rescued me from my old life. I have said it before, and I will repeat it – I am in awe of my heavenly Father every day. God gave me a new perspective on everything that day. I realized I was not in control; God spared my life for a reason, and I knew I better start paying attention.
I see it as a rescue, and I thank God for that almost every day. The first time I heard Lauren Daigle’s song, “Rescue” I sobbed. The lyrics resonate entirely with me, and I still cry every time I listen to them because I know what Christ Jesus rescued me from.
God continues using my past abuse to help me relate to other women through the ministry He gifted me. I am not only learning and growing through my classes at Liberty University but have experienced much healing since I began this journey.
Looking back at how 2013 happened, without June 2nd, I wouldn’t have September 15th, which will also mark my tenth anniversary of being baptized and set free from bondage. You see, I finally released control only after the accident and asked God what He wanted for the first time—the weight I was carrying lifted immediately and transferred to His capable hands. This is why I can call it a celebration.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand” (Is. 41:10, New Living Translation, emphasis added).