#162 God Like A Safety Belt

Photo by Nicole Tarpoff

Two days before college, I was driving way too fast! I wasn’t under the influence but I was a little anxious to get down the road. I had stolen the car.

In a curve, I’d always crossed the line but this time, I hit another driver. Head-on, 65 miles an hour and my dash board was in my lap and my pelvis, fractured. I didn’t have a safety belt on. I broke my right arm in eight places and my fresh young face hit the windshield.

No one was with me. Thank God but just prior to colliding, someone entered the car.

“Hold my hand.”

What? This was totally foreign. I didn’t have spiritual encounters and I didn’t grow up with people who did. If someone had asked me about the accident, I wouldn’t have mentioned a voice but I put my right hand in the middle of the bench seat and felt a hand take mine.

I have no memory after that. I don’t recall seeing another vehicle, loosing control of the car or skidding 250 feet. I don’t recall impact. I don’t know where I was in the road.

My college plans had been arrested! My doctor said, “You’re on doctors’ orders not to go to university.” I rebutted, “I will go to school if I have to go in a wheelchair!”

Then he gave me a choice, “You can either stay in this bed for ten days or I can put you in a body cast?”

Great! I chose to stay in bed and he scheduled my surgery for the day I was to start classes. Now, I had pins in my arm and I was confined to bed. “Your recovery will be six months,” he stated.

As they wheeled me out of the hospital, my high school drama teacher stopped by. She had retired and was starting a community college in our hometown. “I know the doctor told you, you can’t go to university but you can come to my school.”

There was some hope.

Not long after I was released, I reconnected with Teeny, a widow with no children of her own. We’d connected when I was a girl and became close friends through my high school years. She’d recently moved within walking distance of the new college. I moved in with her.

The first time I walked in, I noticed it. The air in Teeny’s place was thick. It was like liquid air, heavy and loving. I never told her, it felt like liquid love. I don’t know how to describe it except to say I was weighted down in peace and felt like that most of the time.

I never said anything to her about what happened in the car. I wouldn’t have thought to but almost daily she would say, “No one would have lived through that but you. God must have a plan for your life.”

How did she know? How was she so certain God had plans for me? I grew up in a home no one wanted to be in. Everyone of us was ready to leave as soon as anyone could and now my plans to escape had been shattered. How was God on my side?

Once she looked me straight in the face and said, “I’ve been asking God why I’m not dead yet. All my friends are dead but I’m not dead cause you still need a momma.”

Teeney was 91 years old. A frail bird of a woman but her heart was big and strong. I slept in the bedroom on the left side of the hallway. Hers was on the right. At night, she’d take her hearing aids out and I’d overheard her talk. Maybe she couldn’t hear herself but I could. It’s where I learned what God is like. I remember thinking, “Everything is gonna to be just fine because Teeney is talking to God and God lives here cause she’s here.”

After I got my cast off, I quit using the walker and I could do a few things. I made Jello and cornbread or vanilla pudding. We spent days sitting in the sunlit room, watching Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune. I sat on the floor and typed my papers and her chair sat low to the ground. I’d push my body as close to her as I could get. I wanted to crawl inside of her and feel. What was it like to be her?

When I think about religion, I think about complexities. Certain things you have to know or do but Teeny made things real simple. She’d say, “I talk to God like He is a friend. I talk to Him like I’m talking to you right now.” She told me, “When I wake up I ask God to take my hand and keep me from falling and He does.” I knew God was her friend and I knew she was my friend and I thought, maybe, somehow that makes God, my friend.

In January, I went to university. I was in the wrong crowd in no time. One night, the needle was just two or three people away. “If I put that needle in my arm, my life is over. These so-called friends will let me die.” Just like that, I came to my senses and walked 2-3 miles back to my dorm room.

My roommate and her boyfriend were asleep. I quietly came in and clung to my mattress, knelt on the concrete. Teeny had shown me that coming to God was not a complex matter. I quietly said, “I want to know the God Teeny knows.” In that moment, the air in my room became heavy and loving.

I’d never had a hunger to read the Bible but I began to devour it. Within a few months, I moved to an apartment off-campus with two closets. In one, I put my clothes. In the other, I put my Bible. I covered the walls with Scripture. It became my place to meet with God. This new hunger for God was supernatural. I wasn’t like that before. I didn’t want the same things. I began talking with Him like a friend, like Teeny did.

