A song I love to sing goes like this: “How can I say thanks for the things You have done for me? Things so undeserved, yet You gave to prove Your love for me; The voices of a million angels could not express my gratitude, all that I am and ever hope to be, I owe it all to Thee. To God be the glory!”
In the sentiment of this song, I want to share a testimony of God’s miracle in my life—why on Dec. 13, 2020, I will be celebrating my 7th birthday. Yes, my 7th birthday on my second chance to life. How can I forget that Friday of Dec. 13, 2013 at about 9 o’clock in the morning, while walking from the parking lot of the La Vida Mission office to the pathway that leads to our church building to wrap and pack Christmas gifts for the community with my volunteers, I got run over by a big dually diesel truck that backed up and drove forward on me, running me over twice.
It was terrible, but it was also a miracle because when the truck backed up on me, the tires stopped on my left shoulder, just like an angel was telling it to not roll any further so it did not hit my head and my face. Then it drove forward and left me lying on a snow-packed ground because it snowed the whole night before, which was a blessing, I believe, because the 3-4 inches of snow served as my cushion and prevented me from being crushed into the ground.
The first several minutes it did not hurt, and I did not feel anything. But after an hour of lying on the snow-packed ground, I lost my sight and I lost it for three days. I was airlifted to San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington, New Mexico. Various tests and X-rays showed that I broken 15 bones, from clavicle to my ribs, to my pelvis, leg, and ankle bones. My kidney was also cut, and my left lung collapsed. In addition, I suffered PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) for a couple of months because of that accident.
But another most terrible part of that was that I did not have any health insurance. The mission’s workman’s comp insurance was expired and the car insurance of the truck that ran me over was minimal–certainly not enough for my almost $150k hospital bills, helicopter ride and my rehab expenses.
God gets credit
People asked how I was able to pull through with this whole situation. I believe it was not me, but it was my wonderful and faithful God who pulled me through all these difficulties. I was weak and helpless and knew nothing of what to do except to cry and pray.
And I knew that many, many people from all over the world prayed for me. I received hospital visits, texts, calls, messages from people such as family and friends, even childhood classmates, and my Navajo community family—all assuring me that they were praying for me. That was a great encouragement to me to trust my God and depend on Him for my healing and for my financial and hospitalization needs.
And surely God did care for me. After being confined in the hospital for two weeks and at the Rehab Center for 10 days, spending both Christmas and New Years away from home, I was on my road to recovery. And miracle of miracles, after four or five months, my hospital bills were all paid off and I was debt free!
It took me almost a year before I was able to walk with no help, but my journey—from a helpless person in bed, to being on a wheelchair, then walker, then crutches, then cane and finally on my own feet again—was truly a miracle of God’s love, and for that I give thanks and tribute to Him.
And in all these things that happened to me, I have come to know my God more and have come to trust Him more! And this I wish everyone to be assured of: our God is not some fantasy or fairy tale hero, but our God is REAL, and we can always depend and rely on Him. Our God is an omnipotent, all-powerful God and there’s nothing that HE cannot do. He is a mighty God who is able to save, He is our Great Physician who is able to heal, He is our gracious God who is not only able to provide generously for all our needs but is also able to forgive our sins and make us whole again.
Yes, it is not what we know but who we know that makes a difference in our lives, that gives peace and joy, color and meaning to our lives. Do you know our God? How much do you know Him?
– Dorie Panganiban is office manager and outreach director of La Vida Mission, serving the Navajo Nation in New Mexico.