Courtesy Photo / The Bison
Everything made a lot more sense after the car crash.
I, like most other kids, had worked hard to earn my well-standing reputation, and I made it look like I had it all figured out.
News flash: I didn’t.
Growing up, I was a church boy. By that I mean I was at church with my mom for work more often than I was at home.
At age nine, I could have calmly retold thirty Bible stories even if my life depended on it.
But as I got into high school, I began to value my relationship with God less and my relationship with happiness more.
I was certifiably crazy my sophomore year— girl crazy that is.
I got a girlfriend (finally!) and felt like I was on the top of the world.
Our dating experience wasn’t anything abnormal, except for the fact that I couldn’t drive.
Mom and Dad had to chauffer every date night and trip to her house; talk about a romance buzz kill.
Nevertheless, I pressed through the awkward Mom drama and added the relationship merit badge to my budding collection.
It was fine at first, really it was.
We hung out, watched movies and ate a lot of Sonic; it was, after all, within walking distance of my house.
Here’s the problem: I didn’t know what the heck I was doing.
Of course, I knew what I was doing on a daily basis: waking up, going to school and shooting airballs in varsity games; I peaked far too soon in my young athletic career.
What I mean is that all my actions had no purpose behind them; I was living the dream like a kid in a candy store, but, much like a college student, I couldn’t afford anything.
It felt like I couldn’t do anything right.
My girlfriend was constantly sad, mad or somewhere in between, and the only thing that could make her smile was me.
So, to try and fix that problem I began spend- ing less time with family and friends, choosing to sacrifice everything else I loved for her.
The worst part is I was totally oblivious to what was going on.
I thought things were completely fine between my best friend and I, but we hadn’t hung out in over two months.
Similarly, I wasn’t paying attention in church, and hadn’t opened my Bible in what seemed like eons.
I was further away from the Lord than ever, but sadly, I didn’t even recognize how friendly I had become with the darkness.
My mother and I fought every other day; I didn’t have the ears to hear anything she had to say.
You know that cheesy saying, “God works in mysterious ways?” Well, God hit me hard, quite literally, on October 27th, 2017.
My girlfriend’s family was driving us to a Halloween party, a costumed event that was sure to be the party of the century; Presbyterian private schools throw massive raves if you didn’t know.
As we pulled out of the gas station, we paused in the turn lane to make a U-turn.
The first thing I heard was the screeching, it felt like it lasted forever.
The next thing I knew, I blacked out and came to, realized I was in the air and my whole body jolted as the car landed upside down.
My whole life had changed in just 10 short seconds.
I now found myself hanging in the air by my seatbelt (thank God I was wearing it).
Everything else seemed to suddenly fade away as my survival instincts kicked in.
After crawling out of the wreckage, I immediately called my parents to come pick me up.
Then, I rushed to my girlfriend and her family, fearing the worst.
Amazingly, no one involved in the accident had been hurt.
To this day I believe that was a miracle.
The car was destroyed, obviously; getting hit from behind at 70 mph and landing upside down will definitely total a car.
My girlfriend and her family rode in an ambulance to the ER while I stayed behind and wait- ed for my parents to arrive.
I’ll never forget that moment.
I stood there, staring at the wreckage I had been in not 10 minutes prior.
I had one thought running through my mind the whole time: why am I alive?
I had done nothing over the past year to deserve a second chance; my life was more in shambles than the car.
Yet, God reached down in that moment and gave me the wake- up call I needed.
He reminded me of His goodness and motivated me to get my life turned around.
It took me a few months, but I did just that.
I ended up breaking up with my girlfriend which was pretty brutal; she said I’d never find anyone better than her, a bold statement if you ask me.
I got more involved with my church and pre- pared for college in the most important way I could, spending time in the Word and maturing.
I’m not perfect, but I’ll always remember that day as the day that God intervened in my life and gave mercy to a kid who didn’t deserve it.
I don’t recommend getting in car wrecks, but they may just change your life.
In fact, many times stressful situations or challenges can serve to remind you what is important and what you are neglecting in your life.
You just have to be willing to listen to the lesson.