Do you remember that crisis, a special turning point in your life that encouraged you to appreciate this truth; You are not qualified to make decisions without God?
So much about life is unpredictable and honestly, we don’t have control over much. We do however have the ability to make choices. These choices are cause and effect, which if you’re like to me, has had a lasting impression on your life. As Christians we’ve all been there, having a “My God” moment where we acknowledge that it’s best to let God handle all things in life from now on.
God promised to leave us with an Advocate, a comforter who not only provides the wisdom we need on a daily basis, but is also there for us when we need strength the most.
I will never forget being handcuffed in the back of a State Trooper’s cruiser, watching as the officer searched every inch of my newly purchased Nissan Sentra.
I was 20 years old and had been accused of stealing a car and taking this State Trooper on a high-speed chase for over three miles.
As I watched with great anticipation, hoping it would turn out to be just a terrifying, mistaken identity type of encounter, I was somehow stuck looking directly at my license plates. I had carried myself in such a way, that looking at them in that moment, I didn’t recognize who I was. For some time leading up to this early morning regret, I couldn’t shake the uncomfortable feeling of knowing I was missing something in my life.
I had a great paying job, positioned myself to return back to school, and had just purchased the aforementioned Nissan Sentra.
On the surface, I appeared to be in great position, all the pieces had fallen in place.
This feeling was the Holy Spirit pushing me to reestablish my relationship with God, to stop living for me and submit myself to his will.
I was saved at the age of 15, believing in Jesus and everything it cost to provide my salvation in Him.
So it was no surprise to me how my circumstances felt off, but it took me looking helplessly at my Suav Life license plates in plain sight from the back of the State Trooper cruiser to recognize it. About an hour passed before finally some truism was taking place.
I was written a ticket for reckless endangerment, un-cuffed and received a free ride to the police station where I could make some phone calls and start putting the pieces of my life back together.
On the way, I recalled how I even ended up in the situation in the first place.
It began with me deciding to make the two hour drive home from The Ohio State campus in the middle of the night after enjoying my visit for about 48 hours straight. I was a student on campus the previous year, but a fractured ankle and slim confidence kept me from coming back right away.
I was there with my old roommate who was one of my best friends from high school and always had my best interest at heart. I was exhausted and he knew it.
He urged me to stay, sleep and return home in the morning, but I was feeling like I needed to go.
I was thinking if I left then, I could make it home, take a nap and be on time for church service at 10:30 am. It was 1:30 am when I talked myself into leaving. I took off with the motivation knowing that If I showed up, God would be right there waiting for me.
I needed answers.
I needed to know why I felt so empty, but seemed to have it all. I believed that if I could just get to a place where God resides, I could have some clarity.
He was with me the whole time but it wasn't evident until after the fact. Now I had found myself driving through a snow storm while drinking hot chocolate, heat on blast, trying to concentrate on seeing the lines on the highway.
This was definitely a mistake, but I just had to get home. I was a little over halfway there, but my eyes were too heavy, and eventually I fell asleep at the wheel. I woke up to the sound and vibration of rumble strips alerting me that I was no longer on the road. I was traveling too fast and since I already passed a safe point of return, I just pushed the brakes to stop.
The Sentra slid completely off the road.
Its speed and downward trajectory launched me in the air. I braced myself, not knowing what was ahead. The impact from the first flip scattered glass all around me.
I still remember the sound of metal and plastic being smashed in unison. When the car stopped, the first thing I thought of was not having the chance to meet God in the sanctuary.
After the calm of silence, I got out of the car to see where I was, and with the adrenaline still pumping through me, I even tried driving back on the road.
It was no use.
The Sentra was totaled: the front two tires were flat, my passenger side was caved in and I didn’t have a cell phone to call for help. I got into the car and laid my head back to try and think. I fell right asleep.
This time I woke up looking down the barrel of a gun through my driver side window.
No ambulance or good Samaritan checking to see if I’m okay, just a State Trooper calling me everything but my name.
I tried to explain that I had just fallen asleep, but it fell on deaf ears. In his version he’d been chasing me for miles.
The wisdom in the moment provided me a calm I had never felt before.
Despite the hostile threats from the officer I was compliant and didn’t say a word until he asked for my driver’s license - this was after a cavity search of my car and finding no evidence to support his theory.
Reviewing the whole incident helped me to realize that God had never left me.
The Holy Spirit had been interceding for me even before this crash, wooing me back to God’s presence, advocating for me because I was hurting and I just didn’t know how to make my way back.
I had experienced a divine intervention that morning.
Not only was I able to walk away from a major crash with minor soreness and one scratch over my right eye, but I also wasn’t harmed in any way by a potentially deadly encounter with law enforcement.
The car crash changed everything for me.
Months later, I was registering for new tags and plates. I needed to see a personalized expression every day that would always remind me that I’m not alone.
Even today, before getting into my car, I always glance at my Saved Life plates and say, “God, thank you for guiding my steps through the work of The Holy Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
The Holy Spirit is our truth in the moment, our light in the dark and our Advocate in times of need. We have faith and hope knowing God has not left us alone.
I stand with supreme confidence in the decisions I make now because I have realized that I am not qualified to make them without God.