I think we can all agree that when we are young we have a certain idea about what our life is going to look like – or at least what it is supposed to look like, right? Whether it be certain relationships we imagine having down the line, or certain events we plan for our future, we have an idea about how we want it to look like.
Well in January of 2015 my life was hitting a pretty pivotal stage. I was about to graduate from college that coming May with a BA in communications, but had no clue what I actually wanted to do or where I wanted to live. Not to mention, while trying to make those decisions, I was working 4 jobs. I had always imagined my life at 22 making so much more sense than it did right then and there. I imagined having so much more direction of what I wanted and where I was supposed to be.
January 29, 2015 was the end to my first week of my last semester and I had called my mom early that day. While managing to hold as much as I could together to avoid mascara running down my face, my conversation with my mom quickly became emotional when I broke down and admitted I felt so purposeless. I was so busy all the time, working so much and loving the jobs I worked, about to graduate, but had no clue where or what to do and genuinely felt like I had no purpose. Why was I doing all of this? Am I just going through the motions of what I thought my life was supposed to be? What am I actually supposed to be doing? After she calmed me down she assured me we would talk later that evening when me and my cat would be staying at her house due to bug spraying at my apartment.
However, it didn’t exactly work out like that. That same day, January 29, I went through all of my classes and even went to the basketball game one of my professors was counting attendance at (literally the last place I wanted to be). But walking out of the gym is actually the last thing I remember from that night. About 2 minutes after getting on the freeway headed to my mom’s house I was in a car accident where my car flipped 5 times and my airbags didn’t go off. I was ejected from the car and went through the front window and basically “slid into home” on my left front side. While my injuries were extensive – shattered shoulder bone, ripped tendons, broken ribs, injured knee, internal bleeding from my spleen, and being technically labeled a brain injury due to being knocked unconscious – the biggest injury was my crushed spinal cord. I could no longer feel or move anything below my waist.
I don’t really remember anything my first couple days in the hospital. But the first real memory I have is when the doctors came in and told me I was paralyzed. Even typing that word now seems surreal. I had a breathing tube in at the time, so I couldn’t speak. The most interesting thing to me was how I felt when they told me of my condition. Here they are telling me some of the craziest news of my life and I can’t even speak to really have a conversation with them, but I have the most peace I have ever felt in my life. The only thing I remember going through my mind was the fact that I was just stressing about my purpose and feeling as if I have none, and then God saves me from something that every doctor and paramedic that has seen me in relation to that day says should have killed me. HE saved ME. He isn’t done with me. He has a plan for me.
I saw my life going a certain way. I was going to graduate, move to Hawaii, and of course get married and be happy with little kids running around and surfing all day (haha to be clear I’ve never surfed a day in my life). But God has another plan for me.
Learning this lesson of God’s plan, has been necessary but not easy. When you live your life for 22 years a certain way, doing certain things, with certain routines, and then it all changes, it can get frustrating at times. The past year and a half have been filled with health complications and relearning how to make everyday activities easier and accessible. I cannot walk as of right now but have gained back so much sensation I didn’t have originally in the hospital as well as gained back some motion. It is crazy just to look back a year ago and see how far this journey has come. God has been by my side the whole way. And although it hasn’t been easy, knowing God has a plan for you is the most comforting thing in the world.
I heard a message by a pastor named John Gray a few weeks back and I think it may be the most applicable message for anyone going through anything (which we all are). He spoke about how God is the author of our lives. Your beginning part of your story is where you have this life plan or dreams you are excited to live out, everything is going great, and your faith in God is great. Then he spoke about the second part of your story, where things change and don’t go your imagined way and things can get tough. We all go through times like this or where our dreams don’t work out as planned, but it is what we do during those times. He challenged us to have faith through those times. It’s easy to have faith when things are going the way we want, but how easy is it to have faith and worship God when they aren’t? What he reminded us is that God is the author. He has an end to our story and he knows how it is going to turn out. We have to be the ones that remember to have full confidence in Him and His dreams for us even if they aren’t the ones we planned for ourselves originally. I think that is so applicable for my situation, but also really anyone’s situation. We all have our life envisioned a certain way, and for most of us, it is not going to turn out the way we planned. Remembering God is our author is remembering that He has a plan and a dream for us as well, and His is going to be much more fulfilling and bring us more joy than we could have ever imagined.
I know this section is called “When God Gives You a New Dream.” However, I don’t necessarily know that I have recognized what that new dream is just yet. The message I spoke of above is really helping me through where I currently am. I am 100% sure that God has a dream for me and what He wants my life to look like, and for now I am just having faith in that fact. I am in therapy 4 times a day, and at the beginning of this journey my new dream for myself was to walk again. That is still a nice goal for myself to work towards, but to make that my end all and be all of my story is silly. I recognize God as my author, and am fully aware that he can bring me more joy with His dreams for me, than I could ever have by walking.
Hi! My name is Brenna Holloway and I’ve spent all of my 24 years in northern California. My hobbies consist of working out, painting, playing music, and loving the best little kitty in the world Nala Jah the Monster Slayer. My passion is working with children and am currently exploring the idea of a masters in education. I love Jesus and am so so lucky that He loves me.