I still remember the night vividly. I was on the part of a freeway so close to the ocean; you could see it in the distance. It was dusk and would be dark soon. I drove my beat-up car that leaked inside when it rained, which held all of my belongings in black plastic trash bags that were all piled up on top of each other in the back seat. I was always embarrassed when I drove my car around because it had a massive dent on the passenger side door from an accident, and I didn’t have enough money to fix it at the time. Whenever I would drive somewhere to see someone I knew, I would park my car down the street, far away from where anyone could see the side that had the messed-up door. I had even gotten a fix-it ticket from a policeman that told me it was illegal for me to drive my car around in the state that it was in. I don’t remember why, but I didn’t have anywhere to sleep that night, besides my car. I remember feeling so incredibly helpless and hopeless because of my situation and was in a very dark, desperate place.
Thoughts ran through my mind that told me no one would miss me or care if I just drove off the edge of the freeway as fast as my car could go. I was 22 years old.
As I drove, a laundry list of sad memories surfaced to the forefront of my mind, piling up into a hopeless heap as I thought about my past and the events that had led me to this place. At that moment, I couldn’t see any way out of the situation I was in, other than just to end the pain I had carried for many years by taking my life. From my perspective, the 22 years leading up to this night were chuck full of chaos and dysfunction, and I was tired of suffering. I hadn’t seen my biological father since I was 18 months old, didn’t know if he was dead or alive, or where he lived if he was still alive. He was a drug user, alcoholic, cheater, abuser, and never paid a dime of child support. I had grown up not knowing him or anything about him. After my mom and dad divorced, it felt that I was somehow supposed to go on with my life as if that life event had never happened. So, I stuffed my memories, tried not to talk about it very much, and did my best to move on. I grew up in the church, but the environment I grew up in as a child was very different from what one might expect, being a church-going family. My parents grounded me for weeks for things I didn’t do, and I was told early on in my life that I needed to go on a diet, which eventually led to me developing eating disorders that lasted for years. Going into high school, I numbed my pain with food, boys, exercise, smoking weed and cigarettes, alcohol, and anything that could distract me from facing my problems. After high school, I was kicked out of my family home without a car and had two weeks to find a place to live and work. I was only 18 years old. At that point, most of my relationships were significantly strained, and I couldn’t hold a job for very long because of all the emotional baggage I carried. I didn’t have a college degree either.
With nowhere to go, and seemingly no one to turn to, I decided that I wanted to die.
As I drove down the freeway, and these thoughts and considerations raced through my mind, my phone rang. On the phone was a friend who said that God had told him to get me a hotel room for the night. God had miraculously intervened at the perfect time. As my friend told me the location of the hotel, and I pulled off the freeway in search of it, I knew deep down that God had quite literally just saved my life. As I cried in my hotel room that night, a small spark of hope emerged. If God could intervene so powerfully in a situation like that, then maybe He could intervene powerfully in the other areas of my life that seemed utterly hopeless. Maybe there was purpose in His intervention, and perhaps He had a purpose for my life. I finally went to sleep, thankful I was still alive, hopeful for what the following days would bring. That night, I resolved in my heart that from that day forward, I would do my best to figure out what God’s purpose was for my life since He had just powerfully intervened. It was evident that there was more to the story that I just wasn’t aware of yet.
Submitted by: Brandie J. Muncaster
What an awesome testimony to God's love and faithfulness! He can show up in the most unlikely and unexpected ways. It's so important we listen when the Lord nudges us to reach out to someone because you never know if you will be a life boat to someone at the end of their rope.
You can learn more about Brandie HERE.
Love and lemons,