A few years later, I joined a discipleship team. Now, I was studying the Bible day and night. Two days before our first missions trip, God told me to go home and tell Teeny goodbye. At this time, Teeny was 95 years old and in a nursing home. I peeked into her room and she leaned towards me, “Are you an angel or are you the real thing?” I giggled. “I’m the real thing Teeny!”

Teeny was sharp as a tack till she died! She knew exactly what she was saying! Obviously, she was hosting angels. I don’t have a theology for that. I just know I had to walk over and assure her I was the real thing. There was room in her bed for us both. We just hung out for the weekend and shared such joy I forgot why I’d come. On my way out God reminded me, “I told you to tell her goodbye.” I turned around and forced the words out, “Teeny, I want you to know, if you die now; I’m going to be okay. I love you and good-bye.”

Teeny died two weeks later, the day I left on my first missions trip.

I learned a lot about evangelism on the mission field but I learned about Christ in a two-bedroom apartment on Old Lair Road in Cynthiana, Kentucky with a widow on a walker.

Teeney taught me to have a deep confidence and trust in God’s ability to do what He does best: Redeem His Children. 

A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person

#138 Softening My Heart

Photo by Killian Rose

On July 25, 2015 I was sitting on a motorcycle at a stoplight when a Dodge pickup truck driven by a drunk driver hit me from behind going 45 miles per hour. I was crushed between the truck and the car in front of me. My pelvis was shattered, my colon torn in half, my liver lacerated, ribs broken, arm broken, lung punctured, and the carotid artery in my neck nearly severed. I woke up under the pickup truck in so much pain, thinking, I have to get out from under this truck. I prayed, “God help me!” I was flown by helicopter to the university hospital. The paramedics kept saying, “Stay with us, stay with us,” which made me think I was dying.

When I came out of surgery, the doctors told me that I wouldn’t be able to have kids, I couldn’t go back to college for at least two years (I was 19 years old), and I would need to go to a rehabilitation hospital for a year to learn to walk again.

On my ninth day in the hospital I was able to move from my bed to a chair. I was released to my home, not a rehabilitation hospital, but I was still healing from multiple broken bones and was not able to bear weight on my legs. I had to have help brushing my teeth, getting a shower, shaving my legs, and going to the bathroom. My mom died when I was 14 and at the time of the accident my father was a single parent. He was happy to help me with all of the personal care I needed but I hated that he had to do all of those things for me. It was very humbling.

In October, I went back to doctor and found out that my bones were healing more quickly than expected. The doctor prescribed physical therapy and by the end of four weeks of physical therapy, I was able to walk with no severe limp. So instead of one year of inpatient therapy in a rehabilitation facility, I was able to walk with one month of outpatient therapy. In fact, this fall I hiked eight miles on a nearby mountain trail. I am so thankful to God for the remarkable healing! I was also able to go back to college in one semester instead of staying out two years.

After the accident, I experienced more than just physical healing. My mom’s death had been unexpected, a complication from a surgery. We had been so close and it was very hard for me to lose her. My dad is the pastor at our church and my mom had been the worship leader. She was also a teacher at my school. I missed her everywhere—at school, at home, at church. I felt like I couldn’t even go to my pastor for help because it was my dad and he was grieving too.

Years after my mom’s death, my dad got engaged to a woman, but I wasn’t nice to her and didn’t accept her. Accepting her meant I had to let go of my mom and I couldn’t do that. I missed her so much.

I hardened myself to protect myself from the hurt. I had closed off myself against relationships. Before the accident, I didn’t love myself and I didn’t think anyone else loved me—not even God. After the accident, so many people took care of me. There was an overwhelming sense of love and support of people rallying around me. I realized how many people loved me and that God had never stopped loving me. And despite how I had treated my dad’s fiancé, she showed me love and grace and took good care of me. I now see that my anger and bitterness had been hindering my dad and younger brother too from fully healing. Now our home is a place of real peace and it is a life-giving place to be.

Through this experience, God has softened my heart to receive and give love to others. I had internalized so much anger and hurt that it festered into external thorns. I tried to hide it and act okay, but I was hurting people. I didn’t want to accept that I hadn’t fully grieved. I had to realize the internal hurt. It was like a coffee cup with a hole in the bottom—I got all filled up on Sunday at church, but it would quickly drain out and there was no complete deliverance from my pain. I had to acknowledge the hole so that God could heal the hole and I could experience complete healing. And this is what has occurred. God is making a beautiful picture from the broken pieces.

