I’m getting married 7 years after I broke my neck

I lost control of the car. I hit the guard rail. I lost consciousness. My car flipped multiple times. I regained consciousness. I had no idea what was going on, tucked at the bottom of a pile of metal. I again lost consciousness. I got airlifted to a hospital. Four months in the hospital ensued…followed by an incredible journey over the last six years.

The scene of the accident on November 20, 2009
The scene of the accident on November 20, 2009

I’ve told the narrative numerous times in conversation, on the blog, and with each speaking opportunity.

Today marks six years since that day. It’s different every year as I get further removed, but recently I got to thinking…Do I really need to continue to be fixated on what happened on that day each November 20th?

Starting next year, no more.

I got engaged this summer and soon began looking ahead to wedding planning with Stephanie.

(And by wedding planning, I mean asking her to marry me and showing up when I’m told, thanks to the insight of a wise friend of mine who advised, “The key is caring about every detail but not having an opinion.”)

With my graduation from the University of Cincinnati coming up and a fall wedding being Stephanie’s preference, we prayed about the right weekend to tie the knot. We were soon led to find out that the seven year mark since the accident will fall on a Sunday in 2016, making for the perfect redemptive wedding weekend.
Stephanie with Ring

With the wedding the evening before, we will wake up on the anniversary of the seventh year, and start day one of our lives together as husband and wife, having redeemed that particular date going forward for the rest of our lives.

It is only fitting that this would fall on the seventh year after the accident. The biblical meaning of the number seven is completion and perfection. This is displayed all throughout Scripture, starting in chapter one with the days of creation and continuing on with over 800 different references throughout the Bible. The wedding date we ended up at doesn’t seem like a coincidence.

Not to mention the planning process started off with tremendous favor right off the bat when a blog reader who is a local photographer generously offered to photograph our wedding free of charge.

From here, we experienced a modern day version of Jesus’ first miracle: turning water into wine.


At the very first reception venue we checked out, Stephanie received a promotional fortune cookie. She opened it to find out if we had won a prize and found this:

Fortune cookie edited

Not a bad deal.

Speaking of no coincidences, and keeping with the theme of the number seven, when we went to look at an Instagram photo of the church where we are having our ceremony, we were caught off guard by the number of “likes” on the photo:

OSG 10_2015

And naturally, the reception venue is located here, in building number 700:

7th street

So we are locked in and ready to go redeem the day. Seven years after I lay crushed inside a dark hole on the side of the highway, having no idea the road that lay ahead.

Stephanie at the reception venue locking down our date
Stephanie at the reception venue locking down our date

We’re officially a year out from our wedding, but I have already gotten to experience numerous aspects of God’s character through the planning process alone. His redemptive nature. His careful attention to detail. The way he loves and approves of celebration.

I am sure God has more surprises in store.

In the meantime, if anyone asks, I really care about table arrangements, flower colors, and decorations.

I just don’t have an opinion.

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10 thoughts on “I’m getting married 7 years after I broke my neck

  1. Ryan, I just sent a text to your parents that we are thinking of you all today and then I saw this. What a beautiful way to start your life together as husband and wife!! So happy for you!! You are always in our prayers. Judy

  2. I have been there since you came home. I am so excited to watch you 2 grow in God’s love and your love for each other. GOD is so good! All things through Christ..

  3. Ryan (and Stephanie) What wonderful news! Congratulations to both of you. I wish you the very best, and pray for you daily.


    Tom r.

  4. Ryan,
    I remember you coming into your Dad’s office as a little boy. I have been following your journey and you have inspired so many people. Wishing you and your Fiancé best wishes as you plan the next part of your lives. God is watching over you, no matter what is going on. You are a lucky Man and I hope you have many years of happiness with your new bride.

    Steve Hodge

  5. Wow. Wow. Wow. Amazing re: all of the “7’s”….. spiritual perfection and completion! Yes!!! What is also so beautiful, is how you have eyes that perceive and are aware of all of the “God-signs” He places before you. You are awake and alert and aware of His goodness & faithfulness during your journey. I’m believing with you and Stephanie, the best is yet to come!!! Eph. 3:20-21! Exciting days ahead – “above and beyond all we can DARE ask or imagine according to His POWER at work within you” both!

  6. Your insights continue to amaze me. The mind of Christ. We all possess it if we choose to. Thank you for choosing to. So excited about your new adventure with Stephanie. Love you. Joni

  7. Ryan, I have followed your posts for years and never posted a message to you. But today I was moved to say how incredible I find your journey and I am so happy for you and Stephanie. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


  8. WOW WOW WOW!!! How totally cool is this?!?!? I am referring to all of the references to the number 7. 🙂 Just kidding. Well, that is really cool but I am SOOOOO happy for you and Stephanie!!! God is so good! The story that you two have shared is sweet, prophetic and wonderful.

    Yay God!!! Yay to Ryan and Stephanie and your lives becoming ONE. I love it!!! You two are adorable!

    Perfectly timed… just like God, isn’t it? 🙂

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