Death at Age TwelveSo, by the time I was twelve, I didn’t know if God was still there or if He still cared. And if He was and did then why didn’t He make Grandpa stop? I had bought the lie too. God was God—all powerful—but the one lie that constantly whispered in my ear, How can God love you since He let all these bad things happen, had been germinating in my heart. I didn’t know it then, but I needed more than the powerful God Almighty. I needed God, the good, good Father. Laying there in the hospital bed, I realized I was not dead. Based on the hustle and bustle of activity around me, that was obviously more than the doctors knew. I tried to move or speak to let them know I could hear them, but my limbs would not cooperate. Despite my most focused attempt to open my eyes, there was nothing I could do to communicate. They looked upon my body and saw the outward shell without hearing my silent screams. At some point, a doctor peeled back one of my eyelids to shine a flashlight into my eye. I was looking back at him, but it was like he couldn’t see me. Irritated, he mumbled his discontentment under his breath, “Incompetent, wet-behind-the-ears doctors,” and something about disturbing him at home in the middle of his dinner party. As he looked into my eyes, I saw sadness in his. He flicked between my pupils with his flashlight and drew his silent conclusion: he had nothing more to offer me. He was as lost as I was, painfully aware of the fragility of life—my life—as it slipped away in front of him. God, where are You? I needed to know now more than ever.
Out of BodyAnd then it happened. I started floating up through my body, which was still tied to the hospital bed with IV tubes, and various monitors all alarming at once. I saw the doctor pressing the mask over my nose and mouth, felt his little finger pressing under my chin to secure the seal of the mask to my face. Rhythmically squeezing the bag trying to get me to breathe, thumping my chest so hard, my body bounced on the rigid bed with such vigor that I was sure my ribs would crack, shouting at each other, ripping open syringe packets to pump drugs into my veins and scurrying about. Suddenly, every cell in by body was at peace, except now I had two bodies. One was in the bed and the other was me, the real me. Very aware that the real me was not the one who was lying on the bed, I tried to reconcile how I was moving. I was walking, I think, but not consciously. Floating may be a more accurate description. Turning away from the hospital bed, on my right was a set of white double doors that shone with light through their frosted glass windows. I found myself moving toward them and then through them as they swung open to the long hallway on the other side. Passing through the door and down the hall, the light became brighter. It reminded me of the warmth that penetrates your body when you lie in the sun on a hot summer day. It was so inviting, so overwhelmingly peaceful and loving. I was captivated by it, drawn toward the light by a love that words cannot adequately describe.
Face-to-FaceSuddenly aware that I was not alone, I turned around to face the presence behind me. The light shone so brightly that I couldn’t look at His face, only down at His feet. They were big feet, feet that had walked many miles. They were beautiful feet. The figure in front of me was so close that His white robes brushed against my knees and I felt His warm breath on my head, flooding every cell in my body and making my toes tingle. Somehow, I felt like I knew this person, like I had always known Him. I knew things without Him using words, without either of us speaking. Words are inadequate to describe the depth of love and peace I experienced while in His presence. I wanted to stay in that moment forever. I didn’t know His name, but I knew who He was, and I knew He knew me. Like, really knew me. He knew everything about me, He always had. He had always been there, right beside me, holding my heart in the palm of His hand. But my visit was premature, and I knew I had to go back to my earthly life. No sooner had that thought entered my mind than it was gone…
In His ArmsWhen you abide under the shadow of Shaddai, you are hidden in the strength of God Most High. He’s the hope that holds me and the stronghold to shelter me, the only God for me, and my great confidence. He will rescue you from every hidden trap of the enemy, and he will protect you from false accusation and any deadly curse. His massive arms are wrapped around you, protecting you. You can run under his covering of majesty and hide. His arms of faithfulness are a shield keeping you from harm.
All Is Not Lost
In All Is Not Lost, international speaker Carlie Terradez, shares her path from trauma to victory. Surviving a decade of sexual abuse, coming back from death at age 12, and learning to walk after paralysis, Carlie has faced her share of struggles. Now, from experience, Carlie shows you the way out of victimhood into triumph!