I Nearly Died. God Had Different Plans.
Last week I nearly died.
It sounds dramatic. And it was. A week ago Monday, I was rushed to the hospital unable to breathe. I had suffered a pulmonary embolism resulting in blood clots to my lungs, and it was a terrifying experience. I had been battling blood clots for years and never knew. It was a mixture of health deterioration that led me away from my normal self for, especially, the past year. My heavy travel/speaking schedule, heavy creative demands, and heavy heart for reaching a broken culture was breaking me. I’ve always kept my wife and kiddos my highest priority but wasn’t protecting myself the way I should have.
Thank heaven I wasn’t flying when this happened! To further complicate things, bilateral pneumonia infection set in days after being admitted to hospital.
But the prayers, and encouraging messages and all kinds of support poured in! My wife Bethany and I are so grateful–so incredibly grateful–for all the love! There’s nothing like nearly losing your life to be reminded about how precious every single person you love is, especially family.
After a week’s worth of IV antibiotics/antiviral treatments and “remarkable progress”, as exclaimed by the physicians and other staff, I finally returned home two days ago. It will be a long journey of recovery, but we’re praying and believing for a God detour to complete healing! It’s easy to be overwhelmed by my fragile state, but I’m looking forward to being overwhelmed by what God will do through all of this.
In the meantime, we’ve had to cancel all of my in-person speaking events for the rest of the year. All virtual events are still in place. (Bethany’s were already moved to virtual due to the pandemic.) If you’re so moved, you’re welcome to help support us, personally, as we navigate through exorbitant medical costs and drastic loss of income through this GoFundMe link. Or you can make a one-time or monthly tax-deductible donation to The Radiance Foundation.
I will take time to heal. During this time, as I opt out of all travel for the rest of the year, we will continue to write, to create, and to engage the culture. We are excited to resume our Life Has Purpose podcast (starting 10/28/20) and continue to be a public voice of Life in a culture of death. Please join us in praying for the acquisition of new office space, and the resources and staff to replicate what we do by training others. The world needs more factivists who love Jesus and love people!
I now better understand how crucial rest is. We often dismiss it. Rest is a powerful spiritual weapon, too. You can’t thrive if you ain’t alive!!!
Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. And he has tried to destroy me throughout my life, before I was even born. Many say someone with my story should have been aborted. I was conceived in rape but adopted in love. My birth mom’s courage set off a course of events she never could’ve imagined. Her singular decision has caused beautiful reverberations for generations. Countless lives have been changed, by the grace of God, because she chose to be stronger than her circumstances. I pray the horror of rape, over the years, has been replaced with healing. I’ve never met her, but hope that one day I can see her and tell her face-to-face how grateful I am for this incredible gift of Life.
This whole traumatic near-death experience brought me back to a story I had read hundreds of times throughout my childhood in the book of Genesis. It’s amazing how a moment illuminates something so differently. It’s the story of Joseph and what is usually described as a situation of sibling jealousy and the power of forgiveness. But I feel there’s even more to the narrative.
Joseph’s brothers never saw his worth but that his existence was a threat to their own joy and fulfillment. How many take that approach to a life, especially the unborn, that “interferes” with their own?
They originally plotted to kill him but threw him into a pit and eventually sold him into slavery. The elaborate scheme to erase Joseph from their lives ended with them convincing their grief-stricken father, with the coat of many colors drenched in blood, that “without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces.”
His brothers tried to destroy what they could not understand.
Despite being horribly treated like property Joseph treated them with humanity. He saved them from starvation. They couldn’t comprehend their Father’s love for him and it drove them to discard the miracle that was actually made for them.
Millions are discarded because so many don’t see their Divine imprint or the dreams they could’ve possessed and could’ve uniquely fulfilled. My heart weeps for those lost dreamers. I thank God that Satan has failed to erase me.
These words from Joseph, in Genesis 50:20, are a new life anthem for me: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is being done, the saving of many lives.”
I nearly died last week, but God had different plans! I know I was meant to be. And I’ll continue to fight, through whatever circumstance (Phil 4:13), to rescue the ones left to perish in our cultural pits.
I’m glad you’re alive too, Ryan! I’ve felt like I had a target on my back all my life too — but God…but God…BUT GOD! God will do what God will do and no one can shut the doors he opens.
Just seeing this. Glad to hear you are doing better. Praying for you and your family!!