The person driving the truck was a 20-year-old female driving on a suspended license, two times over the legal alcohol limit. Nearly a month after the accident, I was contacted by the commonwealth attorney about pressing charges. He recommended a 20-year prison sentence with the possibility of parole in 17 years. I told him I wanted to pray about what to do. I talked to my dad and the chaplain at my college. I was being asked to make this decision at 20 years of age. I wondered how I could send someone to jail for 20 years. And what if she had kids? I knew what it was like to lose a mom. I didn’t want to take a mom away from her children. But I also didn’t want her to go back on the road and harm someone else.

My chaplain talked to me about restorative justice, which is a model where the offender knows what has happened to the offended and they plan what is best for the recovering offender so that they don’t offend again. I met with the commonwealth attorney and asked about restorative justice, but he said there was nothing like that in our state. Regardless, I didn’t want her to serve a 20-year prison sentence. Instead, she was sentenced to five years of probation with six months in jail and another six months in rehabilitation and 100 hours of community service. Her conditions included random drug screening and sobriety tests and maintaining a full-time job. The attorney was shocked that I didn’t want her to be punished more severely. He said with her alcohol level and the extent of my injuries, he was surprised that he wasn’t working with the surviving family in a homicide case.

Fast forward a year, and I got a text from my dad that the woman had been called in for her random drug screening and she drove to the courthouse with a suspended license and drugs in her system. Since she violated her conditions, she would have to go to jail for 20 years. I had gotten a lot of compliments from people about the grace I had shown her and I told them it was God impressing upon me to do this. But when she violated her conditions, I got so angry with her and thought she spat on my grace. And then I realized we do this with God—we spit on His grace. I have done this. It was humbling to realize this and it helped me to be less angry and more compassionate.

Even though I still suffer physical pain and limitations, God has brought good from the accident. Because I lost my mother, I have been able to comfort other young people who have lost a parent from a place of really knowing how difficult it is. I have personally experienced great physical healing, but the greatest healing has been the spiritual restoration of self-worth that is not based on me following handed-down religious traditions, but instead is based on God’s grace. I am confident that there is nothing I can do to undo His love for me. 

A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.

#109 God Could and God Did

 Photo by Butch Vernon

I grew up in a home with good parents who loved the Lord. We went regularly to the Primitive Baptist Church, but I never connected. When I was 16, my 14-year-old brother died in a car crash. I felt so guilty and felt that God should have taken me because I had been so disobedient to my parents. Not long after that, I became a coal miner. In 1983, I met my wife. She had a three-year-old daughter whose father was killed when she was two. I loved her as my own daughter and she accepted me as her father. 

I hurt my back in the mines and could no longer go underground. I went into the trucking business. Right before our youngest daughter was born, I was driving the truck and was T-boned by another big truck at an intersection. It was a terrible accident. I was hurt and the other driver was killed. One of the police officers that came to the scene said that I had run a stop sign and I was guilty of manslaughter. But I had stopped at the stop sign and thankfully there was a witness that had seen me stop and said so. 

I was in the trucking business for 20 years, but in 2000 it became clear that we would lose everything because of bankruptcy. We pooled what little resources we had and moved to another city for a fresh start. Because of our credit, we couldn’t rent or buy a home. We were on the verge of being homeless when we found a home that was owner-financed which we could purchase. The owner was such a kind person. This was such a blessing for our family. But the move was hard on my wife and youngest daughter, who was still living at home. My daughter hated her high school, to the point of working extremely hard to graduate a year early. 

She got married her freshman year of college. Then she was rear-ended in a car accident and had back surgery. There were complications and she was in a wheelchair for six months and then had more surgery and more serious complications. Then her husband left her for another woman. She became very depressed and tried to take her own life two times. One night, when my daughter was living by herself, I couldn’t get in touch with her. I felt the Lord urging me to go check on her. Her car was there but she wouldn’t answer her door. I looked in through the window and saw her… I broke down the door and took her to the hospital where they were able to help her.  

