“Suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning.”
For David Platerillo, this mantra was one he carried through a season he never saw coming.
In 2016, David was T-boned by a car while riding home from class on his bike. Upon waking up in the hospital, David learned that his spinal cord had been severely injured and was told he would never walk on his own again.
“I thought, ‘My life is done,’” he says.
That day, Kristi learned about David’s accident through a mutual friend of theirs. Moved by the optimism she heard he was taking into surgery, Kristi decided to write David a letter.
“I remember getting this one [letter] from a special someone…and thinking, ‘Wait, this is profoundly encouraging,'” David says.
For the time being, that would be David and Kristi’s only interaction.
But not for long.
Four months after the accident, David was invited to a music awards show in L.A. Remembering Kristi’s letter and knowing she lived in California, David reached out and asked if they could catch up.
They “caught up like old friends,” but that friendship quickly turned into a long-distance dating relationship that lasted for seven months before David proposed.
Soon after getting engaged, David and Kristi looked into a WinShape Marriage retreat. David’s sister has gone before, and they learned there was a retreat opportunity for engaged and newlywed couples – Prepare to Last.
The two decided to go. David remembers, “We left thinking, ‘There are people who don’t do that and get married?’”
For Kristi, one of the most powerful moments came when their teacher shared, “God never promised us that we’re going to be loved on this earth. But His command to us is to love one another, to love everyone else.”
When you put all of your expectations around love on the other person, you’re bound to let each other down, Kristi shares. But if your goal every day to is to figure out how to love the other person, your marriage is set up for success.
David agrees, “It’s been really cool to grow and solidify the foundation that we have, just because it will prepare us to last.”
For David, clinging to that foundation has been critical as he has navigated a life that looks very different from what he envisioned before his accident.
As a musician, David feared music was also going to be out of the picture. But, as with the Kristi, God showed up in ways David couldn’t have imagined.
David went on to audition for American Idol, performing and sharing his story in a way that made him “feel more purpose in music than [he] had before the accident.”
While David’s story has touched thousands, Kristi feels the impact of it daily.
“When I find myself wanting to complain, I just think about David and what he went through and how he chose not to be a victim,” she says.
In the midst of everyday adjustments that come with any marriage, David says he and Kristi feel empowered to tackle life together because of the encouragement they received both at WinShape and through their community.
While his journey looks very different from what he had planned for his life, David knows now that “when you choose the ways of God, beautiful things can happen…broken things can be redeemed.”