My smile comes from the moment I met Jesus in 2009 after surviving a near fatal car accident. Jesus showed me my time isn’t finished here yet, and now I live to tell and show His amazing love and grace ~
Found Strong: Our purpose, point, and whole
sha-bang: to share excitement about our Heavenly Father and glorify Him all of our days!
Read on to learn more about the story behind Found Strong…
Oh, where do we start? Beginnings are always a good place. But where was the beginning? It wasn’t at birth, one special Christmas blessing, or on my birthday…
No, it was here:
I was a wonderful daughter, a hard worker and good student, and a loyal and great friend – but would I have gone to meet Jesus this particular day? Even though I often said a little rhyming prayer at bedtime (mostly because I like to rhyme) and didn’t ever think or claim Jesus wasn’t ‘real’, I never had a relationship with Him, had maybe opened a Bible about as many times as I have fingers, and did not understand words like ‘repentance’.
Although I do not remember smashing into a telephone pole on July 30, 2009, I won’t ever forget waking up 3 months later and wanting to die.
Ah, so this is where it begins.
Opening my eyes to a hospital room and looking down at my emaciated body hooked up to numerous IVs, tubes, and an external fixation device was, well, how do I say it?
shocking? terrifying? totally confusing? worse than a nightmare and the saddest thing to ever wake up to?
How about: beyond words.
The night before, I fell asleep overly excited to wake up and go on senior year college spring break the next day.
But now it’s November. What?
I already graduated from college. How?
I am not 21 anymore, I’m 22 years old. Since when?
I also forgot how to speak. Not that it mattered with a tracheotomy wound and open hole in my neck. Sure, my skull was fractured and doctors kept looking at me saying ‘traumatic brain injury’, I still had enough sense to understand this was really bad. And I really didn’t want to be alive. That was my first prayer. My mental conversations with God all took place while staring at the ceiling tiles of that hospital room.
“Dear Lord, umm hmmm…God? , If you’re real – I am really sorry. I don’t know what I did wrong to make you so mad, but I don’t deserve this. I can’t feel my legs, I have no idea where I am, and everyone is always crying. I am not a bad person, but I keep failing all of these tests they’re making me do. I don’t want to be here anymore. I am so sorry, but please – let me go.”
He must have been tickled. It took me getting to this point to acknowledge Him. Wow.
I always was an ‘I can do it myself’ girl – and proud of it! But oh, how the tables have turned. I didn’t know when I was going to the bathroom and I even had to re-learn how to breathe. That doesn’t even make any sense.
Bit by bit, day by day I started to realize I wasn’t going to die. What a shame. But, being mad wasn’t helping either. It only made me do worse on all the tests and upset my parents. So, at that point, I guess I started to try. Since nobody understood all that I was trying to tell them , I began talking to God (keep in mind, with the brain injury I didn’t realize I wasn’t making any sense).
Calm down, He would say. Don’t get so mad at your feet. Your fingers, they will move again. Remember, the nurse will help you go to the bathroom – you just have to let her. And these pictures of you? Those memories may come back, but that’s not My first priority for you. I wiped the car accident from your memory ~ you’ll thank Me later :)
But Let’s focus on right now. Your determination, spirit, and ability – I gave them all to you. It’s time to put them all together and We will overcome! And slowly, oh so slowly but surely, I learned the virtue of patience through Him. Wiggling my toes for the first time. He was there. Re-learning how to go to the bathroom. Right there with me. Taking my first step, saying my first word, and eating my first bite of real food – He was smiling, shining, and His happiness could not be contained!
Fast forward >>> 7 years later: present day: I am a living, breathing, walking, eating, and smiling testimony of His immeasurable love and grace. With and through Found Strong, my goal and purpose is to share that. He transformed all of my initial pain and suffering into an amazing recovery and my desire is to inspire you to find Him in your heart wherever you are.
Found Strong is my avenue and opportunity to share my story and profound faith through unique short stories and inspiring shirts as well as give back to great organizations that help our community and world. Check out our Giving Back page to learn more about a few of the organizations that are close to my heart and find out how your purchases give back too!
Thank you for visiting ~
Get inspired, share His love,
and be Found Strong!