I fell asleep that night as care-free as a 19-year-old sophomore in college at the end of the semester could be able to. With finals coming up and a ton of packing to do, I went out for donuts a few hours earlier with my roommate, Taylor, and another friend to shake off the accumulating stress. We somehow got into a conversation about injuries, dare-devil adventures, and “near-death” experiences. When we asked Taylor to tell us about her similar experiences, she answered by saying that she had never had any of the sort. My other friend and I were a little shocked, since we both seemed to have quite a few.
As I lay in my bottom bunk that night, I recalled many of my injuries and crazy experiences, and I also wondered how someone could make it to her college years without so much as the flu…
I was startled when I woke up to the sound of Taylor shaking and writhing in the bunk above me. Disoriented, I was confused as to what in the world she was doing at such an early time in the morning. Just as I was about to get up and see what was going on, I heard her fall out of her bunk and onto the non-padded, carpeted floor. My breath caught when I heard a crack, which implied a concussion, and my heart nearly stopped when I got up to see my roommate sprawled on the floor, unconscious. Panicking, I jumped out of bed and flipped on the nearest light switch. Her eyes were wide open, yet unblinking. Close to her ear, blood was smeared across her face, and she made a horrible and strangled sound as she struggled for just a small gulp of air. Nearly in tears and more terrified than I had ever been, I ran to my RA’s room (my resident assistant) next-door. I barged in and begged her to come help me; I had no idea what to do when someone had a seizure.
Once we turned her onto her side, she started to breathe more normally. I held her on her side so she wouldn’t fall onto her face (which could restrict her breathing), and my RA ran to get help and call an ambulance. Left with her alone as she was still unconscious, I became aware of how hard my hands were shaking and how violently my pulse was rushing. My breathing was unsteady, and I found myself wanting to break down in tears. I felt my whole body shake as I listened to her shallow, quick breaths. All my thoughts were on the safety of my beloved friend. Seeing her in such a vulnerable condition broke my heart and woke up a strong desire inside me to protect her no matter what. Between gasping breaths, I heard myself praying aloud, “Oh, God, please protect her! I don’t know what’s wrong with her, but You do. Please, please keep her safe!”
After what seemed an eternity, the EMTs arrived just after Taylor became conscious; disoriented and very confused, but conscious. As they examined her while she sat on our door room floor, I held her in my arms and told her everything was ok. I prayed that was the case, especially since her speech was affected and so was her memory. I fought back even more tears as I lied to her with a reassuring look saying that all she did was hit her head and everything was perfectly fine. But I needed her to be willing to get in that ambulance, and I figured half the truth would be better than scaring her with the full truth.
The next couple of hours blurred by as the ambulance brought us to the Emergency Room and I contacted her family as well my own. My phone, as well as hers, buzzed over and over as family and friends sent messages of comfort, worry, and love. Several people, including one of our teachers, came to be with me and my roommate at the hospital. I couldn’t have made it through the day without them. Worry and anxiety would have been my only companions as I watched my roommate slip in and out of sleep had my teacher not come to help. Another friend of mine stayed with me and Taylor at the hospital for the rest of the day until her mom flew in late that night to be with her.
Falling asleep that night was difficult, for the occurrences of the day were still fresh in my mind and adrenaline continued to course through me. Lying in bed, I could still feel my muscles tensing and shaking. But exhaustion eventually took over and I fell asleep faster than I thought possible.
Over the weekend, I had been informed that my RA wasn’t even supposed to be in the dorm during the time of my roommate’s accident. She was supposed to have been at her internship half an hour earlier, but she slept late! When I learned this, I almost broke down crying. God was protecting Taylor, and me, the entire time! He was in control of the situation and gave us nothing short of a miracle. If my RA hadn’t been there, I would not have known what to do, or who to go to. My imagination ran rampant as I thought of what could have happened had my RA not been there to help me right away.
I was at the hospital in between finals every day that week. Taylor had become so very dear to me over the year, and I wanted to be by her side through every step of this difficult situation.
That week was one of the most difficult and stressful weeks of my life. Along with being with Taylor in the ICU, I had finals, sophomore platform, and packing to do. I had to learn to yield to God and let Him take over. I would pray to Him, over and over to be with me, comfort me, and help me get through this hard situation. I would also beg Him to protect Taylor as well and to comfort her and her family. She was scared and only God would be the One to bring her true peace through this trial.
Many people asked me that week how Taylor was doing, and then followed up by asking me if I was ok.
No, I was not ok, but I would be.
After these moments I would take a moment to pray; I would ask God to continue to be with me and then I would praise and thank Him for protecting me and my roommate. Casting my burdens, cares and concerns on God gave me the ability and strength to make it through that week. I had just experienced a traumatizing event and I needed God’s strength to get through it as well as learn an incredible life lesson. I don’t think I’ve ever prayed so much in my entire life, and reality hit hard.
We should never wait for trials like these to decide to pray and rely on God. Acts 6:4a says “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer.” This verse doesn’t say to give ourselves to prayer only in times of trouble and need, but continually. God is the one who gives us the strength to persevere through every day and through every trial. If we rely on ourselves, we will constantly be disappointed by our lack of ability to satisfy our needs as well as the needs of others. All our burdens, all our trials, even every simple thing going on in our lives should be cast on the Lord! He is able! He is sufficient!
2 Corinthians 3:5 “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God”