Some people believe that things happen in life by coincidence or chance. As I continue in my journey on this Earth , I have come to realize that there is no such thing.
On Friday July 8th, 2016, God spared my life once more in my young 24 years. I was in a car accident in Lansing, Michigan once leaving work. We were preparing for a big music festival called Common Ground Music Festival featuring A$AP Rocky, French Montana, DJ Quik, Icewear Vezzo, and Rosco P.
I was so excited to be attending because my program director at the radio station was allowing me to help with promotions, while filming and taking pictures of the event.
Currently I work overnights at the radio station, 2am-6am , and I didn’t want to drive home for a few hours to get some sleep before having to return to set up for the festival at 12:00pm . So instead, I decided to take a nice little nap in the parking lot of the radio station, in my car.
Around 9:45 am I woke up sweating in the car with the sun beaming down on my face because of the windows being down. I instantly ran into the radio station to change clothes and get myself together for the day’s festivities.
Once I was fully dressed for the festival, I checked in with my PD to make sure I could make a stop at Best Buy to buy a new camera charger for my Canon Rebel T5. After he gave me the ok , that’s when my whole entire day changed (No, I’m not blaming anything on my PD).
Around 10:45 am, 911 was called to my rescue because I had smacked the back of a minivan. No I was not texting and driving. No I was not eating or drinking, playing with the radio dials or even looking down. The car in front of me had stopped abruptly and my breaks did not stop my car in enough time.
The impact of the airbags were so strong that I was continuously going in and out of consciousness. After I was rushed to the emergency room the doctors began to examine the conditions of my trauma. My body was still in complete total shock, because I had never experienced a car accident in that capacity ( Fender Benders are so very minor).
I was administered two CTs , two Xrays, and a host of other testings that doctors conduct on their patients after someone has suffered from a Motor Vehicle Accident.
I was diagnosed with a concussion, a contusion on the knee, and other bruises from the air bag on my arm. (Look at God)
While laying in that hospital bed until 7:30 pm at night , there were a million thoughts going through my head.
The first set of thoughts were so negative, like wow I’m going to be without a vehicle for a while! How much is all of this going to cost? My dad is going to be so angry? Why did I have to get into a car accident on today? My insurance rates were just going down! This is such an inconvenience , especially when merging into my career and just graduating from college!
But then a real mellow calm sounding voice striked me, telling me you could have died, why are you focusing on what it is you lost. Your life is more valuable than your career, your car or those insurance rates. You only get one life, there’s more important things to worry about than materialistic possessions and your title.
So then I began to change my thoughts. I began to see just how precious my life was, while not being so focused on the things that I had no control over. It’s better to be happy and joyful in all things and find something positive even in negative situations. So I began to think on my recent exploration with the simplicity of nature(the birds, trees, plants, and water).
I also realized I was putting more focus on my goals and my career than I was on God. Sure I was thanking God everyday for allowing me to do what it is I love doing, but I was beginning to make my career my idol at the same time.
‘They'(as in society) say you should breathe, sleep, and eat your passion so you won’t become distracted. Well, that’s all I was doing.
I wanted and currently still want my career more than anything in the world. I want to be a big on air radio personality cohosting a syndicated morning show or keeping you on the go with hype music and interesting hot trending topics through your midday drive. It’s something that I am very passionate about.
But while in my current state I had to remember that when I’m gone , I will be replaced by another on air personality, who maybe better, nicer, cuter,friendlier, and more of a go-getter than what I am. There are also more important things than your career goals, money, and making it in life— like your health, your longevity, your life, and you as a person.
In addition, I finally understood why forgiveness is so important. You never realize it until you’re faced with a life or death situation. Whoever and whatever hurt you has already hurt you. It’s in the past!
There are two things you can choose to do— you can continue to dwell on a past offense or you can choose to let go and be happy with what God has waiting for you.
And believe me, when your life flashes before you, the last thing you want going through your head is pain and suffering from your past.
Whatever God removed or whatever you have lost in the process of any situation, God always restores and brings you more . You just have to have faith that it will all work out in the end, because God has already prepared your end with greatness!
Which brings me to my next point! Surround yourself with people who make you happy! Learn to smile and laugh!
Laughter is truly medicine for the soul and although I was in so much pain in the hospital, I laughed so hard over the jokes and impersonations of a really good friend of mines. Even though that person was not present, he left a lasting impression that would help me through my pain and keep me from crying.
