When Sean speaks, people listen. Public speaker Sean Carter speaks via an iPad, but it’s a special calling that Sean knows God himself has placed on his life: to encourage teenagers and young adults not to give up, to look for our hope in Christ, and to choose not to drink and drive.
Sean and his mom will both tell you that his life as a public speaker is really a miracle of God taking something tragic and using it for his glory. They travel the country speaking at schools, churches, and other organizations through their non-profit, WhenSeanSpeaks, Inc., but the hope, faith, and joy that is such a deep part of Sean’s life came through very painful circumstances.
About eleven years ago, Sean and a friend were coming home from a night of drinking, when Sean’s friend wrecked their truck against a tree. The friend wasn’t injured at all, but Sean received a traumatic brain injury that left him in a coma for weeks, and his life has never been the same again. When he woke up, he was not paralyzed at all, but his brain had lost the ability to tell his body what to do.
Sean’s physical challenges were extremely difficult; he had to relearn basic things like how to swallow, and how to shift his body. He also had a lot of spiritual challenges, wondering why this happened to him, and how he could ever live a valuable, independent, or pleasant life again. Although those painful times were the darkest times of Sean’s life, they also gave Sean the authority to tell others that they can still have hope, and created the reason why he is now a public speaker.
Sean says the greatest change came when he realized that God loves him, that there’s nothing he can do to make God stop loving him, and that the reason this happened wasn’t because God might not love him. Sean says he realized that a lifetime of trying to make things work on his own, over and over, was crazy, and he was ready for a change. That’s when he decided to really start submitting his life to Jesus Christ, and he has been growing closer to God ever since.
Sean will tell you that his life is a miracle, especially if you look at the truck from the wreck. Although none of his healing has been instantaneous, he says that he trusts God, he knows that God loves him, and he’s thankful for the ways that God has used him in teens’ lives. Sean says that he and his mom often receive emails or letters from teenagers who tell them that Sean’s story deeply encouraged them. They’ve even gotten letters from people who were contemplating suicide, but when they saw the joy and the purpose in Sean’s life despite his disabilities, it gave them more hope for their own lives.
Life still has its challenges for Sean, but he loves where he is. After spending the last ten years in a wheelchair, last year after a lot of hard work and intense therapy, Sean can now walk with a walker. Sean continues to work hard to learn to walk unassisted, and to talk again. He loves College Station, his Bible study and his group of friends that he’s made at Grace Bible Church, where he feels like “part of the gang.” Sean says he’s learning more truth about the Bible and God’s love for him and others every day. Meanwhile, he’s working with a friend to put together an autobiography that he hopes to eventually have available at his speaking events, and he’s still traveling to schools and speaking out against drunk driving. If you feel like there’s a tragedy that you can’t overcome in your life, he hopes you will think of him, a successful public speaker despite his disabilities, and be encouraged that God can heal and use you, too!
If you’d like to learn more about Sean Carter’s story, are interested in learning more about traumatic brain injury, or would like to hire Sean to speak at an event, please, visit his website at www.WhenSeanSpeaks.com.