Sunday, September 20, 2009

Car accident alters my plans, not God's

By David J. Fenech
One of the best presents I have ever received was from a dear friend who was fond of reminding me that, "God is good!" -- even when things seem bad.

She gave me a lasting and precious gift of hope in the Lord. She gave me the gift of Jeremiah 29:11-14, "For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, says the LORD, and I will change your lot."

I have since commited this scripture to heart and meditate on it with joy daily. I do so as I call upon the Lord and try to seek Him with all my heart. This scripture has bouyed my spirit especially during some pretty tough times when voracious depression has tried to chew me up or swallow me whole.

I did not fully realize the depth of its profound power until my life was turned upside down in the blink of an eye on a cold Michigan winter night. It was around 10 p.m. on Monday, December 29, 2008. I was stopped at a four-way intersection about a mile from my home. Suddenly, the small car I was driving was struck with tremendous force from behind by a drunk driver in a sport utility vehicle.

My neck broke and I sustained closed-head traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress disorder. I am recovering in an impatient residential rehabilitation facility that specializes in treating crash victims with brain injuries.

My old plans may have come to a screeching halt. As for my future? It is way too early to tell -- but I do know, without a doubt, it will be a future of hope and joy. Our Lord keeps reminding me of that through all of my loved ones and all my brothers and sisters in Christ.

In the meantime, I will continue to call upon the Lord, pray to him, and seek him with all my heart. HE will do the rest! God IS good. I know my future, whatever it is, is in His good hands.

Until next time, please, Loved Ones, let me paraphrase St. Paul and encourage you all to continue to stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong, and do everything you do with great love! And may the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.

With love,


  1. Hi Dave,
    Welcome to the world of blogging. I am excited to join you on this inspirational adventure of writing and recovery. Thank you very much for sharing with all of us.

  2. Hi Dave
    Very impressive,thanks for sharing this with me I am honored, it is always nice to hear from you.
    ybiC, Mark Merrill

  3. Dave,
    You are a great inspiriation. It is fantastic to be able to read your thoughts on life, like the many discussions we have had in the past. You are always able to provoke positive thoughts towards our faith and life in general. I feel blessed to be able to share in this with you again. Keep the Faith and keep writing my Brother!!!

  4. Dave,
    We miss you at HF and pray you are recovering. I am glad you liked the book. It helped me to understand the trinity. I am going to do the CRHP women's weekend outreach at St. Dan's in a few weeks. I have been inspired by the faith of these women in the face of cancer, job loss, and other painful situations. God is great!
    Take care,
    Dale and Linda Tripp

  5. Dave,

    So glad to "hear" from you again, and to be able to see that you are doing well and maintaining that love and trust in the Lord! You are an inspiration to me, to see how you keep the faith even in the face of your tragedy. I pray I can be that strong.

    I know sometimes it doesn't seem that we are being strong; as you point out about the "voracious depression" it can seem to be a devouring monster and we seem powerless to stand our ground. A friend recently shared the following scripture quote with me, and I found it comforting and it fits your article:

    [35] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
    [36] As it is written, "For thy sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."
    [37] No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
    [38] For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
    [39] nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Romans 8:35-39


  6. Thanks for sharing this Dave! Put me on the list for future posts.
    ybiC, Bob Geisler

  7. Dave,
    It is an honor and a privilege to be invited to be part of your amazing blog journey. Truly this is an example of what it means to be the body of Christ and to experience how Jesus (in his unparalleled and unfathomable understanding of human nature) knows that we need each other. Thank you for reaching out and sharing and for all the ways you have inspired me and lifted me up.
    ysiC Kathy

  8. Dave,
    God puts many problems before us in our lives.
    I think what defines us as men is how we react
    and respond to these problems.We either let these problems defeat us or develop us,depending how we respond to them.Unfortunately,most people fail to see how God wants to use our problems for the good in our lives.The react foolishly and resent their problems rather than pausing to consider what benefit they might bring.
    In seeing how you have reacted, I can see God at work in your life, even when you do not recognize it or understand it.You are truly blessed and have blessed us with your great strength and courage.Remember, "Success can be measured Not Only in achievements,but in lessons learned,lives touched and moments shared along the way."

    ybic Joe Lukaszek

  9. Dave,
    What a powerful description of your faith journey! You have touch our lives deeply. Your faith is an inspiration to all of us. I am grateful to God that you came into our lives. Thanks for sharing this blog.
    Teresa Hansen

