I started reading this book Hinds’ Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard. It’s a fictional story of someone being lead from fear to a new transformation of self. She is on a journey to the mountains that is the high places. It was so interesting how on this journey she is shown a very difficult path that was to lead her where she wanted to go. It’s a direct parallel to my own life. I feel like a lot has happened in the last two months that have seemed to be terrible, but I am learning, just as this main character, how to submit my heart, will and even fear on an altar. To have the strength to go through the difficult path to my own high places. There was a scene in the book when the main character was so excited to finally see the high places in the distance after being in a desert for so long and ridiculed by bitterness, self pity and resentment. Just as she saw the light at the end of the tunnel, the path took a turn away from her goal in order to build her into a new being. Just as she felt, I too get really excited after thinking I am so close to my goal, then seeing I have another trial to go through brings me to my knees.
On Wednesday October 12, 2016 I was told that my grandmother was dying. She is the person I feel closest to on this earth, she always sees the good in me and I love her deeply. My heart sank while getting ready for class that morning and I cried against the wall in the women’s bathroom trying to hide my face from my classmates. I tried going to class, but I had to leave. I cried majority of the day. The next day I went to say my goodbyes in North Carolina where she and my extended family are. I stayed with her in the hospital that night, looking over her as she slept. The next day she seemed to be doing better, and gradually started to turn around, yet she wasn’t out of the woods yet. There was a slight moment when she remembered who I was and called me her “sweet sweet angel, my sweet little girl” as she normally would. It was an amazing moment.
The night before I was to leave I had a conversation with a man I intended to date. We built a great friendship over that year, but things were not sitting right with me. I felt that I had placed this urge to have someone romantically before my allegiance to God. I felt myself growing impatient, manipulative and I saw that he too had similar feelings of impatience. I prayed and resolved in my heart that I needed to focus on my love of God. God had been taking a backseat to school and my love life, when he should be leading it. So my relationship with my potential boyfriend ended. I was heartbroken, not because I made a mistake, but because my feelings were strong, but God was not blessing it to move forward. On top of this my heart was in shambles over my grandmother.
That Sunday I was driving back to Richmond from North Carolina, a hot mess. I cried multiple times over my loss of friendship and the loss of my grandmother’s lost memory and loss of who she is to me. She is now in a facility, but not out of the woods and doesn’t know who I am. With these two things weighting on me heavily I couldn’t do anything except cry and pray. I felt my heart was being chopped up inside me. Then on the highway, another situation occurred.
As I was driving, I entered a highway under construction. While wiping my tears I looked down at the time, as I looked up I was very close to one of the construction signs. I swerved away, the car vacillated side to side in the middle of the highway until it took flight and flipped. As I feel the car loosing control I looked in the direction I was headed and there were trees closely approaching. So I closed my eyes, what ever was going to happen I couldn’t prevent. I felt the car roll, hitting the side, then ceiling, to my other side. Finally I landed on the windshield upside down on the driver’s side. I opened my eyes, I was ALIVE! I saw fluid leaking out of the car so I pushed the door open, unhinged my seat belt and crawled out of the car. The car was beaten up, but I managed to call 911 after I broke free. Bystanders got out of their car to my aid until the ambulance arrived. I walked away with some bruising, scrapes and a concussion, but with my life.
Days after the car accident I was homebound, the concussion left me weak with very little energy, broken sentences and terrible headaches if I focused on anything too long. I thought I would be over this quickly if I just saw the lesson God was trying to help me see upfront, but that was not the case. I was optimistic, knowing God wanted my attention, so taking my car is a small price right? My insurance took care of the damage, I even received a check for the difference and no large hospital bills. Yet during the time I was at home recuperating I grew bitter. I was angry that I couldn’t do what I wanted, with no car and pain when I tried to focus it was hard to claim independence for myself. I felt like I lost a bit of me in the accident with no freedom. I thought I would have another car in a week, but because I’m in school I don’t make enough money to get another car note. So I was stuck with just myself and God to hash things out with. Why couldn’t things go back the way they had been before? Why was I still here!? Why did I even survive this crash? Then I started to see the people around me, my friends, family, roommate and even classmates were all supporting me in some way. People were chipping in buying me groceries, cooking for me, giving me rides etc. All things I would always do for myself. Maybe apart of this “desert” was learning that I didn’t have to do it all or make things happen, and that people actually cared.
Today I went to court for the reckless driving ticket I received from my accident. I was super nervous, but didn’t get a lawyer. I asked people to pray for me and I wanted to be hopeful, but I was terrified by all the mail I received from lawyers letting me know just how serious this charge could be. The judge gave me driving school with dismissal!! How amazing is that! So even though I lost a close friend, lost my relationship with my grandmother, lost my car and independence, God was still there to let me know that I could rely on and shamelessly trust him through the toughest path I’ve been down. I still don’t have a car, I still don’t have a boyfriend, and still mourn my grandmother’s situation, but I am more joyful and thankful after seeing how I was taken care of through everything. I figured that every heart-warming moment I had with my friend and my grandmother growing up, the relationships that I’ve lost, were moments God was present in. I am God’s sweet sweet angel. The lesson I am seeing is how to truly rely on God, not at all what I thought. I felt that God was ridiculing me, showing me how much of a screw up I was, and taking things away in punishment at times. On the contrary, God lead me to the desert, spoke tenderly to me and I am still being lead by him, gently without reproach and with the warmth of a caring dad. I am not exactly out of the desert, but I see it as a time of refining and seeing God’s love with no other idols or desires to cling to.
“And now, here’s what I’m going to do:
I’m going to start all over again.
I’m taking her back out into the wilderness
where we had our first date, and I’ll court her.
I’ll give her bouquets of roses.
I’ll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope.
She’ll respond like she did as a young girl,
those days when she was fresh out of Egypt.
16-20 “At that time”—this is God’s Message still—
“you’ll address me, ‘Dear husband!’
Never again will you address me,
I’ll wash your mouth out with soap,
get rid of all the dirty false-god names,
not so much as a whisper of those names again.
At the same time I’ll make a peace treaty between you
and wild animals and birds and reptiles,
And get rid of all weapons of war.
Think of it! Safe from beasts and bullies!
And then I’ll marry you for good—forever!
I’ll marry you true and proper, in love and tenderness.
Yes, I’ll marry you and neither leave you nor let you go.
You’ll know me, God, for who I really am.