Life can throw some heavy and hurtful challenges our way sometimes! Even with God at the very heart and center of our lives, it is not always (or often) easy. Knowing this firsthand, I want to share something personal from my life that I hope encourages you to be hopeful for your future, and to know whose hands you are in!
18 years ago, this very day, I was living in foster care. I had been rescued by the government from a tremendously abusive situation. Some may know this of me, but I am very gregarious and love being social. Hanging out with a bunch of young friends from youth group that day, we decided that we should go into the city, to the mall, and watch a movie and hang out at the mall for the day.
We convinced a father of one of the kids to give us a ride. He loaded our group into his pickup truck and off we went! Just a few miles down the road, with the back of the pickup loaded with a bunch of young teens, the father got distracted, swerved the vehicle off the road at a high speed, and slammed into a tree! Praise God that no-one else was hurt in this accident!
As the impact of the truck hitting the tree sent the truck spinning, I was catapulted to the edge of the truck, holding myself in barely, and as the truck spun my head slammed into a tree and I went unconscious. My body was thrown onto the road by the force and I slid 30 feet. My clothes tore off my body, and my heart stopped. An ambulance was called immediately.
I received a traumatic brain injury, died 3 times, was in a coma for almost a week, and was hospitalized for a month. I lost short term memory and retention in the accident, as well as 100% of my lower body strength, 70% of my upper body strength, and had to do therapy to write, to speak, and to walk! I had died 3 times that day of the accident, but God is a giver of LIFE, and praise His name, He gave me mine back, to live for Him and love others!
Doctors were certain that completing high school would be unlikely for me. They also told me that I had to face the fact that I may never run again, and that because of the head injury I could not play soccer again. I remember that moment starkly, and I made a commitment to God then and there that if He would give me my legs and strength back, I would one day run a marathon as an act of worship and praise. Well, though the doctors were not the most optimistic for my future, I am so blessed to share that here, 18 years later, I have completed high school, college, and grad school; attaining a Master’s degree. In 2009 I had the pleasure and privilege of running the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon… the full 26.2 miles. And in 2004 I was invited to participate with a missions soccer team to play with professionals in Portugal, the host nation for the EuroCup 2004, and share the love of God with many people there!
Life is not easy. But life is always filled with God’s faithfulness and beauty! While some would want to focus on the question, “why?” about hard things in life, I have learned that God is faithful through them, and will use them for His glory! The most beautiful part of this story is not my accomplishments, victories, or abilities. The MOST IMPORTANT PART of this story is what happened when I became fully conscious from my coma!
In that moment God spoke to me in an audible voice… 3 sentences! It is the only time I have ever heard the audible voice of God, but I have never been the same since that moment. Imperfect, YES! But wholly and completely devoted to the one true God! You will have to read my autobiography to get the full details of those three sentences and their weight and impact in my life, but right now I want to share with you the second sentence that God spoke audibly to me… It was just 5 short words,but the most heart-captivating, life-changing, stunning, and indescribably awesome words one can ever hear from the mouth of God… “KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU!!!”
I have faced many a swamp, many a hell, many a battle but with these 5 words indelibly imprinted on my heart, mind, and soul for all of eternity I know that nothing that will ever come at me, or ever has come at me, no-one and nothing can steal from me the joy of this beautiful love relationship with God!…
So, why do I work with orphaned children, street children, and youth at risk?? Because God beautifully convicts me every day of His love for me, and His love for the least of these children! They are the passion and longing of His heart! I want them too to hear from God about how much He loves them!!
As I have been very open and personal here, I am going to now ask you to respond. Please prayerfully seek God and ask how He may be wanting for you to be involved with Abogar International Ministries! How can you contribute so that these children get the opportunity to KNOW THAT HE LOVES THEM?? Can you financially contribute at all? See our support section for info how. Can you commit to praying for me, for our Board of Directors, for Abogar International Ministries to be used exactly how He wants? Are you good with starting nonprofits and understand the legal aspects necessary to attain 501 c 3 status?Maybe God has given you a gift of encouragement, and the Lord knows I need encouragement!
I challenge and implore you to give yourself totally and completely to however and wherever God is leading you! He loves you more than is possible to understand, fathom, or explain. Now let Him use you to love others as well! I await your responses, and trust that God is moving each of us to know even more that He truly does love us!