Friday, November 26, 2010

Wreck Me.

This is the true story of a terrible car accident that left Brandi Massey for dead- almost. God chose to heal Brandi, in more ways than one. 

Romans 8:38 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them.

                Brandi was mad at God. Her marriage was falling apart. Her father, to whom she was an only child, had just passed away. He was much too young; much too loving to be lost to such a terrible disease.  Life had changed all too quickly in the past six months. Of course she was mad at God, no one could blame her. But a new town was going to be the fresh start Brandi needed, right? Surely this was on her mind when the car crashed that night, but we’ll never know. She had been moving her things, preparing to start fresh. More than just her body was tumbled and changed forever the night of her accident.
                January 13, 2002 was very, very cold. It was dark. The truck was big. Her mind was filled with more than just the road in front of her. It’s something we’ve all done countless times. Atleast she realized she’d driven onto the shoulder before she hit the trees; although, maybe the trees would have been more kind to her. She jerked the steering wheel, or so they think, a little too hard. One flip, two flips, how many more? She was thrown from the truck. As if the driver’s side window or windshield might not be bad enough, her body was hurled out the passenger side window. Like an enemy, the pavement was cold and unwelcoming. She lay there, unaware, alone for dead.
                The fire chief, like an angel with no name, saw her truck. His family car skidded to a stop and he ran to the body. Lifeless, he held Brandi in his arms. 9-1-1, young girl here, we need an ambulance. D.O.A. means dead on arrival. This is what Brandi was. The chief laid a blanket over her cold body, and back from the dead- she moved. 9-1-1, don’t send an ambulance; we need a helicopter. That’s how the wings of life saved Brandi.
                32 days and nights she spent in The Med. Debby, Brandi’s mom, spent 32 days and nights beside Brandi, waiting patiently for God to take her or heal her.  Take her home, Father, to her dad and to you, or bring her back to me. That’s what He did. Brandi Massey’s earthly life was not complete. A second chance is what she was given. God didn’t want her to come home angry at him.
                Happy Valentine’s Day. Brandi spent hers on a plane to Atlanta. After 32 days and nights, a shunt, several Lumbar drains, a case of meningitis, a feeding tube, brain damage, a crushed pelvis, severed nerves, and a shaved head, Brandi was sent to The Shepherd Center for rehabilitation. After five weeks in ICU at The Shepherd Center, thanks to meningitis, Brandi finally began rehab. Five days a week, five hours a day; speech rehab, physical rehab, every kind of rehab- and we thought high school was hard. She couldn’t talk, except for a couple words here and there. She couldn’t walk. She couldn’t feed herself. She couldn’t go to the bathroom. She didn’t know her Dad had died. She didn’t know she was getting divorced, or even who her husband was. She didn’t know who her mother was- this woman taking care of her day in and day out. Her beautiful, rich brown locks and been shaved to a little boy’s buzz, but she was alive. God was giving her a second chance. Brandi didn’t wonder why. She just wondered if she’d ever be a big kid again. To - go to the bathroom on her own, to walk from the bed to the couch- goals that once were not even thoughts in Brandi's mind.
                May. Debby drove Brandi home from Atlanta. Home again, finally. It had been six very long months. Prescriptions lined the window sills. Brandi had to grieve again over the loss of her Dad. She had to learn who Debby was. She had to learn how to go to the bathroom, but she was home. Progress was made. She’d come a long way from being D.O.A.
                June 13, 2003. Brandi Massey moved into her very own condo; she was a big kid again. She wasn’t mad at God. In fact, she was grateful. Her harsh spirit had been softened. She looked at things in a new light, a grateful light, a light that allowed her to see the beauty in everything. A bad day, a good day, at-least it’s another day. God used this accident to build her faith. He used it to build her mother’s too. Debby was out of control. For the first time in her life, she was completely surrendered to Christ. She saw the beauty in small things and the strength of God. Her faith had been tested and tried. Blind is what she called it. Blind trust had gotten her through; completely and utterly dependent on God. Just like Brandi’s blind trust in Debby, who was a stranger to her daughter for six long months. God was good. Healing had come from this accident. Can God use something so painful? Yes. He can use anything for His glory.
                Brandi’s faith was restored. God used this wreck in a way, to allow her to forget the pain of death and divorce. She only remembers, from this year in her life, what people tell her. The wreck might as well be a story she reads; the anger she felt over her divorce and father’s death is simply a chapter in this story. All she knows now is that God gave her a second shot, and this time, she was going to get it right.
                Brandi is beautiful; striking actually. She's the kind of woman you stare at, and wonder how anyone could be so present. Her hair is shorter now. She walks a little slower. Her fast-moving career has slowed to a steady pace. She has found happiness and peace. She’s an advocate now, for what God has done; for what he continues to do, for his saving, blind grace. Her life is a miracle. She is no longer mad at God. Brandi is stronger now, after a wreck that almost killed her, than she ever used to be. Strength comes in so many shapes. The way it takes something so drastic to make someone realize what’s important, is sad. The way God uses something so drastic for His glory and honor, and to bring praise to His name, is incredible.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

And it's okay...

