Gift of Life

by Grace 31. December 2018 19:26

I pulled on my seatbelt and slowly began rolling out of the driveway. I was sad I was going to church by myself, but I understood, being that most everyone else wasn’t feeling well that morning. The radio was playing some contemporary Christian music. “I don’t really want to listen to this…” I thought. I unbuckled my seatbelt while still driving to reach into my pocket and grab my cellphone. I was about to turn onto the road and buckle up while I was still driving, but then I decided better safe than sorry and stopped at the edge of our driveway to strap in. As if anything would happen anyways I thought to myself.

I glanced at the clock as I pulled onto the road. 10:55. I’ll be late. Bother. I stepped on the gas a little. As the turn down the hill became tighter, I stepped on the brakes. And then I started fishtailing.

The car swerved wildly to the right, so I instinctively jerked the wheel left. The car then jerked in the other direction. My mind was racing. Should I be hitting the gas??? No, I remember I shouldn’t… Uh… Do I hit the brakes when I’m swerving or let off??? I DON’T REMEMBER!!!

I began jerking the wheel back to the right to avoid the steep ditch on the left, but the car wasn’t turning. And then I suddenly came to the terrifying realization: I’m going to go off that ditch. There’s no way I’m gonna get this thing turned in time.

The out-of-control vehicle hit the gravel on the left side of the road and ran madly into the ditch, but I didn’t actually start screaming until the thing actually began rolling over. I finally came to a stop – I had landed upright on the neighbor’s t-post fence facing up the hill I had been driving down.

I grew hysterical. “Daddy!” I screamed. “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!!!” I couldn’t find my phone and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get out of the car. And my left hand was becoming a red balloon.

For some reason I thought that when people grew hysterical, their brains stopped processing or whatever. But mine was racing. I didn’t want to open the doors because I wasn’t sure if it would break something more than it already was. I wasn’t worried about the car – I knew I had wrecked it. I just didn’t want to make my situation more dangerous. I knew that if I didn’t find my phone I’d have to wait for someone to drive by, which I knew could be an 1-2 hour wait being that we lived on a little country road and that people were at church.

I continued screaming and started crying as I continued looking for my phone. Somewhere between 5-10 minutes I finally found it and immediately called Dad.

Within 2 minutes he and my sister came down in his truck with my two older brother’s following in Daniel’s truck. They pulled me out and got me home quickly where I sat on Mom’s bed with ice.

To make an already long story somewhat shorter, I’m still at home and only appear to have minor injuries. They were able to get the neighbor’s yard all cleaned up and put back together. Apparently you can barely tell anything happened. I haven’t been there yet – this was yesterday morning and I’m still taking it easy.

I totaled the car though. They brought it back up to our place, and when I saw it, my stomach churned.

I realized just how happy I was to be alive.

And I began to wonder, was I ready to die? Yes, Jesus is my Savior, and I know where I’m going when I die, but am I spending the little bit of time I have down here to the fullest? Because we never know how long we have left. I’ve been thanking God so much – He was so good to spare my life. The new year may have come, and my siblings might not have had their big/little sister anymore. My parent’s might not have had their daughter anymore.

So many things could have gone wrong. I had taken my seatbelt off. If I had waited any longer to put it back on… I don’t like to think of what could have happened. And I rolled that thing over. I’m so glad it landed upright. And if I had swerved left first instead of right, I would’ve rolled down a hill covered with trees and with a pond at the bottom instead of in a ditch. (When you lie awake unable to sleep at night, you have plenty of time to think of all of the things that could’ve gone wrong!)

I emerged alive and so far with only minor injuries, and I’ve still been able to be up and about. God was so good, and I’m so thankful for the prayers of all of my friends who I scared so badly when I told them. Friends, as you go into the New Year - 2019 - don't take life for granted. Take every moment captive. You never know what day may be your last. And also don't take prayer for granted. I am so amazed every time I see that car that I actually walked out of it by myself.

