Tag Archives: how to trust God

How I Survived Multiple Car Crashes And Still Took My Driving Test

 

I am incredibly private person. One of my best friends called me an ‘enigma’ last week because there are many happenings that occur in my life that I just don’t speak about. It’s not so much that I don’t want to share the information; there are various factors have resulted in my silence about the things that matter, but perhaps they can be summarised into two words:

I’m awkward

Have you ever wanted to say something, but just not felt able to? The words are on the verge of tumbling out of your mouth, but a barrier prevents them from doing so? That’s how I feel whenever I have something to share. Usually I buckle under the pressure of the occasion and promise myself that I’ll share another time. This time rarely ever comes around. Today is different. It is D-day. I am finally ‘sharing’ and true to form, I feel incredibly awkward and exposed.

Once I decided to write this post, I immediately wondered how much detail to divulge; was I to include the part where I crawled out of a car that was on the verge of flipping over? Would I describe, moment by moment, the time I was a victim of a ‘hit and run’ accident? Could I leave out the part where I emerged from a smashed vehicle, saw that my sister was bleeding, and began to scream at the sky, “WHY, GOD? WHY?”

The stories of my various car accidents are dramatic and painful. I rarely speak about them because of the emotion that rises within me when forced to retell the narrative. Also, the stories do not belong to be alone; others were there. For this reason, I must be careful how much I reveal.

There are no scars on my body that could indicate that I’ve been in multiple car accidents. I still have all my major faculties; I can see, feel, walk, run and think. I know that this, in itself, is a miracle. All things considered, I shouldn’t be alive right now. But, as with all traumatic events in one’s life, there are wounds that aren’t visible to the human eye that remain.

The most pervasive impact of my accidents was that I was deeply afraid of cars/crossing the road. Fast-moving objects, loud noises, enclosed spaces etc were all deeply frightening to me. I didn’t know it was strange to associate cars with death until I started driving. Alas, it was all I’d known. Most people think car accidents are some vague, impossible outcome of reckless drink driving, yet I was keenly aware, by the age of 13 (the age of my ‘hit and run’ accident) , that this was not the case: cars were dangerous, drivers generally couldn’t be trusted and I was always one car ride away from death or decapitation. As you can imagine, these thoughts made crossing roads quite the ordeal.

The decision to drive was not one I’ve taken lightly and even within my time learning, I was in a further two (minor) accidents (I must say, at this point, that I’ve never been the one driving when I’ve been in a car accident!) My life is such that I’m always on the go and being unable to drive had become frustrating. I had to decide whether to let me fear of the road hold me back, or allow it to push me forward. After months of thought (and procrastination), I booked my first lesson and got behind the wheel.

During this process, learnt a few lessons:

Be fearless

You can’t live in fear – you must conquer that which scares you. It won’t be easy but you’ll never know how strong you are and your capacity to overcome unless you put on your big girl pants and do it.

You must keep going

I knew that regardless of the outcome of my test, I was going to keep trying until I passed. Failure was not a set back – it would be a step forward. A failure could only take me closer to my success.

You don’t need an audience to set and achieve your goals

I told 3 people when I started driving – those who knew the depths of my fear, could appreciate the step I was taking and would only encourage me. I was weary of sharing my decision with anyone, just in case they derailed me or made me feel small. I protected my goal. Not everyone needs to know when you’re making a major life decision. It’s okay to execute personal goals without the watchful eye of social media.

People won’t always understand your method (and that’s okay)

I had been driving for just two months when I bought my car. I hadn’t even passed my theory at the time. I did things in a different order and members of my extended family laughed at me and thought I was insane. However, I knew that I needed to feel comfortable and confident on the roads and the only way to do that was to drive. I knew what I was on (apologies for the colloquialism), I knew I would achieve my goal and I didn’t let the disbelief/laughter deter me.

NB: I would encourage all learners, if it is possible, to buy a car and practise with your loved ones. It will save you money and increase the likelihood of passing!

Trust God

I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 34:4

The above Psalm sums up my experience. Every single time I took a step, I sought God. I depended on God, exclusively, fully, trusting that I would be whole – that what I had been through would no longer hold me back.

Despite being a private person, I really wanted to share this part of my story with you, just so you could know where God has taken me from. I’ve gone from having panic attacks while crossing the road, to passing my test (first time!) It is a miracle that I am alive.

I have survived car accidents – the same car accidents that kill hundreds of people each day. I often wonder why I’ve gone through what I have, and I’m sure if you’ve lived through any traumatic event, there are times where you question a God that could allow for such.  I don’t know the answer, but I do know there is someone reading this that needs to know that they can overcome their fears. That what has gone before does not predict where you will end up. That God can take away your fear. That you will be okay.

And to those who have stories of pain and triumph that are afraid to share (it’s taken 3 weeks to find the courage to post this) remember that your story matters – your story may be the difference and there is someone, somewhere, that needs to hear it.

All my love,

 

Joy

Can You Really Trust Him?

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Can you believe it’s October already? Where has 2015 gone? I still remember January 1st as though it was yesterday; caught up in the festivities and making those all-important New Years Resolutions, trying to grab hold of the year ahead before it passed before my eyes. It’s crazy that we are already in the 10th month – it’s come so quickly.

