My Crash Course on Jesus
Image: Photo by Zach McNair

When I was 17, I was in a car crash that would change the course of my life. It brought me to nothing, and then God made me new.

It was July 5, 1995, and I was throwing a party at my parents' house. After years of anxiety and depression, a recent breakup, and growing discontent with life, I coped in the way I had done many times before and turned to alcohol. I was fed up with my friends, my family, and myself. This particular night I became more upset with each passing hour.

Around 1 a.m., I had an overwhelming urge to leave the party. Although my friends tried to stop me—they knew that I had been drinking for hours—I grabbed the keys and got into my 1995 Z28 Camaro. My friends used their cars to block me in, but once they left me alone to cool off, I managed to jump the curb, get around their cars, and drive away.

As I sped through our neighborhood in a Houston suburb, emptiness and hopelessness consumed me. I couldn't think straight. I wanted to be as far from home as possible; at the same time, all I wanted was to be home. When I approached the road that led out of our neighborhood, it struck me that it was foolish to drive farther. I didn't want my friends to worry, and I certainly didn't want to get in trouble with my parents, so I turned to go home.

Waking Up

I woke up covered in glass, a deployed airbag lying lifeless in my lap. As the fog cleared, I was able to make out a huge hole in my windshield. A sharp metallic smell mixed with the pungent odor of car fluids. Suddenly a friend was opening the passenger side door. And I remembered what had just happened. "Who did I hit?!" I screamed over and over.

"You didn't hit anyone, just some trees," he assured ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

June
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
From Issue:
Read These Next
Also in this IssueThe Shadow of Schizophrenia
The Shadow of Schizophrenia Subscriber Access Only
Where God was amid my mom's mental illness.
RecommendedPersecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?
Persecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?
Beginning as a despised, illicit religious sect, Christianity endured 300 years of hostility to emerge as the dominant force in the Roman Empire.
TrendingISIS Kills 29 Christians on Church Bus Trip to Popular Monastery
ISIS Kills 29 Christians on Church Bus Trip to Popular Monastery
(UPDATED) Egypt cancels Ramadan’s opening celebration as Copts resist revenge.
Editor's PickDo This in Remembrance
Do This in Remembrance
Participating in the “high holy day” of American civil religion is beneficial for Christians, so long as we do so thoughtfully.
Christianity Today
My Crash Course on Jesus
hide thisJuly/August July/August

In the Magazine

July/August 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.