Posts tagged ‘Traffic collision’

The Good Byes that Wrecked Me

“Sometimes God doesn’t ‘close a door and open a window.’  Occasionally He slams the door on your fingers, and you’re left with a throbbing pain, unsure of where you went wrong.” ~Jeff Goins, Wrecked

I hate good byes. With a passion. Even the simplest goodbye – that of telling my roommate that I’m headed off to school or to work, causes a twinge of discomfort. You see, I’m an Army brat, and my father’s 23 years’ service caused my mother, two brothers, and me to live the typical nomadic life unique to military families. The pros of this lifestyle afforded me the mind-opening privilege of living all over the world and the United States. This lifestyle also infused me with the qualities of flexibility and adaptability, and now helps me to embrace and welcome change rather than resist it.

Alas, the perils of that nomadic lifestyle wielded a double-edged sword: I had to say “Good bye” so many times that I grew to despise the words. When I read Wrecked by Jeff Goins and contemplated how he defined the phenomenon, it wasn’t hard for me to point out the times in my life that have wrecked me: Each of those times included a good-bye.

According to Jeff, “To be wrecked begins with an experience that pulls you out of your comfort zone and self-centeredness, whether you want it to or not.” My first instance of being wrecked came with being the first to recognize the onset of Alzheimer’s in my beloved maternal grandmother. Former First Lady Nancy Reagan aptly called Alzheimer’s “the long goodbye.”

I watched my grandmother slip away before my very eyes. Eventually, her only response became the ghost of a smile that would dance over her lips when we read Bible passages to her or sang hymns. Physically present, her mind said good-bye seven years before her frail body was laid to rest.  

Later, I was wrecked by the shame, fright, anger, and despair I saw in the eyes of a friend whose perky, cheerleading 17-year old daughter was raped on prom night. As if the rape wasn’t devastating enough, my friend learned that this single, horrific act left her daughter impregnated – and infected with herpes and HIV. We had to say good-bye to her daughter’s innocence, and the clean, trouble-free slate that had once been her daughter’s future.

I was wrecked by the grief and despair I saw in the eyes of another best friend and her family, and in the eyes of my pastor and his family, each of whom lost strong, stalwart sons, 16 and 26, respectively. My girlfriend’s son was killed in a car accident on the 4th of July; the life of my pastor’s son was snuffed out in a motorcycle accident by a careless motorist who abruptly and fatally decided to make a quick turn – even though she knew she was in the wrong lane. These were two painful, unexpected, heart-wrenching good byes that turn the believers’ world – and our faith – upside down and leave no room for pat, easy answers.

I was wrecked again when my pastor-husband, after preaching a Sunday morning sermon and praying over souls at the altar, suffered a massive heart attack that wrenched him away from me, his children, and his loving congregation. I was on an airplane when it happened, winging my way to a women’s convention California. I didn’t know that my kiss good-bye to him early that morning would also be our last.

Wrecked is a book I took in very slowly. I had to take my time to read it because so much of it provoked and challenged me. Musing on my wrecked experiences caused periods of deep reflection that were accompanied by tears. Jeff writes, “In our grief, we find purpose. In suffering, we find significance.” I came to understand this as I tried to alleviate the pain and suffering caused by these and other good byes. I cannot reverse them; instead, I have held grief-stricken people in my arms as they cried, and cried with them. I have listened mutely, yet with understanding, as they railed against life and even railed against God. I have not insulted them – or God – by offering religious or pseudo-spiritual answers. Instead, I refuse to shrink away from them or from the pain, because I recognize that “If [I am] going to change something. . . I have to “enter into the brokenness and experience some of the pain therein.”

I’d like to believe that my relationship with good byes is designed by God, because my feelings about good byes have made me uniquely suited to pray and intercede for those whose hearts are broken by them. By God’s grace, I allow good byes to wreck me because by doing so, I’m enabled to say the good-bye to self that is so necessary to allow the healing love of Christ to flow through me. These are the good byes that wreck me, and I have no choice.          


August 6, 2012 at 4:42 PM 8 comments

I’m Getting Wrecked!

Last week I was given the distinct honor of joining the Launch Team for Wrecked by author and blogger Jeff Goins.

Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into your Comfortable World

What is Wrecked all about?

Wrecked is about the life we are afraid to live. It’s about radical sacrifice and selfless service–how we find purpose in the midst of pain. It’s a look at how we discover fulfillment in the least likely of places. It’s about living like we mean it. It’s a guide to growing up and giving your life away, helping you live in the tension between the next adventure and the daily mundane.

This book is for us–a generation intent on pursuing our life’s work in a way that leaves us without regrets.

Author Jeff Goins shares his own experience of struggling as a missionary and 20-something who understands the call to live radically while dealing with the everyday responsibilities of life. Wrecked is a manifesto for a generation dissatisfied with the status quo and wanting to make a difference.

I’ll post a review later this week. In the meantime, click here so you can learn more about the book, read an excerpt, sign up for free giveaways, and ensure you’re notified of the release date.

Check out the Wrecked trailer:


July 16, 2012 at 3:50 PM Leave a comment

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 109 other followers

What I’m doing now:

Participating in NaBloPoMo!

Twitter Followers

Twitter Counter for @ASwirlGirl

Twitter Updates

July 2020

Blogs I Follow

Sometimes I Write

Yea sometimes I like to write, what do you do?

Jay Colby

Life, Inspiration & Motivation

Brown Girl Reading

Reading in color one page at a time...

Nerdy Thirty-Something

A geek who's married to a geek & geeks out on more than she should.

Tia Delano

Financial Analyst and Consultant

Wonderhys Studios

An otaku revolution like never before~

Wine'ing Momma

More Wine...Less Whine!

the one who writes

Honey sweet romances with a sexy sting. Y’all better have some!

The Swirl World

Celebrating and Elevating Black Women - mind, body, soul and spirit!


You'll be joining us soon!

Jambo Robyn

Stories about ordinary things

African-American Culture 101

A Safe Place for White People To Learn About Black People

Chocolate Chick in China

The Adventures of an English Teacher in China

Alisa presents

Quips + Pics + Recipes + Books + Beauty


At the intersections of Blackness, culture, and adulting.

Beatnik Radio

All things business, all things beat.

Trisha Rushing

The Journey of Life


"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

Free comedy podcast about a straigh-up interracial couple who talks about their personal issues and anything else we see, read or read from a black or white perspective. Follow us @chonilladotcom!

Nail Your Novel

Nail Your Novel - Writing, publishing and self-publishing advice from a bestselling ghostwriter and book doctor


Promoting The Beauty Of Natural Hair Care

The Adventures of SwirlMan

One White Guy's Attempts At Dating Black Women

To Be Aware

It's all about disbelieving your thoughts

Positive Mind Of Mine

My words for your eyes. :) Positive ideas for all!

Creative Juicer

Made fresh, served weekly.

Cee, What happened was

Something to write home about


tell a redemptive story with your life. now.

Reclaim your right to be loved, valued, supported and protected.♥

What Women Never Hear

Relationship management made easier


Unfathomable, Erratic, Nutty . . . ItsHerWords

%d bloggers like this: