My car accident testimony…
In May of 1987, I decided to go on a shopping trip with my three kids. Their dad was going to stay home and take care of the yard. It was a very beautiful Saturday in the Spring, and even my eldest son wanted to come along–something my 17-year-old rarely did. I had just told my 12-year-old daughter that we would go, but then I felt in my spirit what I call a ‘scratching’ right in the center of my chest over my sternum. I was still young in the Lord and hadn’t ever heard His voice yet, but I somehow KNEW that this scratching was HIM, and that He was not wanting me to go shopping. I actually argued with Him, telling Him all the “reason’s why” it was a good day to go. When I finished speaking, He scratched again. Sadly, we went anyway.
I was in a van with my three children and my daughter’s friend. On our return from shopping, at a crossroad in front of us, I saw a Suburban approaching from a LONG way off to my left. I was filled with a great peace and thought several times, “It’s all right. They see us, and they’re going to stop.” After passing a car, I glanced in the rear-view mirror at my eldest son who winked at me, because he knew how I disliked passing. We had nearly made it past the crossroad when ‘suddenly’ we were hit because that Suburban had run the stop sign. Our left rear tire exploded. I started going up and over the steering wheel as I had the fleeting thought,”Oh, my gosh.” And, that’s the last I remember. I later learned all the details of the accident from my eldest son who saw it all as it happened. My daughter and her friend were thrown out of the back doors, which had exploded open. They both landed hard on the grass and rolled quite a distance before they stopped. Both were uninjured but in shock.
My other son was asleep in the front passenger seat at the time, so he doesn’t remember anything about it all, but my oldest son told me, “The van flipped five times, three times vertically and twice horizontally, and it flew over a mailbox, the top of which stood eight feet above the bottom of the ditch in which the van landed.” Two cars were behind us on the highway (we lived in the Mid West, so the highway was crowded — not. HA HA!) A woman passenger in one of the cars said, “This looks like a scene out of a movie. No one can survive this.”
The van finally landed in the deep ditch, right next to a large, foot-and-a-half-deep puddle of water. The last bounce the van made, it landed on me, crushing me down to within 3 to 4 inches thick. Three Vertebra exploded, two between my shoulder blades and one at my waist. In the ditch, I kept going in and out of consciousness. The pain was the most excruciating I’ve ever had in my entire life. It was as if the sun had come down and was burning in my back. Losing consciousness was a relief. Each time I would regain it, there was my seventeen-year-old son leaning over me, continually telling me that I would be all right, and also encouraging me that my younger son, 14, daughter, 12, and her friend, 13, were all right, too. (He was my rock that day.) All I kept asking was, “Did we make it? Is everyone alive?” He told me they were fine and that his younger brother was sitting down by the road with his arm around his little sister comforting her. It took a very long time to grasp the fact that we’d all lived, even while seeing my children with my own eyes. Once I did, however, it brought me comfort to know that they were taking care of each other.
The people who’d hit us lived in a Hutterite colony a mile away and never did come across the road to see if everyone was all right. However, once, when I woke, I saw three women from that colony standing at the top of the ditch looking down at me. I thought, “Where did those witches come from?” Strange thought, huh? After thinking that, I fell instantly into unconsciousness again.
The next time I woke, my son was to my left, and to my right a man was leaning over me, a kind look on his face. He was in one of the cars behind us. He told me I would be all right and then asked me if he could pray for me. I told him, “Oh, yes! That would be wonderful!” I smiled inwardly, because I knew he was startled that I’d agreed. He prayed a very simple prayer, and I thought, “Okay, Jesus, that’s good enough” and lost consciousness again.
The accident happened in a very rural area between two huge, empty, farm fields. It took an hour for the ambulance to arrive, and I would go in and out of consciousness several times while waiting. When they finally got there, they had slid two boards underneath me, and were attempting to push them together but kept pinching my broken spine instead. I would scream every time, but they only kept trying harder. At last I heard the boards click together. I remember being loaded into the ambulance, then waking up in the hospital. (We lived in a very small town, ninety miles from a large hospital.) The doctor who treated me shaved some hair off the back of my head, making me cry out, “Don’t make me bald!” He only chuckled and put eight staples into my head, with me saying “ouch!” every, single time. He didn’t wash out the broken glass first.
