I almost died. And in many ways, I did.
Truth is — this is the first time I have actually sat down to write about this particular incident. It’s a little known fact that many don’t even know took place. In fact, only a small selection of family and friends know what really happened to me while riding ATVs on a trip to Los Cabos, Mexico in August 2015.
From the pictures, the average person would have assumed the trip was flawless and full of action-packed fun (and yes, most of it was). I didn’t want to make the accident a big deal because “I was alright.” Physically “I was alright…” I only ended up with a few scrapes, bruises, and a dislocated thumb, thank you God; but truth is that mentally, emotionally and spiritually, the entire situation took a toll on me. No one was around me when it happened. I was very much so alone (physically) before, during, and the few moments after until everyone realized what had actually taken place. In fact, no one saw my ATV flip and land on top of me wedged in between two very large mountainside rocks. If it was not for the helmet and the shape of the rocks allowing my body to perfectly fit into a small valley avoiding direct impact of the ATV, I could have very well died or been seriously injured. You see? “I was very much so alone physically and my body seemed to fit perfectly so that I was shielded from the impact.” That was God. No one saw my head hit the rock. It did not tap it. It did not graze it. It had full on direct impact with a very sharp edge of a protruding mountain rock. No head injury or broken neck? That was God. Before I realized what had happened, I just laid there on the ground in shock, but a still small voice told me to “get up.” So I did. I climbed out from the small, cool valley as the ATV hung upside down from above leaking gasoline.
One might say I was a little dramatic with my story, but just to clarify — me telling this story now is not to evoke pity or attention by any means. Trust me, I could have done that a looonng time ago. It’s to show that things happen in life that for lack of better terms, “knock some sense into us…” and it’s often how we react to those times in our lives that matters most. It’s really about what happened after the accident that I truly want to share with you.
From that very moment in my life, I viewed everything differently. From relationships, to my job, to my everyday decisions; everything shifted. Over the last year, I have totally let go of the reigns and trusted in the Lord to guide my footsteps completely. I no longer wanted control. I couldn’t control the ATV that day, so I didn’t want to try and control who liked or loved me or let alone how I was going to pay my bills. I wanted to be free of all worry, angst and concern for what may lay ahead. I decided to live, and live by faith. And where did that land me you may be wondering?
I realized I had been spreading myself so thin trying to figure out what my next steps were, instead of enjoying the life that was right in front of my own eyes. I had still been trying to be what others wanted, say what others wanted me to say, and living a life that I believed others would like me to live. In many ways, I was the one holding myself back.
Life and death situations always have a way of putting your life into perspective. To be honest, I can probably remember countless times I knowingly could have almost died or could have been critically injured throughout my life. I believe we all have a time in our lives where something happened and it could have gone terribly wrong, but it didn’t. See, we serve a faithful God; one who never leaves nor forsakes us (Deuteronomy 31.6).
If I could tell you how I have seen him work and open doors that I didn’t even realize were there for me, this blog would turn into a book. I am truly blessed. To see how much has unfolded in just the past year or so alone, I can testify that God truly does work for the good of those who love him…(Romans 8:28). It’s amazing how he will bless you exceedingly and abundantly beyond your every expectation – if you trust him to do just that.
He has guided my thoughts and footsteps, bringing the right people in my life, while at the same time he has taken many of the wrong away. He is so merciful that he has even made a way to bring back others that he knew needed to be in my life. I know he can do the same for you.
The fear of dying can almost be crippling, but instead let’s dwell in the joy of living. The fear that keeps you from making the right decision because everything does not seem like it’s lined up enough or wondering will it work out because things just seem “too complicated” can hold you back from living a life that is meant for you.
I don’t know what’s stopping you, but don’t make it have to be something so drastic that it knocks some sense into you before you decide to make some changes. Over and over again, he thought I was worth saving. Sometimes we get thrown into the air unexpectedly, but God still cushions our fall and tells us to “get up.” Yes, we may have a few scrapes and bruises to remind us of what happened, but in due time, they heal and go away. Remember that.
I almost died. And in many ways, I did. I had to keep my faith and let many things die (i.e. an extremely unhealthy relationship that I thought I was supposed to make work, the fear that I’d be stuck in a job that was not fulfilling, and so on.), so that I could start living. In what ways is it time for you to start living, too?