You know that moment in life where you aren’t sure what you’re doing, where you’re going, or who you are? Yeah me too, because that was me about two and half years ago. Nineteen years old, in college, and confused. Just going through the motions, doing what I have always done, and even worse what I had no business doing. God has a way of working things out, and redirecting our paths. January 2014, will always be a sacred time, and moment for reflection in my life.
For the past year and a half I was living “young, wild, and free”. I was living my life – and I do mean ‘my’ life, what was taught to me was now void. I was doing what I thought might bring more joy and happiness, versus this ‘good girl’ persona I was taught to believe in. I mean, if I were brutally honest I would have told those around me just how unhappy and disappointed I was in myself, my upbringing, and God. Every dream that I had, had been crushed. I was lonely, and I was in an unhealthy relationship. I was unsure what exactly I had been living for, because to me the principles of kindness, purity, love, and faith had come back empty handed. I had decided to attempt to do this ‘adult’ thing differently, since the ways of my childhood were obviously ineffective. Little did I know, how negatively that would impact me.
Sometimes we get so caught up in what we want to do versus what we are meant or called to do. Now, I do understand that whoever is reading this may not be a religious or spiritual person, however I do believe that regardless of personal beliefs that we are all meant to do something – whether you see that as a calling from God or the universe aligning just right and its energy coalescing perfectly with your’s. I had made up in my mind what I wanted and I knew what I had worked for (to be a collegiate athlete), but I also knew what my current reality was (just an average college freshman). And as you can probably guess, I was not having it – at all.
As my time in college progressed so did my behavior. I was steadily seeking to validate my purpose and my identity on campus whether it was through friends, clubs/activities, relationships, intercourse, and parties. As you may have guessed again, what I was looking for was far from any of the things I had mentioned. Instead I found misguidance, confusion, heartbreak, bitterness and anger – and almost death. I was continuously in search for my ‘why’ (my purpose, my calling, my reason for being), all while ignoring God since everything that I had known had been stripped from me (so I thought). I was no longer ‘that girl’ on the basketball court, my medals on the track no longer mattered, and my identity at my university was non-existent (and my actions were reflective of such thoughts). I felt as if I was just a number, just part of the crowd.
It’s crazy how the negative people and situations that you once clung to, will be the same people and situations that will catapult you into your calling, leading you to do everything that you are meant to do – and even more than you have dreamed of. Although my new found circle of friends were anything but good for me, I now see the role that they played in my life. I now understand the purpose for the betrayals, the lies, the misuse of these relationships. I can fully acknowledge and appreciate the hard lessons that were taught, and all of the anger and rage that was caused.
I believe that there comes a point in every young woman’s life when she truly knows and embraces her worth, my day just happened to be January 31st, 2014. This day came at a time when I believed I was doing everything I thought I wanted to do, and that my circle was everything that I needed it to be.
Its really funny, more like jaw-dropping, how God works things out. The evening of January 31st showed me just how out of control I really was, both figuratively and literally. While helping a friend move another friend from point A to point B, we were t-boned,but here’s the kicker – we were hit directly on my side as I sat in the back seat as merely a passenger. Typically, as a result of a broken neck alone, and not to add, a severe concussion most people do not live to tell the story. However, my story is anything but ordinary.
As I laid blacked out and limp, my life stopped:
You never really know how precious life is until you think it’s over. At the age of 19 you never really think about how much strength it takes to sit up, roll over, or even brush your teeth. You do not think about the effortless walks to the bathroom, or the simple task of shaking your head to imply “yes” or “no”. Nope, you never think about those things because you aren’t forced too, the arrogance created through everyday acts of autonomy can be life changing and mind altering. The moment I woke up in ICU with tubes in my nose, my throat, in other places I’d rather not mention, and needles out of my veins, I was reminded of all of the things and tasks that had been momentarily (and possibly forever) stripped from.The agony of being mute and completely helpless is not something I would wish on anyone.
There is something deafening about silence, especially when it is not a willful act. I have never heard my own personal thoughts so loudly and clearly as I did for that week that I was in the hospital. I had never felt as if I had such a definite line of communication from me to God, as if there was no one else in the world but He and I, as I did on the night I was admitted to the hospital. The fact that I could hardly utter any words, and was hardly aware to interpret any, I found there is truly something special about prayer. I will never forget my prayer on that night, “God, now I know that this one thing nobody can fix – but you. There is nothing I can do or my parents, and something the doctors aren’t even sure about. You are my only way out. Please take control, and get me out of here. Heal my body.”
“Well Hailey, you have two options, but we’re going to take the second one – you can get a crown and wear it for 6 months, but there is no guarantee you will be healed, or they can go in through you neck and place a screw in there. There is still no guarantee, but you have a higher chance of survival and no paralysis (and by “higher” they actually meant 50/50)”. – My Dad.
It would be an understatement if I said the next year and a half of my life was rough and excruciating – therapy sessions, acupuncture, endless bouts with head aches, neck pains, law suits, a semester lost from college, and the loss of relationships (ALL of the ones I mentioned earlier),… but GOD. I must say I am blessed. I am walking, talking, debt free, a Graduate student, and no signs of what I have been through. I thank God anytime I look back on this moment of my life. I thank Him and rejoice because He literally took everything from me, the seemingly good things and all of the obvious bad things. He took me back to square one. He loved me, and healed me, and literally made me new – He gave me a new life, new opportunities, new and fruitful relationships. He showed me just how much I really meant to Him, and exactly what I was worth.
I learned so much from that moment in my life, most importantly I learned to love life, myself, others and to know my worth. If God took time to save and spare my life, there must be something here for me to do. I think a good starting point is getting others (women in particular) to see and know their worth as well, because God saved them too. I believe that God took my words and actions, and that of others around me for a limited time during my time spent in the hospital so that He could rewrite my story, but allow me to bare witness so that I could tell it –
…….. and a few months later, “As Told by HER” was born.
As told by her, Hailey Robinson