Thursday, July 2, 2015

Lessons Learned from a Deer

Eight months ago something happened to me that I wouldn't wish on anybody.

I hit a deer.

I was driving home late one night from out of town and a deer came out onto the side of the road. I had about five different thought trains running through my head but in those few seconds I decided it would be best to hit the deer head on rather than swerve and end up off in a ditch somewhere. That is what I ended up doing.

I hit the deer head on.

God is so amazing guys. Truly spectacular.

My car didn't swerve at all when I hit the deer. I pulled over onto the side of the road, saw that my car was pretty smashed, and then I got back in and decided to keep driving home. It turns out that I lost power steering but I didn't know it until I was exiting the highway via an extremely curvy ramp. That was a scary feeling. Somehow I was able to force the wheel in time to make the turn and I made it home safely.

Like I said my car was pretty banged up. I was able to get the car fixed shortly after so that I could drive it again, but I still need to get the car painted.I've been hesitant to do so because I learned something through this accident.

First, God's protection over my life is amazing. I didn't suffer any aches or pains from the impact. I was completely fine. I have known several people who have had pretty severe injuries from colliding with a deer, as severe as death. I was completely fine. God was watching over me.

So my next statement may seem a little strange....but I honestly believe that God put that deer in my path.

I needed it. I was headed down a dangerous path.

You see I met a guy two months before that who seemed great. We started dating. It was good at first but it turned out to be the worst experience of my life. He was verbally and emotionally abuse. He kept pushing me to do things that I didn't want to do.

I didn't realize it at the time. He had begun to pull me away from those close to me. He demanded too much of my time and of myself. I had/have very unique boundaries for dating. He "honored" those but he pushed in so many other ways that it got to the point where it was a joke to say that my boundaries were still intact. Although I still had them what had happened was actually worse.

I felt trapped and I didn't know how to get out. I prayed and asked God for help. I was confused. He told me that the truth would come to light, whether it was what I wanted to hear or not. I kept trying to get away, but I wasn't brave enough. I wasn't strong enough on my own. My words came, but they were ignored. They were belittled and I felt like I had to stay. So I did. I was trapped.

Then one day I hit a deer.

As I drove home I specifically felt God telling me that He had protected me yet allowed this to happen to show me that if I remained on this path it would lead to destruction. It would end badly. It would be far worse than my car was after the impact. He was using the deer as a wake-up call. A cry to get me out.

In that moment it was like a light bulb came on, in another room. I could feel truth beginning to set in, but it hadn't quite hit me yet. A week later God literally flipped the switch on my personal light and I was able to see the truth. I was able to see the situation for what it was and I got out. As fast as I could.

I got my car fixed soon after. I got a new hood and a new fender. The frame was pushed back into place. I bought parts that didn't match my car's paint color however and I didn't get them painted yet.

I was relating the restoration of my car in terms of my personal restoration. I was set free. The pieces were beginning to be put back into place. However the healing process from a situation like this doesn't happen over night. I was in the process of receiving healing.

I wanted my car to be a reminder to me of that journey. So I let the colors remain unmatched. I was still healing. I am still healing. Although that relationship only lasted two months it did a lot of damage. Just like that deer. The impact was brief yet the results were quite damaging. Over the course of these last eight months I have experienced so much healing. Enough that I was ready to paint my car a few months back. The paint color doesn't match perfectly however. My scars will remain. Not in a bad way, but in a way that says 'look what God has done in my life. I was (and still am) a broken individual in need of a Savior. God came through. He brought healing yet I will never forget what happened.'

I'm so thankful for my collision with a deer. It helped me get back to where I needed to be. I am so much stronger now. I have tools to fight. I also have an increased awareness of the difficulties individuals in abusive relationships have in getting out. It is hard. It is so hard. Yet freedom is possible. Healing and restoration are possible.

What hurt have you gone through in your life? What scars do you have? It can be hard not to be frustrated or embarrassed at the sight of scars. Don't let them get you down. Let them be reminders. Reminders of where you have been and what you have overcome. Today you are so much stronger. Healing and
restoration are possible!

"It ain't a dead end if it takes you somewhere you needed to go." -from the movie Unconditional

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