“I became less reliant on myself and more reliant on God and what he wanted for my life.”
Kym is a 24-year-old follower of Jesus, and although she’s young, she has quite a story to tell. After an accident in her childhood left her disabled, she could have become angry and fallen into despair; but instead, she found a renewed faith in the God who gave her a second chance.
When Kym was just 11 years old, she was in a devastating car accident that left her with permanent blindness and memory loss.
“It was a car accident in November of 2005, two days after Thanksgiving,” Kym recalls. “I broke my hip and two bones in my wrist. And I was in a coma for over a month, in Bangor … I don’t have any memories before the age of 11.”
The next months were filled with painful surgeries and the long process of recovery. When it was finally time to go back to school, Kym was excited to resume life as a regular kid — but it came with its own set of challenges.
“I stayed back a year and that was hard,” she explains. “I lost all my friends. A lot of them waved at me in the hallway, which I couldn’t see; it was just a cultural thing. They didn’t know how to react to somebody who is visually impaired or blind.”
What’s more, Kym was the first blind student at her school, so the teachers had to figure out a new way to help her learn. But as time passed, everyone fell into a rhythm, and Kym found a new group of friends.
“I became friends with some really cool kids in the special ed. department who other people thought were stupid, and they weren’t stupid. They just had special needs,” she says.
A Renewed Faith In God
When Kym thinks back to the incident that changed her life forever, she remembers feeling peace and a renewed sense of faith almost immediately after the accident. When Kym first awoke from the coma and realized her new reality, she wasn’t bitter with God for letting it happen; instead, she was thankful to Him for sparing her.
“I felt like I had been given a second chance at life, and I didn’t really understand it,” she says of her 11-year-old self. “But I had a whole different faith. Before the accident, it was based on my parents’ faith, and after, it was my own. And [I realized] whatever God wants is going to happen.”
Blindness As A Gift
Believe it or not, Kym has not only accepted her disability with open arms, she considers it a gift. That’s because, although she’s visually impaired in this world, she feels that she’s able to “see” her God — and His children’s hearts — more clearly than ever.
“[I have] the ability to listen more to the sounds that God’s created, like the birds, and instruments, worship music, and waves. When it’s quiet, there’s no distractions. It’s like, when I’m in a room and there’s no sound, it’s just God and myself.”
And without vision, Kym loves getting to know people for who they are, not how they look.
“I don’t judge people on how they look, so I get to know somebody for their heart first, which has opened up a lot of good friendships in my life,” she says. She even mentions that her blindness lead to the meeting of her best friend, who has Tourette’s.
Sharing Her Faith
With her love for God being stronger than ever, Kym was able to share her faith with her father before he passed away from cancer in 2012. Although he considered himself a Christian, his relationship with Jesus wasn’t a personal one, and he asked his daughter for guidance on the promise of salvation.
“We prayed together, and we sort of relived our entire lives together and apologized to each other,” Kym remembers. “We talked about what it would be like for him in Heaven with no pain, and [that] we’d see each other again, and [how] I wouldn’t forget him.”
She adds, “It’s just amazing to think that God had that time arranged specifically for all these years. And that was the perfect timing.”
Every day, Kym continues to enjoy her relationship with Jesus, strengthening her bond with Him by praying, reading Bible verses, attending and volunteering at Eastpoint Christian Church, and being involved in ministries like the Young Adults Ministry.
“Being able to dig deeper into God‘s word every week and have a family of believers nearby to support me was super,” Kym says of being in her Young Adults small group. When she’s there, she says, “My soul just feels like it’s where it’s meant to be. These are the people I’m meant to be around. I feel God’s presence. I leave a gathering like this full of the Spirit.”
At one point, she lost her means of transportation from her assistance program, but the members of her small group banded together to give her rides to each gathering. Kym calls them her Eastpoint family. “All of these relationships are lifelong,” she says. “[These are] people I can send a text to asking for prayer, people I can call when I need help. I reach out to them to help hold me accountable. When I’m faced with an immediate decision or something that’s rough I reach out to someone to pray with or talk with.”
When she decided she wanted to volunteer, Kym knew her disability would make things a little more difficult, but trusted that God would open a door so she could use her abilities to help. Now, she helps put together the bulletins that are passed out every Sunday. To her, this job is extra-special; the bulletin paper has a glossy sheen, which she can see, since her eyes still detect contrast. While it’s something that most of us take for granted, she says that shiny things makes her smile.
“I love volunteering, it’s so exciting,” she adds. “It’s fulfilling because I know that I’m doing it for the Kingdom. It’s not just for the church or for the people, It’s that I’m doing something for God’s Kingdom.”
Thanks to Kym for sharing her story! If you’d like to become more involved by Eastpoint by joining a small group, volunteering, or simply learning what we’re all about, fill out a Connect Card or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and one of our staff members will be in touch!