  10. Dave,
    What can anyone say to a man who has suffered as much as you have? I think only of our savior and his redemptive act of suffering and wonder if you suffer for us, your brothers and sisters in Christ. I have seen snippets of your recovery and wonder if I could handle it so well. Anger, depression, feelings of abandonment are some of the feelings I know our Lord might have felt. You must feel them also. I look forward to your blog; through your experiences you can help us to understand our Lord's passion a little more clearly. Through your eyes we might catch a glimpse of Jesus as he passes us by carrying his cross. God Bless your new ministry. Peace to you! Deacon Terry

  11. Dave - I think that all along our Lord had a special plan for you to touch and inspire so many people. Thank you for being such a willing servant of His will, and I thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I will never forget bringing your Intention request back to CRHP Team 12 members: "Please pray for the driver who hit me." That speaks volumes to the way you actively live out our wonderful faith.
    Joe Sliwka

  12. Dave,
    Thanks for sharing. You are an inspiration. Always remember that there are many people that need prayers. And there are other things like world peace and for the unborn. Praying is one thing that you can still do well, and there is a great need. I don't know much about blogs, but I wondered if you could have a place where people could tell you things they needed prayers for? Just an idea.
    Theresa Dyer

  13. Dave,
    You are a true inspiration. Thank you for including me on your healing journey. I look forward to more of your wisdom and inspiration.

    Heather Graves

  14. Dave;
    Your situation and outlook is a testament to what we as humans can endear with the power of faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    Thank you for sharing this blog and I look forward to reading more.

    Todd Hummel

  15. Hi Dave,

    It took me a while to figure out how to get into this bolg, but, by signing up and starting my own (Mugwump's Ramblings) I was finally able to get here. I have known you slightly less than a year, but I am proud to call you one of my best friends - is it any wonder, when you could produce (and share with me) a daughter (-in-law) like Nikki. I am happy to see you sharing your faith in this manner - our Lord PROMISES to comfort us if we ask: "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honour Me." (Ps 50:15) You are doing both: calling and honoring.

    You may remember that I was the first of your friends or relatives to arrive at the scene of the accident. After walking up to that car and seeing you being removed from it, it is a miracle that you are alive today, let alone well on the road to recovery. I know that it has been a long road and that the end is not yet in sight, but the improvements that you have accomplished at this point convince me that you will recover completely.

    I know that there are times when you get depressed about your current circumstances. When this happens, try not to beat yourself up about being depressed - it is part of our human nature. Even Jesus prayed that He not have to go through the events of Good Friday: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Yet not my will but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) You might also remember that Jesus felt grief at the death of friends (John the Baptist, Lazeras, ...) It is not sin or weakness to feel sadness, grief, or depression - it is part of our human condition - it is the way that God made us.

    It was fun to see you and converse with you on Saturday and I hope that we can get together again soon.


    YBiC John Geda

  16. Dave,

    Much in the same way that St. Francis said: “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” Your witness is written and exemplified. You are truly an inspiration to me as we have discussed many times. You give me hope by helping me to see that God truly always present regardless of our external circumstances. He is faithful to us always.

    I’m excited about you writing this blog and plan to comment on it as often as you write to it. You are the new Thomas Merton: The Domestic Monk, promised to tell the story of an intimate encounter with Christ for all of us to share.

    Thanks buddy. You have my love.

  17. Dave-Thanks for sharing. Your words are full of inspiration. You'll not be the only one that finds healing through your words. Jeremiah 29:11-14 is a favorite of mine too. I love how you meditate on it daily with JOY!
    Mary Miller

  18. Dave, I feel very honored to have been included in this telling of the story. It has been long since we have been in touch face to face, but you have remained in my prayers all along. I always "felt" your faith in your words to us. I can see it has grown even stronger in these trials. That is one of the "blessings" that come along with the trauma if we but take time to observe and accept them. God bless you and I am now tuned in. With grateful thanks, Monna

  19. Hope all is going well. I think of you often and hope we remain an inspiration to each other. I think only those of us who have "been there" can share such an experience. I now believe God has given me a help others realize life does bring ups and downs and we can over come such things. Keep on working hard because each time I talk with you I see great progress. Thinking of you often. Tami


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