After the car wreck, the three month coma, and the brain injury with a wheelchair, I say this:
To believe in most anything is an intangible act of faith. We sort through what we can and cannot believe in as we grow older. I have learned that belief is not fickle. I grew up Episcopal, and now return for good. In fact, my fiancée is an Episcopal priest. Sadly, I believed in a hasty version of love when I was desperate, and that misdirected love nearly cost me my life. However, now I believe in love with renewed vigor. Love requires a perfectly honest evaluation of your partner. It must be much, much more than wishful thinking. More perilous still, I spent these worst years of my life not believing in God. I resented much in my path and thought if a God could dole out such obstacles, I would choose not to believe. I was given no choice and I felt violated. Now, I am better educated on religion. I see that God did not create these obstacles, but He did point my recovery in the correct direction. A very long and incredibly difficult time, by anyone’s standards. But God pointing me straight gives me faith. After years of being lost, I am found.
At last, I believe.
Murray Dunlap‘s work has appeared in countless magazines and journals. His stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times, as well as to Best New American Voices. His new book, Fires, is a collection of short stories interspersed with non-fiction about Dunlap’s difficult recovery. Fires will be published by The Ardent Writer Press on June 7, 2015. *This is the seven-year anniversary of a car wreck that forced Dunlap to start his life over from scratch.