We met as a group on 8-8-20. We had 17 men present and one new attendee. Kent Reed was our guest speaker. He did a fabulous job describing his story and then concluding with how he’s seen the blessings from God in it all.
Here's the link to the live stream...https://youtu.be/DNI8_jX9DzM
Kent explained a little about his sister who’s had MS for much of her life. He’s learned many life lessons from her which little did he know would prepare him for what was to come in his own life. She taught him to make the most of each day, regardless of your circumstances, and to see the best in life at all times.
On June 2nd of 2016 Kent was involved in a serious motorcycle accident, which altered his life significantly. He and his family love motorcycles and are firm believers in wearing a helmet when out on the road. This particular day Kent was just going for a short ride with his daughter to get her a tape measure for her college dorm room — he didn’t feel as though he needed his helmet for this adventure…so he set it aside and put it on the bench in his parents garage. What he’s come to find out in research since then is that most accidents happen within 3 miles of your home. As they were riding on this short journey Kent needed to make a left turn in front of oncoming traffic. He thought he’d looked carefully and allowed the first vehicle to pass and then he was going to proceed. His eyes missed seeing a van also approaching on this two-lane highway. Before he knew it, they got sideswiped. The van threw Kent and his daughter from the bike. Kent remembers sitting in the gravel alongside the road with a laceration on the back of his head, which ended up being more serious than he originally thought. His daughter Lizzy, on the other hand, came out of the accident with very few minor injuries.
Kent was rushed to the hospital, and immediately put into a comma. He had suffered from the accident three fractures in his skull, a brain bleed, and a heart flutter. When Kent came out of a comma he had an intubation tube and neck brace on. The tube was so uncomfortable…he attempted to communicate to his cousin to help him remove the tube, but to no avail. A day and a half after coming out of a comma he had 25 friends / family come visit him…they were unsure if he’d make it so they wanted to be there for him. Kent recalls feeling so much guilt for not wearing his helmet, but very blessed to find his mind still working…though he did suffer some memory loss.
Kent spent eight days in ICU at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. During his time there he needed assistance from nurses and from a walker. Kent’s wife helped him recoup at his parents house for the first week. In that first week he experienced horrible headaches and much discomfort. Kent decided to take notes on his phone during this entire process…we’ll hit on that in his blessings section below. He’d often have to see an Occupational Therapist, and since he had a seizure in the ER he too had to see a Neurologist. Because of the seizure he also loss his license for 6 months. When it was time to retake the driving and written tests he found the experience tougher than he’d imagined…he barely passed either one. Each of these experiences were VERY humbling to have to go through.
Kent’s accident caused him to ask himself this question, “What will I do with the rest of my life?” He was excited to share the answer the Lord gave him with his daughters (his wife knew he was a dreamer so he went to his daughters first). His plan was to come up with a foundation that would make it possible to pay back/forward to medics/ER workers/and Veterans. Out of that discussion arose AmericanBraun.US and then the development of an advisory board. Kent was so excited to see this dream moving forward that he was full on ready to have a rally to get it started.
Someone gently reminded Kent that we all need to crawl before we walk, and walk before we can run. Eventually the rally did take place. He has t-shirts made. Dinner was provided. 60 people showed up and Kent was able to share his passion/vision and to raise a good amount of money to start with. A couple of months later he launched the second rally in Des Moines. 70 showed up to this one, and he was able to raise 3K. Since then he has partnered with Stop Soldier Suicide, and has raised a grand total of a little over 20K. His foundation has been able to give away nearly 19K to help the causes he set out to help with. He’s enjoyed meeting their specific needs and seeing the smiles on their faces in person. It brings Kent great joy to see where these raised dollars are going.
Since Covid hit it has been difficult making contacts via Zoom, and to keep the drive alive / moving forward. But nonetheless, he’s super excited to be here today and to be living.
The MAIN thing he learned is that all blessings come from the Lord. He believes in no such thing as “luck.” Here are a few blessings he’s kept notes on throughout this recovery process…
We all have choices to make in life. We can choose to blame God and become bitter towards Him. Or we can choose to humble ourselves before Him, and trust that He’s got our best interest in mind at all times. (Book of John…why did this happen? for His glory). We can choose to give up on life, or give life our absolute best. What’s interesting is that when it comes to our physical well-being we choose to give it our all so we can get back to 100%. Yet sometimes when we have a BROKEN fellowship with the Lord because of our decision to continue to live in sin, we’re somehow good with that. We need to use Scripture to fend off our enemy when we feel like giving up and giving in.
Praise God for men who can share relatable experiences. We’ve recently heard from Terry Freeborn, Jared Johnston and now Kent Reed…men who have allowed the Lord to take them through some deep valley’s. Now each of them are on the mountain tops cheering others on to get to where they are. What a huge benefit and resource for our Ox Strong group, community, pastors and churches.
Be looking for men to help in their time of need, and be willing and humbled enough to be helped in your time of need.
Song: Give me your eyes…for Humanity by Brandon Heath
Nate Smith is a college baseball and football coach, a husband, a father of 6 girls, grandpa to 3 granddaughters, a police chaplain, a pastor, and has a passion to see men grow in Christ.
#girldad including granddaughter