"Miracle Proof" by Joshua Stevens

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          My name is Joshua Stephens, and I want to tell you how God changed my life. To tell this story right, I’ve got to tell you about the way I grew up; about how my life was, where I was headed, and how I got to where I am now.

          My mother had me just before she was 17. My biological father gave up his perental rights to me when i was only two. My mother and I moved into my grandparent’s house with them, and it was best that we did. My grandparents are devout Christians; they have been for as long as I’ve known them. My mother was still going to school and working, so my grandparents did the job of raising me when she wasn’t there. They took me to church on Sundays, and raised me to be a Christian. I went along with it like all children would when they are that young. It was church and Sunday school for me on Sundays, and a private Christian school for me during the week. I was in deep with God. I even decided by my self when I was 8 to go up in front of church one Sunday and sing a hymn I had learned; I had the whole congregation in tears. I even asked them to come up to the front and recommit their lives to God. Yeah, God and I were pretty tight. My life with God continued to grow as I grew older, until about middle school.

          I still to this day don’t know what it was that set it off, or if Satan had found a little pin prick hole that he could slip threw and turn me away from God and toward him, but I began to question religion all together. I started to not care about church, and then started to skip it all together unless I wanted to go cruising for girls. I had friends who I influenced to do the same, and that’s where I began to corrupt everyone I could. I didn’t know it then, but I was working for the wrong side. I soon made it my mission to turn all that I could away from God and religion. I filled their heads with ideas like, ‘Do you have any proof besides some book that’s 1000’s of years old, that can’t be proven, that God even exists?’ and ‘Why do you believe this stuff when it’s all you’ve ever known? Think for yourself.’ I corrupted a lot of kids, and I was proud of it. My mother and my stepfather got married, and I moved away from my grand parents and into a house with them. They weren’t religious at the time, so slipping away from God was that much easier. By eighth grade I had completely thrown out the idea that there could even be a god.

          I began focusing on my self. I developed quite the ego, and decided that I was untouchable. I believed only that some ‘higher power’ had started the world then disappeared. I had given up on religion, much less the fact that there was a god. Probably my sophomore year in high school, I decided that there was a ‘darker’ power, and a ‘higher’ one; I also decided that I wanted to go along with the dark one. I began to do things like talking to what one might call the devil, and asking it for things. I would tell it that I would follow it and do as it commanded if I could have the perfect body, or be immortal, or even be its’ right hand guy. This devil showed itself; I even offered my soul as a bartering chip, as cliché as that sounds. I had conversations with it, a being that I could see. It gave me the things I asked for, but with every with I asked of this devil, the more the higher power told me I was going the wrong way. I didn’t listen. With every step I took away from God, the easier things got. I could do what ever I wanted and not feel bad about it. I got dragged to church by my parents who had become religious for their own reasons, or because they had finally heard God’s voice. My mother and grandmother trying to make me religious again because they saw where I was headed, but I was having none of it. My mother and I had talks of how it was going to take something big to make me religious again, and that big thing was on its’ way.

          I stopped being dragged, kicking and screaming in my mind, to church, and I figured it was because everyone saw that it was a lost cause. I took that as a compliment. I didn’t know that had put me in God’s hands. I labeled myself a lost cause, and I liked it. That dark power had given me what I had asked. I was in great shape, stronger and faster that all of my friends, and I felt immortal. I had thrown away any conscious that I still had at this point. I began to lie to my parents, drink any alcohol I could get my hands on, pop pills and snort lines no matter what the substance, and have sex with any girl my charm worked on. I did all of these things without any sense of remorse. Sure my parents caught me a few times and I got in trouble, but I didn’t care; It wasn’t going to stop me. Even my girlfriend knew I had a problem. I got extremely violent when I drank. I would have conversations with things that she couldn’t see. I could see them bright as day; they were the dark powers soldiers. They were my closest friends. I even called out God. I said things to Him that I should have been struck dead for. I cursed and mocked Him, I told Him to show His self, I even told Him that he couldn’t touch me now because I was with the devil. That life changing event was on a fast track to show me God is real, and that I needed to change.