Meanwhile, my wife started drinking. She drank every night. I kept thinking that all of this was more than we could bear. But God was at work in our family, and things began to change. My daughter began seeing a therapist. She started going to church and got baptized. My wife and I started going to church with her. My wife checked herself into a recovery program. You could see God working in her life. She continued to go to church and gave her life to Christ. She finished the recovery program and hasn’t had a drink since then. Our oldest daughter and her husband started going to church and were both baptized as well. Our neighbor went to the same church and she would stop by and talk to me when I was outside. She was very encouraging to me about my faith. On September 16, 2012, the sermon spoke to me in a powerful way. That day I gave my life to Christ and was baptized. 

One by one, the members of our family surrendered their lives to Christ. This was the beginning of our new lives and a journey of healing. God healed our daughter’s depression. She went back to college, became a nurse, got married to a Christian man, and now has two children. God healed my wife and gave her the strength to stop drinking. And God delivered me from terrible guilt. For years, I had felt so guilty—guilty about the truck wreck years ago and guilty that I had struggled to provide financially and that led to our moving and the beginning of such hard times for our daughter and my wife. I wanted so badly to “fix” everything, but as hard as I tried, I just couldn’t make things better for anyone in my family. But God could and God did. Years ago, I prayed that God would keep our family together and help us. God answered my prayer. He has been so good to our family. Again and again, I have seen God working in our lives. I am so thankful. 

Praise the Lord; praise God our savior!

For each day he carries us in his arms.

Our God is a God who saves!

Psalm 68:19-20

A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.

#94 Unstoppable Power of Prayer

 Photo by Ashley Brown, Shining Light Photography

My testimony is from a time when I was 16 years old and I’d had my driver’s license for about two months. It was December 26, 2007 and I was going to pick up the girl I was dating at the time for a Christmas dinner at my house. The drive should have only been about 15–20 minutes, but after 30 minutes my mom called to see if we were headed back yet. She couldn’t reach me so she called my girlfriend, who told her that I had not gotten there yet. 

They immediately knew something was wrong, so my brother instructed my girlfriend and her grandfather to go looking on a route he knew I would not have taken, and he went the way he knew I would have taken. Sure enough, about five miles up the road, my brother came upon my mom’s car upside down in a pasture field, with me being loaded into a helicopter in a corn field on the opposite side of the road. My wallet and phone were lost in the wreck, so at that point I was a John Doe—my brother had to tell them who I was. They did not expect me to even make it to the hospital alive. 

I was told later how the accident happened. I went off the road on the right side, just before a sharp turn to the left. I overcorrected the car, went across the road, and hit a culvert that ran underneath the road in that turn. The car was actually going backwards as it hit the ditch and I was ejected nearly 100 feet out the back window. 

From this point on is where God shows Himself in this story. I lived in a small town where cops were virtually nonexistent. Not that they weren’t around, but we never saw a cop on the road. Well, it just so happened that a police officer was traveling down the road just moments after my accident. He immediately radioed in for a helicopter, knowing that an ambulance would not be adequate. The local rescue teams were rushed out to try to maintain stability until the copter arrived. Once I was in the helicopter, they put me in a medically-induced coma that was only meant to last a couple days, at the longest, and my brother led the officer to our house to break the news to Mom. 

I was flown to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Indiana, where I spent two weeks in ICU. I had fractured a vertebra, fractured my pelvis, broke some ribs, broke my collarbone, and had a severe TBI (traumatic brain injury). Most importantly, though, I was still alive. The night of the accident, when I was flown to the hospital, I believe word traveled so fast in that town that some of my friends and family may have beaten me to that hospital. My friends, family, and church family filled that hospital floor to the point where no one else could even think about coming in. They were all lifting me up in prayer, and that is the reason why I am still here today and can tell you this story. I was put on prayer chains all across this nation and even in other countries. 

From ICU at Deaconess, I was moved to a rehab hospital in Evansville. At this point, however, I was still in a coma, which I stayed in for three more weeks at Healthsouth. When I finally started to regain consciousness, I began therapy to “re-learn” everything again from eating and talking to bathing and walking. Therapy lasted about six to seven months in total, and I am more than thankful for the recovery God has given me. I have learned that so many people that have gone through what I went through are left unable to talk, walk, eat, or function independently. I would like to think that the average person who meets me today would never even be able to guess what I went through. 

