Last week I spoke at a “Fields of Faith” event.
I have been attending a club at my school for Christians and a man came a spoke at the club about speaking for this event. I was not planning on volunteering but after he finished talking, and it was time to go to class, I found my feet walk up to him and my mouth tell him that I would like to speak. My only theory to how this happened is Jesus.
This was so big for me, six months ago I couldn’t even tell my story to a friend. Today I can tell it to a crowd. Here is the video of what I said. Unfortunately, the camera being used died and so it’s missing half of what I said. Below I have posted everything that I said :).
“It was so stupid. I stopped at a stop sign. I didn’t look. I just crossed. I t-boned a woman who had all four of her kids in the car and I hit the side where her two year old sat. I remember standing there in tears as this woman screamed at me accusing me of almost killing her child. Like I had done it on purpose.
I kept it all inside and I struggled with God over it. That’s when the court letter came. Failure to yield. It came with a case number. I was a case number. I asked God over and over again why. There was no answer.
Every time I got in a car I was extremely anxious. What if I hit another car? What if someone actually died in the next one? What if hitting someone was unavoidable?
I learned about car accidents. I researched what to do in the event that I found myself about to be in a car accident and how I could avoid it.
Finally, I decided I knew enough. I could be invincible once again. I was smart, I could avoid being in another car accident. Never be screamed at again by an angry mother. Never have the feeling of almost taking a life.
That’s when God answered my prayer. In a freak accident, I was hit, two of my sisters in the car with me. A car pulled out in front of me. I slammed on my breaks and we were hit by the car behind us going 60 miles per hour down 1488. Cars completely surrounding me, I had no where to go. The girl, she didn’t have her foot on the break and when she hit me she slammed into the gas a second time, smashing into the back of my car once again.
I remember hearing my sister screaming in the back. A terrified blood curling scream. Shaking, I heard her dial the phone getting ahold of my Dad and just crying into the phone, nothing she said made sense. The overwhelming sense consumed me that, once again, I was not invincible and that I never was and for the first time I realized I never would be. The fear that came with that thought was so overwhelming. Everything felt so out of control. So out of place.
For almost six months, I struggled to drive. I struggled to hit the brake without screaming. I struggled to be in the car alone and when I was, I cried. I would stare in the rearview mirror. What if someone hit me again? What if I was hurt? I didn’t want to feel the shock of the hit run down my back again and I didn’t want to feel the terror.
I remember once in my neighborhood stopping at a stop sign and watching the car come up behind me and scream, only for it to stop safely behind me. My sister looked at me and said, “You need help.”
My mom said, “You have PTSD.” I looked it up. I had almost all the symptoms but denied it.
“PTSD is for people who are traumatized,” I said back.
People would tell me so many things. Give me quote on quote “advice” saying wise words like, “it’s in the past now, you have to move on” or “you have the worst luck” or “you just need to get over it”. But they didn’t understand.
In all of that there was one thing someone said that stuck out to me. They said, “You need to trust God,” And I realized that I didn’t know how. Finally, one day I was read this verse, Matthew 6:25-27, it said:
“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[a]?”
Something inside me woke up in those words. What was I doing? As a Christian I needed to be ruled by Jesus. Yet I was consumed with fear. I didn’t believe God had me in his hand and in turn I worried over the things that He wanted me to give to Him.
The verse talks about not worrying about the next thing in life that you need because God’s got it covered and taken care of. Was He surprised over either one of those car accidents? No. He knew exactly what he was allowing in my life. God isn’t stupid. He has a plan.
Did this verse completely change me? No. But it started my process of healing. It brought me to where I am today. I can admit it. I was traumatized. I was suffering from PTSD. But that’s okay. Because God is sovereign; in control. I don’t have to be filled with fear. Because if I’m consumed by God then there is room for nothing else.
I started praying. Every time I felt the fear coming back I would pray. I would say “if it’s not your will to keep me from being hit, then keep me consumed in you and not fear.”
I read that verse over and over to remind me of what I was fighting against. I am fighting against the fear. The anxiety. The terror. I am fighting to be consumed by God.
Every day is a new battle but, God brought me into the realization that it is a battle I need to fight. Jesus wants me to lay my fear, anxiety, and terror at his feet. And so I lay them at his feet and I continue to have to do that every day, by praying, opening up to people about the struggle going on in my life, and staying in his word. It’s not easy but it’s something that, through this verse, God has shown me that it is something He wants me to do. To give my fears to him.”