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Nothing Less Than A Miracle

CBN.com -It’s hard to imagine that 6 years ago a drunk driver almost destroyed the Barrick family.  Earlier that day—their son, Josh, won a baseball tournament and their daughter Jen sang in her first choir concert at their church.  The family was on their way home, when a speeding truck crossed over into their lane of traffic.

Jen’s Mom, Linda remembers, “Less than a mile from our home we were hit by a drunk driver who was going 80 miles an hour and everything went black. And we were all knocked out.”

Josh, Jen’s little brother, was the first one to come to, he recalls, “I remember smelling like burnt rubber and kind of gas. It was like an awful smell. And I still remember that to this day.”

Linda and her husband, Andy were pinned in the front seats.  She was the next to regain consciousness.  She recalls, “I just wanted to hold my kids and hug them and I could not reach them. I could not touch them.  Josh and I just prayed, Lord Jesus, come to our rescue.”

Emergency workers  later told them the  wreck was catastrophic.  Linda says, “The man who hit us, he hit us so hard his engine fell out in the middle of the road and then his pickup truck went over top of our van.”

The EMT’s rushed to save Jen.  The energetic 15-year-old soccer player and straight a student began the fight of her life.  “They got Jennifer out first,” Linda recalls, “because they knew she was the most injured. And that didn’t take that long. They were just trying to get a pulse.  They weren’t sure she was alive. 

Jen was life-flighted to a trauma hospital and her parents and brother were sent to different hospitals.   In the midst of the chaos—word got out quickly for people to pray.  Linda says, “At the time of the wreck, my husband, Andy was the alumni director at Liberty University.  Dr. Falwell put out a massive e-mail to hundreds of thousands of alumni all over the world.”

Andy recalls, “News went out through the university I was with and just for asking people to pray, for healing, for our family.”  Students and alumni responded and began praying around the clock!

Linda recounts, “At first, the doctor said Jen wouldn’t live through the night. And then if she lived through the night, she’d probably never wake up. And she’d be like a vegetative state.  I just knew in my heart, in a Mom’s heart, that if Jen was going to live through that night, it was going to be the power of prayer.”

Jen did make it through the night, but lay in a coma for five long weeks.  One by one her family members were released from the hospital and gathered at her bedside every day to pray.

Jen finally woke up.  “As we saw her emerge from the coma,” says Linda, “the spiritual side was all intact, where everything else was broken. And this was a huge contrast, cause you could be in a room hearing her pray to god and she made total sense.”

But with such extensive brain injury she had to relearn everything.  Linda recalls, “and then the therapist would come in by her bedside and they’d say, Jen, raise your right arm, and she could not even follow a verbal command.”

Jen’s battle was far from over. As Andy and Linda prayed for God to heal their daughter, they began to see improvements every day.  Linda remembers, “At each stage we just prayed and begged god to do more.   We were begging God that she’d be able to talk clearly. We were begging God that she’d be able to walk.”

While Jen was in the hospital, Linda remembers finding Jen’s prayer journals in her room…  She recalls, “Prayers that she had written to the Lord. And she was begging God for boldness and she was begging God to take her life and do the impossible with it.”

For years Jen fought hard to regain her mobility and communication skills—now, six years after the accident—Jen can tell us herself what god has done with her life, “After the accident, I had to relearn how to do so many different things. How to read, how to write, how to get dressed, how to brush my teeth, how to swallow, everything that we do on a daily basis. I’d forgotten how to do all of it. But it was just so neat because during this time, how the Lord really outpoured his spirit on my life.”

Her pediatrician, Dr. Stephanie Sullivan, says Jen’s progress was unprecedented, “She still continues to improve, which is extremely unusual in this kind of situation. So I see this as a miracle, I see it as a testimony of God’s faith and his ability to do things that are remarkable.”

Even though Jen  still has some short term memory challenges—she  is a sought after speaker—telling her story in front of thousands.  Linda says, “I’m amazed at how god can use a girl with a brain injury—the moment she gets in front of the cameras on TV or the moment she gets on stage in front of an audience, God just speaks through her and it impacts people.”

Jen states, “To someone who is going through a hard time or has been through an accident, I would tell them that if they want total and complete healing as well as strength, that can only be found in the Lord. He promises to meet you at the point of your need and to help carry you every day.”

Jen’s Dad recalls, “Jen has a joy that’s unexplainable. She loves people, she reaches out to hurting individuals.”  Jen says, “God has been so many different things to my family through this accident. But i think for me, He has just really been my stronghold.”

Smiling, Linda says, “I think the biggest blessing is just how God’s using our family to make a difference in the world. And how what Satan intended for evil God is using for good.”

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