From a stationary position, I was rear-ended by a vehicle travelling 100 kilometres per hour and catapulted 40 metres up the highway. Amazingly, my car avoided collision with the oncoming traffic.
Emergency personnel stated that my car seat snapped on impact and that saved my life. I think differently--God saved my life!
Cut from the wreckage and ambulanced to hospital, I was x-rayed for spinal fractures, diagnosed with a concussion and discharged home. Later, it was confirmed I'd suffered multiple head impacts from the ricocheted effect of the collision, with subsequent brain trauma and inner-ear imbalance.
My once-active lifestyle completely stopped. For almost nine months, I lay at home unable to stand or balance properly. I prayed earnestly for healing as I struggled with both my physical and psychological debilitation
The next shock came after a routine mammogram. Breastscreen Australia advised further investigation. As a cancer nurse, it was all too familiar--but this time, the cancer could be mine. My usual fun-loving optimism and faith in God was swept into a darkness I'd never known before.
Despondent, I went alone into the cane fields near our home in the early hours of the morning. I felt the need for God in complete solitude. My thoughts surprised me, then frightened me--I had contemplated driving in front of a passing truck!
I knew it was the devil. I knew I had to take hold of God's hand. I knew if I could speak the name of Jesus, the devil would flee. I began to sing an old hymn, "Lord plant my feet on higher ground."
Immediately, the darkness began to dissipate. As my confidence and resolve grew, so did the light. It was a beautiful light and it flooded my soul with indescribable peace. I know it was God's presence.
In gratitude and praise, I desired to sing the song in its entirety so I searched the pages of my church hymnbook. I found it 631 hymns later but on the way, God gave me a beautiful message in hymn 249, "If Through Unruffled Seas." It speaks of sailing on the sea of life and our desire for calm conditions. But the second verse reads: "Blest be the sorrow/ kind the storm/ which drives us nearer home."
It was the message I desperately needed. I was being driven into God's loving arms--and my safe harbour in the storm. I recommitted my life to Him. I told Him of my desire to live but should He decree it, I was also willing to die.
Complete surrender--complete peace. I underwent further cancer tests, then sat in the waiting room with eight other women awaiting results. One woman seated opposite me came over and said, "Can I please sit next to you? There's something about you that makes me feel safe." I briefly told her of my journey and my walk with God. She responded that she'd only just begun to pray to Him again after many years and wondered if He'd mind. "He'd just love to hear from you," I reassured her. I don't even know her name--but God does! The nurse then informed me that I had breast cancer. She asked if I was scared. I gave an emphatic, "No," explaining that God had saved my life before, as well as my baby daughter, in a miraculous emergency caesarian out in Tonga. I'd just had that story printed in Ordinary People--Faithful God and she asked if she could have a copy. Following my surgery, she visited me in hospital and I gave her the book. She cried, hugged me and thanked me very much. I don't know what's happening in her life--but God does. I underwent two months of radiation therapy and there, too, I met precious people who asked about my faith in God. I stand in awe at his wonderful ways. He has reassured me, that I am never alone. He has challenged me to be strong in Him and given me so much joy in telling others of His love for them also. My health issues still persist but just weeks ago, I received my third clear report on cancer. In the words of a beautiful song, "Many things about tomorrow/ I don't seem to understand/ But I know who holds tomorrow/ And I know who holds my hand." But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, "Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you." Isaiah 43:1, 2. Robyn Manners and her husband, Hector, live on a sugarcane farm at Tumbulgum on the northern coast of New South Wales.
This story is used with permission from Signs Publishing Company. More of these stories can be found in these collections: Ordinary People—Extraordinary God, Ordinary People—Faithful God, and Ordinary People—Generous God