I do not remember how the wreck happened or even leaving the house or what happened the seven hours before I left the house that day. I do know that God was with me and He wrapped His arms around me that entire time, and that prayer is a powerful machine that can move mountains. I hope my testimony allows everyone who reads it to see the power in prayer and the unstoppable force of our Almighty God when we call upon His name. I hope this story gives you hope and perseverance in whatever you are going through today so that you are able to come out a stronger person more reliant on God. 

A couple verses I would like to share with you that really kept my family and me strong throughout this whole time are Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go,” and Jeremiah 29:11 “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.

#64 The Great Physician

 Photo by Erin Drysdale, Erin E Photography

A fear and dread washed over me. The doctor had just told me that soon my mom may need to be transferred out of intensive care at the hospital to an institution if she didn’t start to breathe on her own. I was confused and intimidated by the doctor and didn’t know what to say or ask. Later, I asked the respiratory therapist that was suctioning out mom’s windpipe what the doctor meant. She explained that people could only be kept in intensive care for a certain number of days and couldn’t be transferred to a regular hospital room if they were still on a respirator. If after the designated number of days a patient still needed a respirator to breathe, they had to be transferred out, often to a “vent farm,” which was a facility much like a nursing home, except all people were hooked up to respirators.

I could not get the words “vent farm”  out of my head. The words repulsed me. Why would they call a place for people who had been the victims of terrible tragedies by such an awful name? Mom was in a coma after a terrible car accident and the doctors didn’t know if she would ever “wake up.” She had not been able to breathe on her own since that awful day two weeks ago. Every time the doctor tested to see if she could breathe on her own by taking her off the respirator, her blood pressure would go up so high, the doctor feared she would have a stroke and was forced to place her back on a respirator. Her body was working so hard just to breathe. Again and again they tried, but she just couldn’t do it. The doctor said soon he would give up on her ever being able to breathe on her own. This terrified me.

On September 16 the doctors told us they would test mom’s ability to breathe one last time. I didn’t know what to do except to pray. I asked as many people as I could think of to pray for her. Our family and friends also asked people to pray so that people who didn’t even know Mom were praying for her. Neighbors, people in churches, teachers and students in schools, mom’s high school classmates and friends, my 80-year-old father’s classmates and friends, people in different workplaces all over the US and even in Japan—all were praying for Mom to successfully breathe on her own on September 17, the day of the final breathing test.

That morning the respirator was turned off. My cousin stood on one side of the bed, holding her hand, and I stood on the other side, holding her hand. We stood silently and watched the clock and prayed for her to breathe. We watched the blood pressure monitor. She breathed an hour, then another. We watched the monitor that showed how much oxygen her body was getting. It was good. She breathed another hour and another. We stood all day watching her, watching the clock and praying. And by nightfall she was proclaimed to be successful at breathing on her own! Praise to God for answered prayers for her breathing! Thanks be to Jesus, the Great Physician, for this miracle of healing for my mom!

A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.

#45 Speaking Hope One Tattoo At A Time

 Photo by Lang Thomas Photography

A burst of hope running through each human’s genetics was how he recognized God. Something you just gotta find. And there was one day followed by a thousand wondering cerebral flashes that drew him into Christ.

“If it had been a movie and you’d have taken a still frame, it would have looked so creepy,” he said, rediscovering a past life as he spoke.

In an elongated, scraping instant, skidding down a sidewalk, the car finally flipped. He smashed into a fence at the edge of a decay-ridden cemetery. Trees were bare of foliage. Perforated leaves, unreal and flimsy, were wandering around edges of shadow. It was black-ink dark.

“Please, God. Don’t let me die.”

This was the strange, life-giving, incoherent second when God became. And, for a moment, there was someone who might be compassionate enough to care and powerful enough to save. But his body was unconscious in the center of absence—graves and tentacle-like trees surrounded. There was, somehow, less than nothing. Land absent of life, prosperous with death.

A car passed like a revelation. Someone saw. Someone came.

For months, from within his own depths, the Father began to appear, not as a confusion or a blur. Real. Alive-making.

God emerged from a triggered question: “Why would I think to pray?” Imploring a God he’d never heard of? A petition from no knowledge? In his mind, church was a place of irrelevance and God was even less existent, less than nothing.

