Do you feel like someone or some incident ruined your opportunity in life, and you live in grief, blaming someone else for where you are in life now? Do you feel stuck, and you cannot move on?
I know. The pain of living with grief caused by someone else’s actions can be overwhelming. I was a passenger. The 26-year-old driver was killed. I lost nearly half of my body. At 22, life seemed ruined beyond the hope of restoration. I could have blamed the driver who drove 100 m/hr on black ice down the hill in February.
But you know, somehow I felt what’s the point in blaming him or God or anyone else? After all, what good will it do? Will it improve my circumstances? No. And my purpose was to find a way to improve my circumstances.
My question was how to move on and restore what was broken. I did not want to blame someone and refused to dwell on the past, reliving the tragedy and the loss. My eyes were on the Lord and looking ahead to where my future was. This is what gave me hope in hopeless life circumstances, the strength and tenacity to move forward and, with God’s grace, create a meaningful life.
Yes, there are many situations we can’t control. There are circumstances we cannot influence, nor do we have the power to change them. We are powerless against nature. We cannot control other people’s choices, behavior, economy, etc. Disasters, accidents, or illnesses can drastically affect our lives, and unfortunately, we are powerless against many such events. Yours, mine, and the lives of many others are full of situations that did not depend on us at all.
But what’s next? We continue our lives, don’t we?
With certain events, our lives do not end. Good and bad are part of our lives, and we continue our life journey regardless of what happens.
The question is – which way do we choose to continue that journey? And at this point, we take over the responsibility.
The fine line, separating victorious life from ruined life
While I was in the process of writing my book “UNSTOPPABLE. It’s a Choice,” I realized something I never saw before:
For the first few years, I totally depended on other people for my daily basic needs, unable to leave my home due to an inaccessible environment and live life like everyone else. When the conversation would be about my life, I would hear people say, “This man broke your life. This car accident destroyed your future.”
I firmly rejected that belief. Faith and determination fueled me with resolve to change it all, and I aimed for my vision with unstoppable perseverance. Praise be to the living God, and thanks to all who helped me, after several years since the tragic event, I was able to achieve the goals that I set and transform my life despite all odds. My life no longer seems destroyed; I live a meaningful and purposeful life despite my physical disability. Despite this tragedy, I live a much more fulfilling life now than I did in the past.
Here is the question:
If I had continued living in the circumstances that the crash created, I think nobody would blame me for that. The explanation would be simple – it’s the car accident’s fault; it ruined Inga’s life, and probably that’s her destiny to live this way. People’s comments about my life changed when I changed circumstances: “Inga, what a wonderful life you have! Good for you that you did not give up and were so persistent about your goals!”
But what if I had given up and had not attempted to change circumstances and remained living the way I did the first few years since the crash? Whose responsibility would it be for the ruined life and destroyed future: the car accident or me because I gave up and remained in that broken place?
Can you see the fine line?
It’s not the accident, but it’s my response to the outcome of the tragic event that determined the trajectory of my life’s journey after the accident.
I’m not saying it’s your fault that you’ve remained in a difficult position or that you haven’t changed your circumstances. Tragic events and the levels of injury can vary greatly, and circumstances and opportunities can differ as well, so what one person is able to accomplish, another will not be able to. I may have been fortunate in some areas, whereas others haven’t. But I feel in my spirit to encourage you never to give up, no matter how discouraged you are and how dark things may seem. This might seem like destruction right now, but it doesn’t have to end this way.
“This destroyed your future, ruined your happiness” is often only a belief imprinted by the culture. But it is not necessarily true! Had I accepted that belief that my future was ruined and had I given up, I would have lived in misery and deep depression, never realizing I could have lived a happy, fulfilling life IF I had only moved on. It breaks my heart sometimes to see how people who are depressed and miserable often blame someone else or some event for their unhappy lives and don’t do anything about it, not realizing they could live a more fulfilling life IF only they chose to move on.
We don’t have control over what happens in our lives, but we do have control over our response to everything that happens. Our response to life’s challenges will significantly affect how it unfolds.
The car accident was only the beginning of a series of painful experiences. In my journey, I lived through other adverse circumstances created by other people’s choices. One nearly shattered me inside; the emotional pain was so unbearable that I wished I didn’t exist. There was nothing that I wanted out of life anymore. Yet, I realized that my future depended on my choice of what I was going to do about it all. I did not have the strength to move on and again try fighting for my life. I did not even want to anymore.
Then, unexpectedly, a Bible verse came to my memory, which profoundly spoke to me,
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
I felt the Lord guided me, showing me which choice would bring me to life. Emotionally, I did not want to soar. Feeling tired and heartbroken, I no longer wanted to fight for my life. I knew, however, that making serious decisions based on emotions is never a wise idea, and I knew this decision would determine the course of my future.
