It was a terrifying and nearly tragic moment. But it was the very beginning of extraordinary purpose for Tenth Avenue North’s Mike Donehey. A car accident that nearly claimed his life became the reason he discovered his love of the guitar.
“The only reason I started playing guitar was that my senior year of high school, my buddy and I were driving to school. He’s driving, and he catches the edge of this country road and we started fishtailing at 50 miles an hour. And we flip his little Honda CRX five times. I’m not wearing my seat belt, and I get thrown out the window Peter Pan style.”
“I hit the pavement, and break my back in two places. Break my face. Rip my ear off. In the ambulance, I flat-lined five times on the way to the hospital. I’m in intensive care for a week. They’re saying I’m not going to make it.”
But God had other plans for young Mike Donehey.
“The dust settles, and they realize it looks like I’m actually going to recover. I have to lay on my back for two months, and that is the first time I got so bored I asked to learn how to play the guitar. And that chapter in my book is called ‘When Dreams Die'”.
“A lot of people say stuff like, ‘When God delays a dream, He’s not denying it. He’s just delaying it.’ But I don’t actually think that’s true. I think God sometimes just straight up denies our dream. He changes the plan. Because I thought I was going to be a basketball player at one point, and then I mustered up my formidable 5′ 8″ frame, and realized maybe professional basketball isn’t in the cards!”
As tough – and even heartbreaking – as it can be to leave a dream behind, the truth is God’s design for us is always better than our plans.
“I’ve had these dreams along the way, and if I had closed my fist around the way I thought my dreams should’ve gone, I would’ve missed what Jesus was doing. He was taking one thing away as He’s trying to hand me something else. Saint Augustine said God is always trying to give us good things, but our hands are already too full of other things to receive it.”
Mike Donehey is the lead singer of Tenth Avenue North. Their brand new record is called “No Shame”. For good measure, Mike also just released his first book, Finding God's Life for My Will: His Presence Is the Plan.