Trying to bring God into this new era, is not easy, for Jesus Christ prayed to His heavenly Father this prayer for believers regarding this:
I am not asking You to take them out of the world but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Make them ready for Your service through Your truth. For their sake, I am making Myself ready to serve so that they can be ready for their service of the truth. I pray for these followers, but I also pray for all those who believe in Me because of their teaching. (John 17:18-20 NCV)
I never expected God to use me in the way He did. Yet my prayer ever since I was an early teen was for God to use me in the way that would most benefit His kingdom. And it was on a cloudy but not raining autumn day, right after school that I received His calling on my life. But calling to what? In my stupidity, I thought God was calling me to be a youth pastor because God wouldn’t call me to be something that I would find too difficult. Would He? Besides, I was having to much fun in the youth group; why not make a career out of leading the youth?
It wasn’t too long until I made up in my own mind that I was going to stay being a youth pastor no matter what opportunities came my way. See, just about all Senior or Lead Pastors had their turn at being a Children’s or Youth Pastor. But I wanted to be different, something that you will take notice of. So I didn’t want to waste any time, so I told my youth pastor. I remember my actions around the church being watched, not only by my youth pastor but also by the Associate and the Senior Pastor. I did not care since I was doing what God wanted me to do, and I began to enroll myself in youth preaching competitions-during youth retreats, regionals and summer camps. The important people in the Northeast Assemblies of God began to take notice. I even won at a summer camp that hosted over 300 teens as I knew how God hates pridefulness, so I directed all of the glory to Him. But at the same time, I used it as confirmation of my calling.
A few years had passed, and I was all ready to go to college. The only thing for me to do was graduate from high school; however, about 2 weeks before my graduation, I had a dream. In this dream, I experienced similar things I did in my one-month coma, for I did not know that nearly 5 weeks from that dream, I would experience a near-fatal car accident that I was near death for the first 3 days in the intensive care unit in the hospital.
You might be wondering why I chose the picture of a 1985 Dodge Charger Shelby Turbo for my cover of this blog? The reason I chose the photo of a 1985 Dodge Charger Shelby Turbo was that was the car that I got into the nearly fatalistic accident with. It had been 4 weeks since I bought it used. I was flying high. Picture this if you can- a new (used) 1985 Dodge Charger Shelby Turbo (although the colors were reversed on the outside since silver was the main color with the turbo in black) purchased just days before my graduation from high school, my high school graduation, parties to celebrate graduation, my best friend’s graduation and party at his house, plus working all sorts of crazy hours to support my car and other things. I was confident beyond belief that God would take care of everything. My college I didn’t have to worry about that either, for I knew if it was God’s plan for my life I didn’t have anything to worry about. Everything in my life was pointing to satisfaction with God, for I wanted for Him to be satisfied with my life that I tried to live for Him.
Yet, on the early morning of June 28, 1989, I apparently swerved off the highway since I was too tired coming home from a full-time job. However, that didn’t cause my crash; my over-correction, although, did send me into a ledge made out of granite rock. As I said before, 3 days of not knowing whether I was going to make it or not in the ICU unit, 30 days in the ICU in a coma, 3 weeks in the ICU Step Down Unit before I got transferred via ambulance ride to Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital as I was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Countless pieces of broken glass filled my bloody, left front skull that was shattered beyond belief. As the left portion of the brain controls the right side as I was paralyzed on my right side throughout my stay where I received life-sustaining treatment in the ICU Units to keep my physical body alive. Then, I remember being transferred from the Elliot Hospital to the rehabilitation hospital that specialized in brain injuries.
There were several moments where the doctors could have given up on me, and almost did. However, through the persistence of my mother (yes, that is what I call her out of respect) God used her to make possible my tremendous recovery.
So, I have a supernatural experience that I can point to, saying:
“… With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26 ESV)
I really hope that you do not have to go through pain in order to experience God, but even in the pain of this physical life, you can find God more clearly if you take the time and not wallow in your own self-pity.