I realized the physical bruises from my car accident wasn’t the only pain I was suffering from. I was going through a lot of emotional pain and baggage from old offenses by family members, guy friends who I thought meant well, and even old female friends. I was not only experiencing trauma from my accident but I was also experiencing trauma from emotional baggage.
Seven hours went by, and the doctors told me that I would be released from the hospital and that because of the impact of the trauma, it was perfectly normal to feel a lot of pain the next day and even in the next few weeks to come.
I don’t know about you but it’s pretty ironic that when I feel emotional pain and talk to God about that emotional pain, He tells me the same thing. He gives me His medicine which is love , and tells me it’s ok to feel pain while healing because you just experienced a lot of emotional trauma that needs to be eliminated from your life.
The following day I woke up in so much pain from my accident and from past transgressions even though I was still working on forgiving those who had wronged me. I wanted things to go my way, as usual. I wanted these people who hurt me to feel my pain, to feel the hurt they caused and to acknowledge that they hurt me by genuinely apologizing for their wrongs. But instead I prayed and then after praying I blocked every person in my life who was negative, did not mean me any well and prayed for their healing as well.
I was still pretty bummed about my car being wrecked and complained to my mom about not being able to do anything, because the doctors and my mom had put me on bed rest.
I felt the urge to blog, send emails, and work on my business but because of the headaches from the concussion, I could not do any of the following. I became frustrated because I was trying so hard to not only rush the healing process from my accident but I was beginning to rush the process of my business as well.
So many of my peers are shifting into the world of entrepreneurship and from the outside looking in , it looks as if everyone has their business up and running successfully. So when I’m not working on my craft or my business, I feel as though I am slacking . Once more I was beginning to resent what I just learned from my accident.
I had no desire to truly wake up and go to my home church, Christian Tabernacle Church (under the outstanding and excellent leadership of Dr. James L. Morman), on Sunday, until my mom kept saying God is trying to tell us something ( She reminded me of Shug Avery from the Color Purple saying that).
Mind you, I’m on the air at the radio station on Sundays as well, so I was feeling really down that I could not be there.
Lo and behold, she was right! God was trying to tell us something! Good mothers are always 99.9% of the time right.
It was ‘Family and Friends Day’ at Christian Tabernacle and our pastor decided to have his pastor, Dr. A.R. Bernard deliver the Word of God, that Sunday.
Everytime Dr. A.R. Bernard delivers a message at Christian Tabernacle Church, I always hold on to it. The message this time around was ‘Life Is A Series Of Moments’. So many times we rush our way through life forgetting to ‘Seize the moment, own the moment, use the moment, cherish the moment, and memorialize the moment.’
In his message I learned that this accident, physical pain, and emotional pain is but a brief moment in my life’s history while down here on this Earth.
Dr. Bernard shared that ‘there are many types of moments such as moments of truth which reveals the true character of person, tender moments that creates the experience of being vulnerable, defining moments that tend to stay with us for long periods of times (if it’s a negative defining moment , as humans by nature we want to replace it with more of a positive experience in our life), teachable moments and moments of pleasure.’
He also spoke on how each moment moves us in a certain direction in our lives. Sometimes we fail to discern the moment and we miss the opportunity to be aware spiritually and consciously . We miss out on what we are truly supposed to be learning because we don’t appreciate the moment we are in. Each moment holds within it an opportunity, promise and chance to grow better, learn more, and increase our capacity as humans.
Dr. Bernard told the congregation that we have to realize that every moment was laid out before a single day past and to know that there is not one moment of your life when God is not involved!
That’s when I realized that nothing happens by chance or coincidence. Things were already in placed to happen the way they were supposed to happen for you to learn and grow into becoming a better you! The you that God designed you to be!
No matter what negative situation you maybe facing , there will be a positive outcome as long as you believe it, and readjust your thinking, while embracing the moment you are in. Don’t rush your way through the process!
For more information on Dr. A.R. Bernard check out his website at arbernard.com and his new book Four Things Women Want From A Man!
Dr. A.R. Bernard is the Pastor of Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, NY and has been recognized by Crain’s New York Business, NY Daily News, NY Post, and New York Magazine as Most Influential Leader. He has also been featured in Essence, The New York Times, and Black Enterprise, while making appearances on NBC’s Today, MSNBC, CBS News, BET, The 700 Club, The Wendy Williams Show, and on Fox News. Dr. A.R Bernard currently has a broadcast on SIRIUS Channel 161.