Sunday, October 30, 2016

I Have Plans for You – Yes, YOU (Day 30)




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This is the 29th post for our Write 31 Days series 31 Days of Miracles: Who is Our God. Today, Michael Chardavoyne (see below for his bio) shares his story.
It was summer of ‘07; I was your typical teenage punk with an attitude wider than my long board. I was still bitter about being kicked out of school for a fight I didn’t start and never wanted to be involved with in the first places. I didn’t know that the bully that instigated the fight still had such an impassioned vengeance towards me. I didn’t know that on that ordinary, heated summer day, the course of my life would be completely altered.
I was on my skateboard, traversing on a sidewalk next to a main road when my attacker found me. His brawny figure was accompanied by his seemingly ever present posse. They surrounded me in a “U” shape pattern, advancing on me quickly. I tried to back up and use my skateboard as a shield, but as I was backing up, I tripped over the curb falling backwards. They first kicked me and then held me down, preventing me from getting up. The main attacker proceeded to punch my skull, alternating
from his left to right meaty fist, each finger adorned with rings that amplified each hit. He left me in a fetal position, but before he finally exited in his car, he threw a beer bottle at my head. When he left, I pushed my body off the ground not knowing the extent of the damage caused. I was thankfully only a couple of blocks away from my house. I opened up the door with someone in my family frantically exclaiming “Oh, my gosh!”
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That’s the last moment I remembered until I was transported to a sterile hospital room with a nurse carrying a Caribbean accent softly saying, “You’re lucky to be alive. You should have been hooked up to a machine like a vegetable or dead.”
The events of the time are so sharply vivid, yet the timing has been covered in a haze of pain and prescription drugs to alleviate said pain. Now I’m left with disjointed pictures to confusingly sort out the time frame. One of those disjointed pictures is a time that has left me as a different person yet it’s one snapshot that I’ve been reticent to share.
I can join with the Apostle Paul and say, “And I know such a man–whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know; God knows.” 2 Corinthians 12:3. Many believe Paul was referring to his own near brush experience with death. I still remember my own. I saw my body laying lifeless as I strangely came out of my body. It felt like I had almost stepped out of time, then I was jettisoned into a type of tunnel that led me to a place that was cloaked in colors I had never before seen. There was a massive, yet shrouded figure in the distance I could not see, but I did see the beauty surrounding this being and I heard his words. “The life you lived was a lie. I am going to make you a new creation. I have plans for you.”
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You have to know, at this time in my life, I was a foul mouth skeptic who was uncertain that such events could happen to a person. God literally had to allow something so otherworldly that the
skeptic in me could simply not explain in human terms, yet had to surrender as conceivable since I witnessed it firsthand.
I awoke sometime later, compelled to look at a box of letters written by my deceased dad and my dusty Bible that I had mostly treated as a superstitious dream catcher. In his letters to me, he wrote about his favorite book of the Bible, Revelation. A type of holy curiosity emerged in me after the heavenly encounter, so I opened up the long stowed away Bible to Revelation, pouring over the Scriptures that echoed the encounter I had. Realization struck me as I was reading that I was not directly headed to this majestic place. I was a sinner that fully lived out the livelihood of a sinner.
Words spurred by conviction spilled from my mouth as I repented of my sin and placed my faith in Jesus- the One who personally spoke to me.
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It was a miracle yes, that I was alive, but it was an even bigger miracle that I entered into a new life of salvation.
After I was connected with a local church community, a message on forgiveness was preached. That stirring I felt inside of me that I knew to be from God was prompting me to forgive my attacker. Not long after the message was preached I was faced with a redemptive opportunity from God. My attacker showed up at the church I was singing at one night with the choir. After I was finished singing, I saw my attacker. With tears in his eyes he offered me a hug and said “Merry Christmas.”
Even though I’m thankful to be alive to see a glimpse of the plan God has had in my life, I still have repercussions from the incident. Medically speaking, I had a contusion of the brain (bruising of the
brain) that’s made learning more difficult. A miracle divinely came to me in a different form to help remedy this issue. A former teacher was ushered into my life who became an owner of a brain
training center which used state of the art neuroplasicity techniques to change the brain. After the initial testing process, it was found that my long term memory and short term memory were greatly impaired. Even though the training would be a beneficial solution to my problem, we simply did not have the budget for the roughly $15,000 of training. My wife prayed that there would be some solution to this to allow for the opportunity. A year later, the woman felt a tug on her heart from God to offer me the brain training, free of charge.
My wife helped me write this article because I still have issues reliving the experience. Even though I forgave my attacker, I was still diagnosed with PTSD from this trauma (as well as others in my life).
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I know that those several experiences were miracles from above because I could not produce them myself. Now, I’m forever changed from that one summer day that brought life to a decayed soul.
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Michael and Sarah Chardavoyne have been married for three years now. A year after they were married, Sarah’s health took a turn for the worse. Michael sought to do whatever he could through prayer and action to restore her health. They chronicle their journey of longing for the miraculous at inkblotsofanidealist.com