It was Monday night youth group he chose to try, because it wasn’t anything like that kind of stereotypical church-for-nerds. His Marilyn Manson T-shirts weren’t snubbed, and the other youth were attracted to his unknowing transparency. Not terribly long after, he committed to Christ in the only kind of sold-out way offered—baptism.

Slamming through his self was finally life! Not just lack of death but a kind of erupting and drumming Freedom. It caused his soul to breathe. It connected him to a fellowship of connective people. Church. He had to be part of it. He needed it like some sort of nourishing drug. But he didn’t burrow into it.

He began to apprentice at a tattoo shop. The guy in charge of the place liked his designs and asked for more. An inside-the-chest battle began. He needed to pay the bills. He didn’t need to get into everything that tattoo parlors bring. And he did everything but ink. It clawed at his existence: divergence between an occupation bizarre for ordinary Christians and looming costs of life.

A tattoo artist? He didn’t grow up wanting to be one. He lived in a turbulent home. In one slow moment of his childhood, he became the man of the house and had to visit his dad in prison only one Saturday each month. Through it all, though, he’d always been full of the calm of artful design.

And now he began to see God in deficiency. It was like negative space drew the outline of a Savior. His best connection to Him was through lack—seeing the absence of God in humans. Understanding their Fatherlessness made him aware of his Father-fullness. Including millions of people who lived with less than nothing—the absence of God—the tattoo shop was where he was supposed to carry out a calling. To him, the presence of God was made clear in this place of real people.

“I feel more comfortable around people who have no concept of Jesus—other-side-of-the-tracks people.” The kind of people who are so disconnected from God they are surprised to meet a Christian. Christians are, to them, a tiny, forsaken minority—if they exist at all. And if they exist they aren’t the kind of people who believe in the dude called Jesus or a Father who asks for everything.

But because of his own giant, faithful, whole-body tattoos and his straight-edge lifestyle, the ones getting their mark ask him about it all. And sometimes that burst of Divine hits them and they realize they can talk to God even if they are some crazy criminals.

This guy doesn’t look for and find the people who have a grudge against God; they come to him—every day. They feel annulled from church or unknown altogether. Not wanting to know because of no knowledge, they are void of God and no one talks to them about real Hope.

But, through him, one tattoo at a time, God does.

A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.

#32 A Sign Of Answered Prayers

Photo by Erin E. Photography

Thursday, September 6, 2012, was like so many other Thursdays. I drove the 40 miles to care for my grandchildren. We spent the day together, had dinner with their mom, my daughter, then I drove the 40 miles back home.

That’s when things got very interesting.

Our neighbor across the street was having trouble getting his car in their garage. My husband and I went over to see if we could help. His wife and I stood on his lawn and my husband was some distance behind the neighbor’s car. Then it happened. I went blank—unconscious, actually. The neighbor had accidentally hit me with his moving car.

I remained unconscious for over a month and amnesic even longer. When I awoke, weeks later, I knew I was in the hospital. I asked my family what had happened and where I was. My daughter explained I had been at the hospital in ICU for four weeks and then transferred to a rehabilitation hospital a few weeks ago. I would be going home soon. That explained part of the mystery, but what had happened to me? Why the extensive stay and care? I soon learned that I had received extensive damage to my body, including many broken bones and head injuries with brain damage and blindness in my left eye. I realized I was very limited in my ability to function or remember.

When they released me home a few weeks later, it was with a potty chair and walker plus a list of appointments with various doctors and therapists—speech, physical, and so on. I am a retired registered nurse, having worked in surgery, recovery room, emergency room, as well as on the floor with patients. I had an awareness of my situation, somewhat. Only when I was home and read my medical reports did I appreciate the extent of my blessings. When I read the reports, I cried. For the first time, I realized how close I had been to death. From my nursing experience, I knew that a person with my injuries could have died. I realized God had given me another chance.

I have been a faithful Christian throughout my life—no smoking or drinking, and working in a church community and doing my daily devotions. Before the accident, I had been very strong and healthy, and because of the wide range of my activities in the community, many people knew me and prayed for me after my injury. My family and their many friends had also prayed for me for weeks.

Gradually, I realized what an extraordinary blessing God had given me. I had not prayed for myself because I had been unconscious and amnesic when I woke up. God answered the prayers of many people on my behalf. God continues to bless me. When the people in my community see me, they, too, know their prayers were answered.

A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.