          That Saturday, June 29th of 2008 was just like any other Saturday. A friend of mine’s mom was out of town, and we were throwing a party at his house. We got a bunch of beer, and someone got some painkillers, and we all went on to get completely annihilated. I was pounding down beers like they were water, and snorting enough painkillers to knock out a horse. I had done way more than that plenty of times and been fine; why would this time be any different? I did think I was immortal and untouchable anyway.

The party started to wind down; the people that weren’t staying at the house were leaving, and most of those that were staying had all ready passed out somewhere. I had been thinking about joining the Marines for a while, but didn’t have the courage to tell my mother. I decided that with all the liquid and power courage I had in me that night, I should be fine talking to my mom at this point. I preceded to text my mom; tell her I was coming home, and that we needed to talk. She knew something was wrong, and immediately began to pray about it. She prayed that God would show Himself to me, and talk through her about whatever it was. I got into my car. Friends told me to stay, but being the strongest and pretty much the leader, they couldn’t make me. I got in my car and left with a .382 blood alcohol level. God showed Himself.

About half way home I wrecked my car. God was there. He had it all planned out to perfection. I flipped my car six times, end over end. I was thrown out of the car, via my lack of wearing a seatbelt, at least 40 feet forward. My car kept flipping and finally came to a halt mere inches way from my body.  God was there. A man came out from the gas station I had landed on the asphalt in from of and immediately began to pray over me. A car coming from the other direction stopped; the driver got out. This driver was an EMT on her way home. She checked all my vitals and waited until the ambulance got there. She filled in the paramedics on my condition, saving precious time, and I was loaded into the ambulance. This was not coincidence; God had put those people there at exactly that time to help me.

I arrived at the hospital, and was put into intensive care. The doctors told my family that they didn’t know if I would make it through the night, and if I did, it would be months until I was well enough to leave. My grandparents sped to the hospital from Florida, panicking until they cried out to God, and a peace was brought over them. They sent out an email asking for prayer. Family and coworkers all over America and the world began to pray for me. My grandparents arrived at the hospital, and I was hooked up to what had to have been every life support machine there. I had been placed on a respirator, eight different IV’s, had on a neck brace, and had a catheter in my skull just to name a few. I was in a coma.  My mother asked my grandmother if I was going to be ok, she said yes, God had told her I would be ok.

The doctors told my family they didn’t know how I was going to act when and if I woke up. I had damaged the part of my brain that controls impulses, sight, and motor skills. They didn’t know how bad these regions had been damaged, and said I might not be able to walk, see, or even control myself. The first time I woke up I couldn’t see, the next time too. The doctors decided I was stable enough to take off of life support, so they removed the neck brace and respirator, and moved me to a recovery room. When I woke up next I could see, prayer had worked. I had almost no motor skill though. I couldn’t even feed myself. The doctors removed everything but the IV’s, and said that it would take a lot of rehabilitation for my motor skills to return. I went back to sleep after deciding not to eat. The next day I woke up, and could feed myself just fine; I had all of my motor skills. God was there. God was making me into a miracle. By the fifth day I was there, I was acting like nothing happened. I even woke my mother up at three in the morning so we could go eat because I was hungry. I walked all the way from my room, to the cafeteria, and back with out any help. Aside from the pain I felt good as new. The doctors who had attended to me when I first arrived heard of my recovery. The brain surgeon made a comment that will stick with me for the rest of my life, “Maybe it’s a God thing…” Every doctor and nurse who took care of me was a Christian; again, not coincidence, God.

I walked out on the seventh day after my arrival by myself. In seven days, just like in Genesis when God had finished creating the world, He had healed me. I walked out of the hospital where doctors thought I would be for months in seven day, with nothing more than a headache and a few pieces of glass and asphalt in my back. The first thing I said when I got in the car to go home was, “God gave me a choice when I was in my coma. He told me to choose Him or me, and He showed me where the road I was on would end up. He is real, and I choose Him.”

People saw miracles don’t happen anymore. I’m standing here right now in front of you as proof they do. I am a miracle.  I would be dead right now if God Himself had not willed for me to live. He showed me where I was headed, the same road I’m sure some of you are on now. Come back to God. He is real, and He is all mighty. I’m living proof of Him and His power. Thank You.

 

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