And hey, I’m leaving the year with a bang! That’s to be sure. Gotta leave my mark on 2018 before I leave it behind. ;)

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Remembering Hope

by Grace 24. December 2018 20:19

                I once (actually fairly recently) had someone tell me, “I don’t believe in hope.” Those are some of the saddest words I’ve ever heard. My response was, “I believe in hope, but I believe there’s only one source.”

                I think that a lot of us who are saved take hope for granted. We were given hope, and we live with it every day, hear about it every day, see it before our eyes every day. We get used to hope.

                But if we take hope for granted, do we truly have it? When we take it for granted, we begin to look around and see the devastated world we live in. A world full of hurt, sin, messiness. We begin to wonder what the use of living is. We get caught up in our own struggles, misery and mistakes. We begin to define ourselves by what has happened in the past. We begin to lose sight of hope when we look at what the future seems to hold.

                I had a rough year. One of those things that every conservative Christian girl things would never happen to them happened to me. I tried to take control on my own, trying to make the mess I was creating magically fall into place. I made mistakes. Things spun out of control and I was left with the tattered pieces. I hurt people badly, and I felt heartbroken and scarred. The thing I had longed for and worked for more than probably anything else this year fell like a delicate glass frame on a rude, concrete floor and shattered into pieces. And those pieces cut me. I cried a lot, and spent a week in despair, barely eating.

                But then I remembered I had hope. Hope for healing. Hope that my mistakes did not define me. Hope that healing could be rendered to those I had hurt. Hope that the meaning in my life that I had forgotten could be restored.

                Christians, have you ever stopped at all to think about how those without Jesus feel? How they truly don’t have hope? Think about it. What do they have to live for? How meaningless do you think life is for them? Don’t take hope for granted. Cherish it with everything you have in you. It’s one of the most precious gifts God gave you.

                And to my dear friend who doesn’t believe in hope (though I don’t figure you’re reading this), and to any other unbelievers who may stumble across this post, like I said earlier, hope comes from only one source. But there is an abundance of it, and if you truly seek it, you will easily find it. Hope came in the form of God humbling himself to come in the form of a baby, born amongst animals and laid in a manger, and was made abundant and free to all who believe when that baby died on a cross for the sins of man.

                Yes, my friend, I understand: this world is a disaster right now. Sin runs rampant. Hurt abounds. But we have hope because, where sin did abound, grace did much more abound. We have hope because God, if we humble ourselves as he humbled himself, and submit to his will, will free us from the chains of our sin. If we only give our hearts to Him (which, being that He is our Creator, belong to Him anyways) we can have hope that although we turmoil in sin down here, and live a life of struggling against evil and hurt and pain, one day it will all be over, and we’ll live in peace forever on that beautiful shore.

                Merry Christmas to you all, and a happy New Year, and may we all enter this new era of our lives with renewed hope and invigorated faith.

 

This is a song I wrote shortly after having the aforementioned conversation and several similar ones with my unsaved friend. In the devastating times we live in now, it's important to remember that even in there's mess, we have hope, God still loves us, and through His strength our faith can remain strong.

 

There is Love

Verse 1: You say you don’t believe in goodness, you say you don’t believe in love.

You’ve lost your sense of purpose and your faith in God above

You don’t trust anybody, and you’re hurting from your past

And you invest your life in things you know aren’t really gonna last

 

Chorus: But I tell you there’s a God that really cares

And He has a purpose for each single life

I tell you there is goodness everywhere

Despite the sin and strife

And I tell you there is hope for where you are

And with faith that you can step on every star

And emanating from God’s throne above

I tell you there’s love

 

Verse 2: I know you feel you’ve been forsaken and that your life has always seemed so wrong,

But God has authored all your circumstances and He’s been with you all along

He’s waiting for you now with arms of love and care

He wants to help you on this journey and all your burdens share

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