I don’t know about you, but similar to January, I see September as a ‘first month’ – a month of change, the chance to begin again, to progress, to reassess positions and perspectives. Most of us are used to seeing September as a beginning due to the commencement of the academic year, and this sense of ‘newness’ often pervades other areas of our lives. You may have embarked upon a new journey that would have a profound impact on your future – perhaps it is the first year of college, the beginning of a graduate scheme, the first year of University or maybe the last.

Last month, I started my final year of university (woooop!!) Similar to my peers, and anyone else who has journeyed into the gruesome,infamous final year, I began to overthink my future. What now? What should I do next? I started attending every Graduate Fair, applying for jobs and researching various post-graduate qualifications in an attempt to try and plan the next steps. It doesn’t take a psychologist to figure out why I went into panic mode; it was the fear, fear of the unknown. And as we all know, that which we do not know, scares us. Instead of submitting to God entirely, trusting Him and letting Him lead, we start to analyse and plan every single moment of our lives, convinced that if we plan hard enough and keep focused, everything will work out.

Now, anyone that has spent more than a decade on this planet is aware that life doesn’t work like that. 

It is hard to trust a God we cannot control or see, particularly when it comes to our precious futures. Since we have no idea what God has in store for us and how it will pan out, we busy ourselves searching for the crumbs life could-maybe-on-a-good-day-offer, forgetting that He has prepared a feast for us in the Royal Banquet Hall. We see ourselves in the dark, lost, trying to find our way, while He always sees us in His remarkable light. We have trouble trusting Him fully with our future though He has a future for us, far better than the one we dream for ourselves.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.

1 Corinthians 2:9

Everyone worries about the future because we can never be completely certain what is in store but as believers of Christ, irrespective of our present circumstances and future dreams,  we should trust that God is in control. Our respective futures will be revealed as we move past our pasts, focus on the now and prioritise our relationship with Him above all else. God is not asking us to be perfect; He is simply asking us to allow Him to be perfect in us. God is not asking us to have our futures figured out, He is asking us to trust that He has bringing everything together in its time, in His time. Overthinking the details, large and small, can stop us from living the lives that are available to us right now.

So to all of you out there reading this, and embarking on a new journey over the next few months, remember that we only need to take one step at a time while walking with God. Simply follow Him daily and allow yourself to experience His love, joy, peace and a level of fulfilment you never thought possible.

Lots of love,

Esther xxx

Why I Considered Divorcing My Husband

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Last week I was given the opportunity to fly out to Madrid with my school. I was asked on Tuesday and we were due to leave the next day which only gave me hours to prepare for the trip. I was excited, in awe of God’s favour (all expenses were paid!) and hoping to learn a few lessons to share with you here. Here are three:

1) Marriage is for life

Oh.

I’m not married.

I’m not even mentally married to a man and secretly hoping he will put a ring on it in the coming months. However, despite my unmarried status, I considered divorcing my husband during the first night as my colleague filled our bedroom with her loud, selfish, insufferable snoring. I wondered if I would ask my husband to sleep in a separate bedroom if he snored as loudly as my colleague. As I considered the different ways to quell the sounds erupting from her nostrils (yes, I considered smothering her, God forgive me) I realised that one day I would be sharing a room with a boy (wahhhhh) and when I eventually marry, there will be things my husband does (even during his sleep) that will make me want to scream. As a lay awake in Madrid, I thought about the different reasons people divorce (what does irreconcilable differences really mean anyway?) I can’t speak on divorce with much authority as I haven’t had the privildege of joining that elite club yet. Despite my inexperience I am almost certain that when people stand before God and their families, declaring their undying love for each other, they genuinely desire to become one and journey through the rest of their lives together. Maybe the importance of the vows they once said take a back seat to their spouses’ insufferable actions; maybe it’s an issue as insignificant as snoring or leaving the toilet seat up, maybe it’s a secret as damaging as an affair or remortgaging the house to fund a sordid addiction. Whatever the reason, divorce is rife, it’s happening daily around the world; people are walking away from the people they once loved with everything.

What would cause you to divorce your spouse?

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud  or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

At 2 a.m, I vowed to be resilient when I finally married, to persevere through whatever we faced, to forgive him when his words and actions hurt my heart, to stay when I’d rather walk away…and to roll him over with love if he snores. Life happens, things don’t always turn out as we plan but I pray that when the time comes, I do not give up on us and that he doesn’t give up on me.

2) Look up or you will miss the moment

As I walked around Real Madrid Football Club, the sun was shining and the place looked amazing. I spent a lot of the earlier part of the tour lost in my thoughts and staring at the floor. About halfway through the tour, I decided to look up and to live in the moment, to inhale it and to put my problems in God’s hands. In my hands, my problems become bigger and they are often mishandled but in God’s hands, they are reshaped, solved and put into perspective.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.

Psalm 42:5

3) Things take time

Before we took off, the plane was on the ground for a long time.It moved slowly, positioned itself and readied itself for the next phase. At times it felt as though it was taking too long, as if we’d never get off the ground. Yet when it started going, it moved with such pace and intention that my pupils were filled with awe as it began to rise.

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31

It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to position yourself, how long you have to circle the ground before take off – you will take off. When you do, those that wrote you off will be in awe of heights God is taking you to. You will not grow weary, you will be strong, you will run, you will walk, you will be everything God intended – in His time.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Lots of love guys, have a beautiful and fruitful week!

Joyyy xxxx