An ordinary woman with an extraordinary story



March 28, 2012

When I first started speaking in 2006, it didn’t seem to me like I had that much to say.  People were wanting to know how I survived, how I could get up in the morning.  They wanted to hear the story, and they wanted answers.  I didn’t know what to say.  But clearly God wanted me to speak anyway.  So I did.  I shared the story of how God was with me the night of the accident, of the verses God had shown me, of how I made the choice to continue to believe, and of what God had done to take care of me.  But there was something missing.   I wanted to know how to find healing, and I had no idea how.  I wanted to stop hurting, and I had no idea how.  And really, I didn’t want to stop hurting because somehow it seemed like it would mean I didn’t love anymore.  So I begged God for the answers, reminding Him that He was sending me out to share answers that I didn’t have!

Little by little God answered that prayer. I learned an entirely different picture of healing than I had envisioned in my mind.  I was looking for the absence of pain.  And I discovered that doesn’t exist. Life is full of pain.  And the heart of a mother will always grieve for her children.  Always.  Always.

Through reading several books, a picture began to form in my mind.  It was the picture of a wounded heart.  In deep pain, the heart expands, almost as if it cannot hold that much pain, and yet it does.  As time goes on, the heart has a choice.  It can remain as it is, full of only pain, or, if it is willing, it can allow joy to re-enter the heart as well.  The joy and the pain then sit side-by-side, in a heart now big enough to hold both.  Pain will still grip that heart, but so will joy.  That is healing…..not the absence of pain, but allowing joy to enter a heart of pain.

One would think that I would always want that….joy, that is.  But sometimes I just want to wallow in pain.  It’s interesting that pain is always the easy option.  Joy requires choosing to work a little – open the Bible, pray, talk to people, or even cry.  Crying is deep work for me, it just hurts soooo bad.  But it always opens my heart to be able to feel positive emotions again.  Sometimes I just don’t want to face the pain enough to get to the relief.  Sometimes I need someone to help me through the process, and welcome their help.  Sometimes I throw people to the side who are trying to help me because I am tired of being weak and needing to be cared for.  Most of the time I am in my own way to finding joy again.

Silly girl.


I wonder if at times you get tired of answering the questions people ask or the telling of the story when they request to hear it. Is it like reliving it over and over?
I pray for God to continue to strengthen and bless you. I wonder why God allows some circumstances in our lives that certainly don’t make any sense to us. He sees a bigger picture. His ways are higher than ours. I think when we get to heaven we’ll all say, “Oh!! okay, I get it now.” 🙂

I have had the same feeling andwant togive up, butthere is a feeling of being needed so I can go on. God is here with us no matter where we are and I thnk him for your friendship.

Honestly Dawn, questions are ok. It’s more difficult if I feel like people have forgotten. Questions give me the opportunity to express myself, whether that is with tears or with joy, even if sometimes the answer is simply, “I have no idea.”
Sometimes when I’m speaking, God asks me to tell the details of the first night. That is difficult, and leaves me enormously drained. To me, it’s worth it when I hear someone afterward say what God said to them about their own story, during the telling of my story.

Carl, you are enormously needed. Your family needs you, and so does the Lord. He has things for you to do. Your heart is tender to His words. Listen to them, and follow Him. Don’t be afraid.

We do think of healing as the absence of pain, don’t we? I am so thankful that God is using you to help others. I am also so thankful that somehow as only He can, God allowed us to meet. You are truly amazing, my friend.

You are truly amazing too Alene! You are doing marvelous things with your Lord – from women’s work in Tennessee, to loving the people of Germany.
It was truly a blessing for both Brenda and I to serve alongside of you. We love you and miss you!


I have loved you and JL and Janessa since I was a little girl. I never got to meet your son. I will tell you this, when you made the drive to NE to be with us when my mom passed, you gave me something. Peace. I believe, with my whole heart, that God put you there to give me peace about my mom’s salvation. I know she was a believer, but sometimes we don’t really know. When you handed me that crown, it was as if God, who owes me NOTHING, gave me that answer. You are amazing and I love you and thank you for all you have done for me.

What an amazing story for me to have that purple crown in my truck from the previous retreat. God is so good. It truly was a gift from Him. I love you Brandi!

I often tell that story, it is a true Testament of his Grace and mercy. There is no doubt that it was gift, you couldn’t make something so incredible up! Much love!

Oh, Lora. Knowing what you went through has and is helping me to live with losing Sammy. God has led me to some powerful scripture that helps me to understand living with the pain, loving through the pain and hurt. I thank God that HE had brought the JONES family to Miami. You are such a testimony of Gods great love. Thank-you Lora. and may God bless you.

Proud of you little sister. Keep leaning into the pain. Loved the part about crying being deep work. Where I work i tell families that it is okay to cry. I also tell them the grief process includes laughing and crying and both are okay. I like my friends quote, “If the eyes water the head doesn’t swell.” I skyped with Val and Luciana last night. It was awesome! Can’t wait for Brazil.
Your Much Older Brother In Christ

When a joy is shared, its triumph is multiplied and when a sorrow or suffering is shared, its weight is divided. Took me many years to share whether it was joy or sorrow. God helped me through you by learning to share my deepest feelings and emotions. My prayers will be with you and all the team members going to Brazil. God so grew me on those mission trips to Brazil. Please give my love to Val and Luciana. They were such joys in my life and I feel so blessed to know them.
I love you dearly, always, forever.

Thank you Bea. You are a dear friend. I wish that we had more time together. Our miles are too far apart! I will be sure to tell Val and Luciana that you are thinking of them. Please pray for me as I share their grief.

This hits so close to home for me and I love you for being real and explaining grief which is so hard to explain so honest and real.

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