Let’s go back to July 22, 2010. It was my first day back to work after being out for almost three months. I had just recovered from major surgery on my left shoulder and was released by my surgeon to resume normal activities. I was driving into work that sunny afternoon when I noticed a car on the other side of the road crossing the line into my lane. I started to slow down and try to veer off to avoid the oncoming car, but instead, the car hit my driver’s side at such a high impact that my car flipped 3 times.
I was upside down in my car, crying for help while watching the blood stream down my left arm. I reached for my cell phone and called my dad. By the time he answered, a man who witnessed the wreck had made it to my car. The man had already called the police and was able to tell my dad what happened.
The paramedics had a difficult time getting me out due to the position and damage of my car. They were finally able to get me out and rushed me to the ER.
I’ll spare you the details, but I had broken ribs and fingers, several cuts, and a major injury to my left elbow. The bone was shattered and my ulnar nerve was severed. They did surgery to try to repair what they could. Due to the injury of the ulnar nerve, I was told I would no longer be able to feel the left part of my forearm, nor would I have feeling in my pinky and ring fingers. This would also result in not having full use of those fingers. Did I mention I’m left-handed?
Here I was, getting back on my feet from the shoulder surgery, starting back to work, and finishing out my last year of college in the fall. Then *bam* it all changes. I was back in bed for another 6 weeks to recover from the new injuries.
I battled depression. I cried…a lot. I didn’t sleep much because of the pain. I asked God why He allowed this to happen more times than I can count. There were so many unknowns for the future at this point and I simply didn’t know how I was going to move forward.
It was an extremely long and difficult recovery. I was angry all the time, I was hurting, and I was tired of depending on everyone else to take care of me. Ask anyone who helped me… I was not pleasant to be around. I had all of these plans for my future and now they were ruined.
But, I continued to pray. I wanted God to heal my broken spirit. I didn’t want to be angry and bitter.
I read Jeremiah 29:11-13 over and over again. It says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
I clung to those words. I began to see all the little things the Lord was doing that I overlooked in all my anger. That cell phone I called my dad when the wreck happened? I had zipped it up in my purse before I left the house. How it ended up within my reach, I don’t know. My left shoulder from surgery did not sustain any damage at all from the wreck. The legal settlement with the insurance companies was finalized. I was about to reach out to the elderly woman who hit me. We exchanged a couple of letters while we both were recovering from injuries. I even graduated college earlier than expected!
God knew I needed that wake-up call. That I needed to stop trying to control every aspect of my life. I now have a permanent reminder that His plans are far better than mine. He is faithful. He has provided (and continues to) in ways I could have never imagined.
Ladies, we will never know the full scope of God’s plans for our lives. But know that we CAN trust Him. He will provide in every circumstance, even if it isn’t the way we envisioned it.
One of my favorite passages is in Matthew. It’s a familiar one, but it brings me to tears every single time. Matthew 6:25-34 says,
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
The Creator of the universe cares for you, for me, for us. Hold onto this.