Recently, I sat down and interviewed Collin Smith, a recent graduate of High Point University. Last spring, I saw his story on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer. Take a look:
I was so intrigued by Collin’s story, that I wanted to meet him! His story is one that will inspire you to keep persevering when life throws you hard circumstances. Collin is a young man with ambition! He has heart! He has courage! I asked him to write a guest blog for Joytime. In his own words, his encouragement to you is below:
Picture your life as it is now, all the things you have going, on good and bad, the
things you enjoy and the things you don’t. Imagine what it would be like to have to
find new things and leave all the other things behind, never to do them again. I
found myself in that very situation, a three sport athlete starting high school. My life
consisted of God, family and sports. Balancing priorities in life is always tough, and I
was about to get a lesson in which ones to place in the right spots.
On August 19, 2005 I was in a car with two other people whom a regular everyday
ride down the road turned into a time which has given me some of the greatest joys
and greatest heartache I’ve ever had. I was a passenger in a car that flipped end over
end for 200 yards throwing one passenger out of the back and leaving me trapped
upside down in the car with no one knowing I was even in there. Although there is a
lot I don’t remember I was aware the entire time. My mom recalls coming into the
emergency room with me laying on a table and seeing my arm fall down. It me not
able to pick it up and it just dangled there. My memory picks back up in an hospital
room at Baptist hospital laying there not able to move anything. I was told days later
that I’d never walk again. A as hard as that was to hear it was time to pick up the
pieces I had and get to work! After 2 ½ weeks at Baptist hospital I was headed to
Buckhead, Atlanta for rehab at Shepherd Center the top spinal chord injury rehab
center in the country. In the meantime a man in my church, Ernest, felt a strong
calling to somehow assist me although he hadn’t met me and knew nothing about
spinal chord injuries.
Soon after getting to Shepherd Center Ernest met with my parents and expressed
what God had imprinted on his heart, that he felt God was telling him that he was to
assist me with care. Keep in mind Ernest had no knowledge of quadriplegia or even
what my care would involve. This is what God has instructed us to do, submit
ourselves and follow wherever he leads us with out question. Within a week he was
headed to Atlanta to learn how to take care of me.
After missing the first three months of my freshman year of high school, my parents
told me after Thanksgiving break I was going to school. This was a much needed
step that I dreaded but had to face. But to my surprise not everyone was that
welcoming, I had some of who I thought were my friends that completely ignored
me. But thank goodness I had good ones who were the same as they always were
although things were different.
Through out our lives we experience joyful and challenging situations, in my case
I’ve found both early in my life. My last nine years have been an experience that
many haven’t had but we all can relate to.
With God’s help and those he has appointed to help me I’ve managed to beat the
odds, I went back to high school and graduated. Then I went on to college and
completed that with Ernest by my side in class everyday and graduated Now I have
an assistant coaching position at one of the best high school men’s basketball
programs in the country this year, Greensboro Day School. An interesting point is
some of the coolest things in my life have happened after my accident.
Always remember if God is calling you to do a certain task, big or small, or even if it
seems somewhat crazy it will bring you some of the most fulfillment in your life. He
will have you equipped just like he did Ernest. No matter if you’re clueless as to how
to do that task, he will surround you with people who do know. I am thankful for
those people who God has called to help me. It’s very humbling to see his entire
plan being executed right around you.
Its amazing how in the worst situations God reveals his power. I am a living example
of bad situation flipped upside down! Keep the faith! With God’s help possibilities
are endless. Trust and be amazed!
Often we make things too complicated, do you follow God or do you not? When
you’re dealing with God, odds don’t exist, he will always come through! The key is,
are you willing to follow him and see what he has in store for you?