So, I did what the Bible verse directed. I looked up to the Lord. I asked Him to give me the desire and strength to live. I asked Him to help me move on. And the Lord, being faithful as He always was, gave me new hope, opened a new opportunity, and renewed my inner strength. I decided to pull myself together and try this endeavor again. So, I responded by putting all my effort into re-establishing my long-awaited vision. With God’s help, everything that was utterly destroyed was brought back to me, and I got to fulfill the impossible dream despite all odds.
Looking back, it’s scary even to think what it would be if I had given up then. I would be in a deep depression, feeling grief and devastation, probably blaming… that person. Or would it be my fault that I had given up?
I am so thankful I chose to respond by rising above, moving on, and creating the future I envisioned in spite of it all.
My experience inspires me to encourage YOU to rise above and move on.
“He/She/It ruined my future” is only a belief, a mindset. Nobody can break your life UNLESS YOU ALLOW IT. Things happen. But you don’t need to stay in that brokenness.
When facing adversity, it’s important to remember that hardships are a part of life. They may shake us to our core, test our resilience, and make us question our abilities. But they also have the power to mold us into stronger individuals, capable of overcoming even the most difficult of challenges.
It’s during these tough times that we truly discover our inner strength and learn valuable lessons about perseverance, determination, and courage. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and defeated in the face of adversity, but remember that with God’s grace, you are capable of so much more than you think. The Lord is faithful, and He will not allow more than we can handle. And with trials, He provides help so that we can endure (1 Corinthians 10:13). Only we need to respond in a way that will empower us, not jeopardize us.
We don’t always have a choice as to what happens to us, but we do have a choice as to how we respond to it. The direction our life will take from the moment an event occurs significantly depends on our choices:
Choice#1. No matter how painful or difficult the situation is, we will seek God and His guidance and grace and put all our efforts into improving it or
Choice #2. We will give up and live in misery, blaming someone or an event for a broken opportunity and unhappy life.
You may be dealing with circumstances created by other people’s decisions you cannot control. I know it’s probably painful and unfair. But remember, it’s not other people’s choices or events in your life that determine your future, but it’s you – your choice of how you view it and what you do about it.
Remember that you are not alone in your struggles. There are countless others who have faced similar hardships and have come out stronger on the other side. Seek inspiration from their stories and let them serve as a reminder that you, too, have the ability to overcome whatever challenges come your way.
So, stay resilient, keep pushing forward, and never underestimate the power that lies within you. Your journey may not be easy, but it’s in overcoming the obstacles that you will become stronger and create a brighter tomorrow.
Finally, it’s not other people’s choices or unfortunate incidents that create your story. It’s God’s will, and you are the author of your life story. Your choices and actions are like a pen on paper – they create tomorrow’s events and circumstances. You can pick up a pen and change your next Chapter. You can change it at any time. Even today. Even this moment can be fateful for you IF you make the decision to open a new page, and with prayer and God’s direction, new attitude, new choices, and actions, you can start writing a new story. This is your life, your story. Make your life worth living.
Be strong. Be determined and relentless. Be unstoppable.
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Check out my YouTube channel, where I will post videos about my journey of life’s transformation after the tragic car accident, lessons learned, and practical advice and coaching to inspire and empower you to overcome and be unstoppable.
My book UNSTOPPABLE is an inspirational autobiography and personal development book grounded in the author’s Christian faith. It follows the story of Inga Lizdenyte, a woman who transformed her life after a tragic car accident, where the chances stacked against her proved all but insurmountable. From being incapable of speaking or moving or doing anything independently, to traveling from Europe and moving to the United States, the book emerges as a valuable testimony to the power of God.
After her accident, Inga landed in a world she never knew could exist. Her destiny had been crushed and she stood at the crossroads: to give in or to fight. Inga chose to reclaim her life. Yet the lesson learned was that even when matters seem on the way to redemption, the worst can occur. With only steps away from achieving the impossible, everything for Inga had been destroyed all over again. The fruits of her hard work and her continuous efforts were ruined.
Realizing that its not events or the choices of others that can break her, with the Lords intervention, Inga picked herself up and continued her journey in spite of the odds. Intended to inspire and ignite faith, Unstoppable becomes more than a harrowing account, it is a book that reveals; it inescapably touches the heart, but delves as well into the secrets that kept Inga going, equipping readers with the knowledge to break through their own hardships, overcome their obstacles, and to achieve the goals most important to the life they’ve been chosen to live.