Don't forget that-

It's okay to eat extra helping of everything on Thanksgiving in honor of those who will not be partaking in the festivities.

It's okay to "forget" to tell people the food you brought is not homemade.

And it's okay to think that one run or one walk or one bike ride justifies several servings of dessert.

It's okay if you don't really listen to anything your teacher says, after all everything you need to know you learned in kindergarten, right?

It's okay if the only reason you GO to class is so you can sit next to that one cute boy or girl.

And it's okay if the only reason you put on real clothes to go to class is because of that one cute boy or girl.

It's okay to have a favorite football player, but not a favorite football team.

It's okay to listen to the same song over and over again, and sing it out loud in a completely serious fashion.

It's okay to claim your hair "has to be dirty for this style."

And it's okay to buy a shirt at Marshall's but let people think you paid full price at the expensive store.

It's okay to seriously think Jake Gyllenhall would want to date you if you ever met in real life.

It's okay to watch the same youtube videos over and over and laugh equally hard every time.

It's okay to sleep with the night light on.

It's okay to wear your pajamas all day.

And it's okay to claim to work better under pressure to hide your procrastination.

It's okay to talk in funny voices with your friends a lot longer than you'd ever claim to do.

It's okay to laugh at your own jokes, even if no one else does.

It's okay to yell at the basketball team from your seat like they are your boyfriend.

It's okay to talk like about Taylor Swift like she's your best friend just because you know a weirdly-large amount of information about her.

And it's okay if Teen Mom is your favorite TV show.

Love who you are, and don't be afraid to find happiness in the small things. Remember that laughing makes every situation funny, and friends are the best medicine. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Don't forget to remember...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Do the Two-Step

I'm not talking about the dance, although I encourage doing the dance, too.

Psalm 37:4 & 5- Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit yourself to the Lord and trust in him and he will do this...
Psalm 37:7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him...

I'm talking about prayer.
No, prayer is not a two-step process. Prayer is our direct communication to God, and thank the Lord, literally, for that. The thought that I can voice a prayer and God will actually hear me is enough to calm whatever worry I had, on the spot, before He even has His way with my request.

But what about the bigger requests? Not even the requests; what about the times you are just calling out to him to PLEASE show you what to do because you have NO IDEA. What about the times when all you want is for him to say, "Do this,"? When you are driving down the street and the whole way you are praying for him to please tell you what to do, to please make His will your own and show you what He wants for you, and then you stop at a red light and it's silent and you wait for a few minutes and then you say, "God I can't hear you! Why aren't you answering me? All I want is to do Your will. Please just tell me what that is!" This is when we do the two-step.

So often, as I am guilty, we want to pray and pray and then for God to just divinely send us the answer we are seeking. Seriously, sometimes I hope that a stranger will walk up to me and say, "I know this is weird, but I just felt like I should come and tell you..." Now, that happens, no doubt, but it's like because we prayed a lot, we expect that to happen. What about the bible? What about opening our bible and reading what God has already laid out for us. It seems logical, almost like a "duh" moment to me. 1. Pray 2. Open your bible. Genius.

Prayer is our direct communication with God, and the bible is His direct communication with us. God has written out anything we could need to know, but so often that is the last place we look when seeking the answers we are hoping to hear. Sometimes I'll find myself thinking how I feel so distant from God. I've been praying so much, but I feel so distant from him. Then I'll open my bible and it's like I can feel him speaking to me. Sometimes I forget that prayer is only the beginning of communication with God. The rest of it comes from opening the bible and letting him speak to us. I truly believe that if you are in prayer, if you are taking delight, truly, in the Lord, he will make known to you his plans for your life. We can't expect them to be as obvious as the person in front of us because God is not like that. But, if we are truly seeking him with our whole lives, we can be confident that the decision we make is one he put in place for us. Sometimes it may take a while, but there is a purpose for that, too. Our God is an intentional God. There is a plan and a purpose for everything he allows to happen, and what better way to see that than praying and reading His word?

So don't forget the two-step. And I would suggest learning the dance, too.