I found out later that I sustained a traumatic brain injury (which I’m still dealing with today) a cleanly broken sternum, massive internal bleeding (I was told later that my muscles were so shredded that nothing was holding up my spine), various cuts and bruises and there is still glass in the back of my head. I also survived a heart attack, which the Lord later healed in intensive care. The doctor was going to let me ‘heal naturally’ in the hospital. He’d left and gone home, but his wife, who was a friend of mine and had come to the hospital to see me, told him that I said I was thirsty, so she’d given me a drink of water. She told me later that he JUMPED UP out of his chair, exclaiming, “What?! That’s a sign of internal bleeding. She didn’t tell me she was thirsty!” So he called for a helicopter and I was air-flighted to a larger hospital. The doctor told me much later that I had died in the hospital that night. Yet, here I am.
I had back surgery. The scar is nineteen inches long. (Years later, I had my niece measure it. We’d just listened to Dotty Rambo tell her back testimony, and HER scar was 21 inches, so I wanted to know how long mine was. lol I actually felt a moment’s disappointment that hers was longer.) After surgery, my children’s father told me that the helicopter pilot had watched the surgery. He said, “Man, Someone sure was watching over your wife! Her spinal cord was pushed out as far as it could go from all the bone chips, and it was never severed!” The enemy tried to sever it through the ambulance workers, but THANK GOD! he wasn’t allowed. I shrank 2 and a half inches in height when they fused my spine together.
In intensive care, the doctor came in and told me sadly that I’d had a heart attack. After he left, in my mind I kept hearing myself repeat over and over in what sounded like the rhythm of a heartbeat, “You have a GOOD, strong heart. You have a GOOD, strong heart…” and lost consciousness. Four hours later the same doctor strode into the room again, a HUGE smile on his face, saying, “We ran the tests again and we must have made a mistake. Your heart was only bruised, but it will heal just fine.” I smiled, and thanked the Lord as I passed out again.
When I was taken out of ICU and placed into a regular room, I was HIT with a JOY that felt like a PHYSICAL FORCE. While in the worst pain of my entire life, I would laugh much of the time. My medical records were filled with nurse’s comments saying things like, “she’s happy today,” “in a good mood,” “but she laughed anyway,” “waving her arms and laughing,” etc. Pain pills and shots helped too, of course.
One day, I was wide awake and saw an awesome, what-they-call open vision. I said to my sister who was with me, “WOW! LOOK at the BLOOD! Look at the Blood!!” I was seeing the most VIVID, DEEPLY RED Blood. It took up almost all the width of my room, and the stripes came down from the ceiling to almost where I lay in bed. It seemed ALIVE, and FILLED with LIGHT. Vertical swatches of BLOOD, as if a Painter had painted it… very TALL and WIDE stripes, spaces between the stripes, and the ends of each stripe dripped down in jaggedy lines, like a painter’s brush stroke would leave. It was absolutely glorious!! I knew as I looked that the Lord was letting me know that He had me surrounded with His Blood. Oh, I can’t express how beautiful is His blood! As I looked at it, the JOY was INTENSE.
When I was home again, my daughter told me that, back during the accident, she thought I had died. She said, “I kept trying to think of Jesus’ name and I couldn’t.” (She remembers spinning and rolling over and over, the grass and dirt in her mouth, hearing that crash in her head.) She asked me if I could hear her hollering. After I told her no, she said, “I thought and thought and thought and FINALLY remembered it, but then it wouldn’t come out of my mouth. So I tried and tried and tried and FINALLY it BURST OUT, and I hollered, “You’re healed in Jesus’ name! You’re healed in Jesus’ name! Did you hear me?” When I told her I hadn’t heard, she said, “Well, finally, you raised your arm above the reeds, and wiggled your fingers, so I knew you were alive.”
