In a split second, my life changed.
I went from being an able bodied person to one who from that point would be labelled “disabled”, my appearance was changed and my ability to work ever again, to care for my kids and even my ability to care for myself was in question.
For the next four years I was in and out of hospital and had countless operations.
Those early years were not easy. I was angry. I hated what had happened to me and most of all I hated the way I looked. I was not impressed with God.
If God cared for me where was he when that car hit mine?
During the early years I travelled to a place I had not experienced before.
Death sounded like a great option and several times I contemplated suicide. Why hadn’t I died? Living was too hard.
I’m not exactly sure what happened. As I look back it is as if it was out of my control.
Somehow, in a miraculous, illogical way, I realised I needed to forgive the man who caused the accident, myself and even God.
Not easy under the circumstances but it happened, I believe, because God is faithful, God can and God does bring about transformation in the lives of those who trust him and slowly, but surely, God began to heal my body, mind and spirit.
Somehow I learned, as did Paul, that it is when I am weak that I am strong.
I discovered that it is when I have nothing left, when all of me is gone, that I am a powerful weapon in the hands of God and that God has my attention.
It sounds incredible but I am who I am today because of the way this event has shaped my life.
A close encounter with death, like I had, sure made me realise what my life was about. I discovered that ‘things’ are not important.
What is important is the transforming, recreating love of God that can take the impossible and make it possible.
Lynne Davis is minister at St Marks Uniting Church Mt Gravatt. You can read more of her story (in the name Lynne Barklem) in chapter 30 of the book Growing Disciples edited by John E. Mavor, JBCE 1995