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All I Want For Christmas is to Walk Again

As a father of two, Lance Williams sees every Christmas as a time to make special memories with his family, but what happened Christmas, 2004 will always be etched in his mind.

Earlier that year, on May 10th Lance was on his way home to be with family. He was single, and soon to be commissioned to be an officer in the United States Army. His mother, Connie, remembers.  “It was actually one of those moments when everything is perfect in your life.  We were all having a big dinner at my house.  We were getting ready.  Lance was late as usual I thought,” said Connie. 

But Lance never arrived… Instead, Connie got a phone call.  Her son had been in an accident.  “I thought we’d go get him and bring him home with a broken leg,” she said. But it was worse than she could have imagined. Lance’s accident became a headline on the evening news…

“A motorcyclist was critically injured …Lance Williams collided with a Ford Explorer and got pinned under the truck. Fort Walton Beach police say the driver… was charged with failure to yield.”

Connie and her husband rushed to the hospital where church members, friends, and family had already gathered to pray.  They waited for the doctor’s report.  “I didn’t know if they were going to tell me he died. So, it was hard.”

Finally they got the news that Lance was alive. He had broken his neck and his spinal cord was partially severed. The doctors said he would most likely be a quadriplegic.  “You just never think that it’s going to happen to you.  At the same time I’m a Christian so I had faith that no matter what, I could make it through. But I sure didn’t want to hear what they had to say,” said Connie. 

While Lance underwent surgery, more people joined in prayer. Doctors were able to repair his spine, but said that Lance had only a 5 percent chance of ever walking again – by now, Lance had regained consciousness. He says even while trapped under the SUV, he felt God’s peace. 

“The very first thing I did, I prayed the Lord’s Prayer instantly because I didn’t know if I was going to die or not.  I wasn’t scared because I knew where I was going to go.  In that moment I knew where I was to go if I was to die,” said Lance.  “I forgave the guy, underneath the vehicle, not even knowing who this guy was. And that forgiveness of that guy right then and there was probably the start of my true healing,” he said. 

Though the pain was often unbearable, he worked hard at rehab and continued to pray for a full recovery.  After 90 days, he got a sign that God was listening. “With myself praying, moving my hand with the help of God, that was the first thing that happened that I was just like, I knew I was going to be fine,” said Lance.

Once he crossed that bridge, his rehabilitation moved quickly, surprising even doctors. Finally he went home.  He was still in a wheelchair, but he had his heart set on one goal- -to walk down the aisle at church to receive communion on Christmas Eve.  “Because it’s the best day of the year,” said Lance. 

That December, after just 7 months of rehab, Lance was at church when he took a step of faith. He was at church and it was Christmas Eve.  “I told my stepdad, ‘I want to walk up there for communion. And that’s when I stood up.  I was at the back and I walked all the way up there,” said Lance. 

His mother Connie witnessed the moment.  “All the way - we have a big church - all the way from the back.  I remember the people around me, the choir said, ‘Connie that’s a long way!’  So I said, ‘Yes, it is!’” said Connie. “It was my personal answer to prayer.  God gave his Son and my son was given to me…That was a real significant moment.  It was a gift.”

“I knew I had hit the goal that I wanted to hit but I knew that I was going to show everybody what God had done for me.  And I knew that everybody had witnessed a miracle,” said Lance. 

Today you can find Lance working up a sweat at the gym and spending time with his his wife Gabby, and their two daughters.  “It means the world to me, that I know that God has given me my life back,” he said. 

“I do have a little bit of paralysis still, however I have a wonderful family after I was told I never would have children. I can pretty much do everything that a normal able-bodied person can,” said Lance. 

“I’m very thankful for what God has done in my life. Even though I had to go through that hard time I’m super excited for what He’s done for me.  And I know He’s not done with the healing and if I have to wait until I join Him in Heaven to be completed, that’s fine with me because I’m happy. It really is amazing where I am and what God has done in my life and what He continues to do in my life,” he said. 

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