The first part of Proverbs 3:5 states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.”
Trust. Just like in Exodus chapter sixteen where the Israelites had to trust in the Lord as he promised to provide the perfect amount of food for the allotted time. Trust. Just like when Mary accepted the most radical request in all mankind—becoming the Mother of God and suffering more than any other human would—and trust became the backbone of her most famous “yes.” Trust. Just like we all must do at least once in our lives.
Trusting in God’s will is one of the hardest things to do—especially when times get hard and things fall apart. Of course it’s easy to trust in God when our plans are going accordingly. We can all say we trust in God, but do we really mean what we say? There was a time in my life when I was tested with that question.
Growing up, my dad was in the military. We moved around a lot and it wasn’t until my fifth grade year that my family finally settled in a nice little house in New Braunfels, Texas.
Moving from school to school every year allowed me to try different activities and sports. After cheerleading didn’t work for me, I tried soccer. At the age of nine I knew my future job was to become a professional soccer player. To me, the most perfect feeling was waking up on a Saturday morning, heading to the grass fields, putting my cleats on, running in the fresh morning air, and kicking the ball in the back of the net.
When high school came around soccer became really important to me. High school starts the beginning of college preparation, and with that being said soccer was in my college plans. Towards the end of my sophomore year, my team started preparing for showcase tournaments where college coaches would scout potential players. I couldn’t believe I was nearing that stage in my life. Everything I’d worked so hard for the past few years was finally going to pay off. Playing college ball was a given and it didn’t even matter where. My mind was set. My life was perfect, my faith was strong, soccer was going great, and life couldn’t be better.
My summer of soccer practices quickly came to a close and my team was ready to play in our first showcase in Austin, Texas. The tournament was the weekend before junior year started. Everyone starts to look at colleges their junior year, but in this case colleges were looking at me. MY plan set in MY mind. Everything was set in stone and life was perfect.
Until the day everything stopped.
The second part of Proverbs 3:5 states, “and lean not on your own understanding.”
The weekend before my junior year of high school is extremely clear to me. Why? Because that Friday my world was turned upside down and within a split second my life changed forever…
Friday, August 21, 2009—I dropped my sister off at her dance camp, and the next thing I remembered was a man hovering over me in a helicopter asking for my mom’s phone number. Everything is blacked out from that until they have me laying in a hospital bed in the emergency room. My dad is the first familiar face. Next, my Ita and Grandpa stood there praying for me. Lastly, my mom came in fighting back tears. Finally, they told me about my car accident. The terrible car accident that caused me to break my pelvis and three ribs and suffer from a collapsed lung and cuts on my right foot.
No. This can’t be happening to me. Not right now. Not when I’m about to play in my very first soccer showcase. Not when I’m about to begin the first steps into my future. No. This can’t be true. Why me God? Why did you let this happen to ME? Don’t you love me? Didn’t you want me to go to college and play soccer? Why GOD? WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?
In that moment it felt like everything that was worked for meant nothing. It felt as if my life was ruined, and the perfect path that was set for myself was shattered into a million pieces. My life WAS set. What am I going to do now? I had this perfect plan set out, and it was just taken away from me within a few seconds. My anger turned to tears. Soccer was over for me. My future was ruined. Where to go now?
When in the hospital, the first thing my Ita told me was, “You’re guardian angel was watching over you. She was with you while you were in that car accident. She turned you into a miracle child.” I had prayed to my guardian angel every night before bed, but that isn’t the reason why I am here today writing this. God, secretly, had something else in mind for me. He knew how much soccer meant to me. He knew that I wasn’t going to settle for anything less. He knew what my plans were, but my plans weren’t the same as His plans.
It was as if God asked me to go on a trust walk. He put a blindfold on me and asked me to trust Him. That blindfold was placed on my head for a while, and I had no clue where my life was headed. What was it that God wanted me to do? What is my purpose in life? Why isn’t soccer in my future?
Proverbs 3:6 states, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”
All I could really do now at this point in my accident was pray. Pray and trust. My plan was destroyed, but God’s plan was just beginning for me. When it got to the point where God took the blindfold off of me, He told me He was there the entire time. Him and my guardian angel were with me in the car accident. They were with me in the helicopter. They were with me in the emergency room. They were by my side as my mom held me and told me that everything happens for a reason. They were always with me.
When I was in high school, I didn’t know what a perfect life meant, because now my life is wonderful. This is the happiest moment of my life. Not putting my full effort into soccer the last two years of high school, I was able to focus on things that ended up becoming my passion—ministry. Presently, being a peer minister at the University of the Incarnate Word has worked wonders for me. Working in ministry makes me feel at peace. It brings me great pleasure to help others. This is where God wanted me. This was His plan for me from the very beginning. And I know that now. (Thank You God for you unending blessings you’ve bestowed upon me my entire life!)
For some it takes a dramatic moment, like my car accident, to recognize that God’s plan is what’s best for us. For some it’s just a life journey that reveals that God’s plan is bigger. No matter what your story is, no matter what it takes, no matter when it comes in your way, once you realize it, your heart will be fulfilled forever. Trust me. But most importantly, trust God.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6.
***I gave this testimony at the University of the Incarnate Word’s 2013 SALVE Retreat at Camp Tecaboca. I would like to thank Michelle Herschell for all her help and support 🙂