"Knowing what I know now, about God and His Sovereignty...
Somewhere there is a heart willing to listen to this story about this little girl, orange carpet, hollyhocks, a small town ...and violence. Somewhere there is surely someone who will read Your story and see the Grace and Mercy in your life...and God will use you to touch that person, for His Glory.

Your story touches my heart, Pat "

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Prisoner of Fear and What if

From the age of 19 until 44- yep this Spring, I didn't drive on the highway. One or two little jots from one exit to the other in town was all I could muster, Lamaze breathing came in handy there at least.
My mother never drove, we didn't own a car. Growing up in small town ND, not having a car didn't really pose a problem, we just walked anywhere we needed to go. She said she backed into a pole and never drove again, I don't think she ever had a license and her mental state kept her from getting one.

When I finally got my license at 18, I set to driving.  Not a careless driver but a complacent one perhaps, definitely naive,  I had an accident that first year. Mom and Harvey, her husband- or so they said, not legally married but having been together 3 years by now were moving and I was in the way as usual. Harvey never liked me and the feeling was mutual, he by his own admission didn't like his own kids and if "he had to do it all over again, he wouldn't have any kids!" They would probably not have chosen him for a father either. I was not to go with in the move so the plan, unknown to me at the time was to pawn me off on a son of a co-worker. We met, went on a date and within a week I was told I had to move.
Stunned I asked him, David, what to do. He said, "you can move in with me." I don't think he was in on the plan I think he just reacted to a girl in trouble.
By the next week, all moved in I realized I was living with an alcoholic, soon after when he didn't come home one evening I walked to the end of the block where friends of his lived, seeing his car I peeked in the window. Through the blind I saw him, his buddy and buddy's wife, gathered around a glass table with a razor blade in hand cutting white lines of powder.
Stunned again. Deep in the pit of my stomach, I ached, sickened  and frightened with no where to run. We were now in Wyoming, oil transplants...I had graduated high school there but really didn't KNOW anyone, not well enough to ask for help. I knocked on the door, it took a while to answer....she smiled saying "come on in."
I think I made a bit of a scene, much to her disapproval, after all I awoke her small children, sigh, I guess that was worse than their parents doing cocaine in the living room.

Things went from bad to worse, I think we lived together maybe 5 or 6 months, I didn't even like him. I had made a couple trips to where mom now lived, about and hour away, that didn't work either.
On the ides of March I had headed back "home", he had asked me to return, what else was there to do? On the trip I looked down in the car, not sure what I was doing, I may have glanced at my 8 week old Cocker Spaniel puppy or looked at the radio, but when I looked up I had crossed the white line into the oncoming lane. No one else was there.....but I panicked, over-correcting, I sent myself hurling into an embankment . Flipping four times and ejected out the third roll through the front windshield.
I remember placing my hand in front of my face and thinking "oh shit, I have wrecked my car!" Funny what the mind thinks at a moment like that.
I awoke to an ambulance crew and the women who witnessed the whole thing, one went for help the other stayed with me.  They asked my name....I couldn't remember, they asked the day....I was a week behind, but slowly it came back.  I  could hear whining coming from my now teepee shaped Toyota. My pup inside with a scratch on his nose, I looked to see him and saw my car a good 100 feet away, that is what saved me....I was told by the responders usually the person is killed when the car hits them or lands on them in this situation. I was thrown late in the rollover and far.

I laid in the emergency room having a cavern sized tear in my arm stitched, everything ached. Concussion, broken pelvis, glass embedded everywhere and at the time they thought a broken back.
Four days, four nights and my mother, who lived 30 minutes away came...for one ten minute visit. My boyfriend....came once for about an hour then to pick me up when I was released.
Thank God for the old woman in the bed next to me who was my advocate for pain meds, my only company, she at least cared.
When David and I got home I quickly realized he was embarrassed to be out in public with a hobbling, black and blue stitched up mess. At some time during that first week or two we had another argument, he must have been on something because I witnessed an anger I had not yet seen. He grabbed the stair railing and shook it loose from the wall, the entire thing, his face distorted and eyes enraged, I  knew I had to leave for good. By God's design my grandparents were at mom's for a visit, and I asked to go home, back to ND with them. David drove me down that road one last time, and I never drove on the highway again.
  Though my body hurt for years,  I was captive to fear much longer, what if I do it again?   I didn't even drive in town for almost 3 years.
I prayed for strength, for bravery for trust...but fear always defeated me. My poor husband has driven many 15 hour days on trip, and put up with me squirming over ice, speed, what others are doing, I am sure my blood pressure has been off the hook more times on the road than I care to know.
I was a prisoner.
This Spring, I drove 100 miles on the interstate. A quiet stretch, no snow or ice....I did it.
I had struggled as a Christian with God's sovereignty, knowing nothing would happen to me that was not in his hands and knowing good or bad...it was in his plans. I knew that yet I still chose fear. paralyzing fear.

Isaiah 61

 1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
   because the LORD has anointed me
   to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
   to proclaim freedom for the captives
   and release from darkness for the prisoners,

God set me free from that paralyzing fear,still a work in progress, you won't find me volunteering for long road trips or driving with unsafe drivers, but the beginning of freedom.
God has set me free from many things. Some things I still hold on to.
We are easily captivated, to fear, to addiction, attitude, unforgiveness.  We are captive to what others do or don't do, what they say or don't say, what we need from them and do not receive. But we can be free.
If you find yourself captive, bend your knees.
If your fearful, grab ahold of He who is solid.
If your angry, release.


The Path Traveled said...

What a terrifying thing to have to go through, but thank God you turned it over to him. I am applauding you for taking that 100 mile trip and you werent alone when you drove it. God sat in the passanger set and had control. Thank you for sharing your story.

Judie said...

I read your comment on Jenny's blog, so I came over and started reading from the beginning. I had a narcissistic mother and a father who was bi-polar. My father committed suicide at age 50, and my mother died when she was 84. I was the oldest child, and the least favorite.

I'll be back to read more of your story. People who live the kind of lives we have lived always need validation.

Ava said...

Shannon. I believe in you. I believe you are amazing, but I think you have yet to amaze yourself. I think you are the strongest person I've ever met. Look in the mirror and tell yourself how beautiful you are every day, because this is a complete and spectacular truth xx Ava

mudderbear said...

Hi Shannon, You write very well and your story is terrifying. It is also so very difficult to understand a mother just leaving her child like that, although I have seen it happen. It never will make sense. I'm glad you have survived and realize Father in Heaven's love for you. That will always be there.
May you have peace.

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

As I read your story it sounds more and more like God is not finished with you yet! He is mighty and strong-- He is our Champion and our Victor. Praise the LORD he has always had His hand upon you.
Your story blesses me and gives encouragement.

"He who has begun a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." Phil.1:6

Karen said...

Shannon, what a terrifying story. How you ever survived the car accident is a miracle on to itself.

How you survived the childhood is yet another miracle and a testament to your inner strength and God.

I have always had issues with driving too, terrified of it, but force myself to do it. I will never attempt to drive in big cities though. Oh, the stories I could tell...

You write so well, Shannon, this should be a book.

Brownie said...

(((((Shannon)))) I never knew.