I was given physical therapy to relearn how to stand, walk, sit and turn over again. On the first day, I came to the end of the parallel bars and stood there looking around, a huge smile on my face, expecting to see someone come up and put a gold medal around my neck. I thought I deserved it. I gave a start and laughed at myself, thinking how silly is THAT?! I told that story to everyone I’d meet and just laughed. I’d been home for about a week or so when there was a knock at the door. My college friend came to visit. She had an envelope in her hand, which she handed me saying, “The Lord wants you to have this.” So we chatted a bit and after she left, I started to slowly sit down in my chair when something fell out of the envelope and onto my lap. I looked down and in amazement saw a gold medal on a golden string. I BURST into tears, stunned that the Lord took me seriously on something I’d only ever laughed about. Inside the letter, she wrote that the Lord wanted me to have Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” I’ve since stood on this verse, trusting Him to bring it to pass in my life. My friend told me later that it was the only gold medal she’d won for track in college that year, but Jesus wanted me to have it. She left it on its golden string, because she had searched all over but couldn’t find a red/white/and blue ribbon. I cried for an hour, the Lord’s LOVE SURROUNDING me like a great cloud.
This is quite a long story, but the Lord was/is with me through the entire thing. I saw Him do many, many miracles for me. When I went for the first check-up five weeks after the accident, I found out that the two, 10-inch, Harrington rods that were placed on either side of my spine had popped off at the top of my spine and were trying to come out through my skin. So I had to have a second surgery. Hearing that news, the joy I had carried instantly disappeared. I had to walk the rest of the way now with faith alone, without that manifested joy.
In the operating room, as the surgeon looked at me, a mask on his face, I asked, “Can you do this surgery without opening me all the way up again?” When he shook his head and said, “no,” I said, “Well, then, if you can take the rods out, take them out…. because you are never…touching…me…again.” His eyes widened, and I went out. When I came to in Recovery, I learned that I’d healed enough such that, three months to the day since they were put in, the rods were taken out. I never saw that surgeon again. He did a great job though, and I thank God for him.
Several months after the accident, I’d had tests taken on my brain and then talked with a neurologist. He told me my brain had been slammed around inside my head three times, but that there was nothing medically that could be done for me. Then, many years later, talking with another doctor about my brain, I was told that the information which flows steadily and unceasingly into each persons brain through their senses can be thought of as like water flowing through a three-foot diameter pipe. But, the brain damage I sustained in the accident caused my three-foot pipe to shrink down to the diameter of a drinking straw, yet all the while, the same amount of information keeps trying to force its way through. Consequently, the headaches I get now can be instant and exquisitely painful in a nanosecond, especially if I am startled or surprised in any way with what I’m having to deal with, or if asked a question. Just think of how many times in a day one can be asked a question. The headaches I’ve had since my early twenties have only grown more constant and more intensely severe.
It’s a long, long story and one I still live with today, and am still waiting for the “end of the story”. But seven years after the accident (years of unending, excruciating pain, taking pain pills the whole time, which never took away the pain for a second, but simply kept me mobile) at a church service where Holy Ghost was being poured out, I got “stuck” to the floor under His power. (I had not stretched once for all those years, and should anyone even gently touch my back, I would scream from the pain.) Laying there, I kept feeling like my spine was ‘moving’. I ignored that ‘moving’ feeling because I thought I was making it up.
Several weeks later, my daughter and I were talking when suddenly she exclaimed, “Mom! You’re taller!” I argued with her a little and finally said, “Okay, then, measure me.” She did, and the Lord GREW ME BACK UP TO MY ORIGINAL HEIGHT!” I never even knew that could/would happen, and certainly didn’t ask Him to do it.
He began a sovereign move of healing my back and hasn’t finished it yet. But, one day, if and when He pleases, He will have it done. I no longer gasp! or scream when anyone touches my back. But the very painful tissue damage I’d sustained in my thighs six years earlier, when I nearly froze to death in -80 degree wind-chill, was HEALED as He worked on healing my back!
One day during the three years that I was blind (another story), my pastor’s wife was praying for me. The Lord told me through her that “My body was broken for you. Your body was broken for Me.” I was stunned! Then, Holy Ghost came on me in great power, and, as I was falling backward (no one caught me and it didn’t hurt a bit when I hit the floor), I had the thought, “Isn’t that blasphemous?” But He revealed to me much later, that what He said shows PURPOSE, HIS purpose. He has a GOOD reason for it all.
I’m grateful to Jesus for the lesson I learned from this accident. Always obey Him in everything, no matter WHAT. He knows the end from the beginning, and out of His great love for us, He will always command us in the good way that we should go.
To God be the glory, great things He has done!!