by Sheri Schofield
It was a late autumn afternoon when our family piled into the stations wagon and waved good-bye to Aunt Pat and her family. It had been a fun weekend, but we had a long drive ahead, and Grandpa wanted to get on the road. With four kids in the car, plus Grandma and Mama, he figured it would be easier to drive at night when all of us noisemakers were asleep. I was eight at the time.
The last thing I remembered was counting the blackbirds sitting on the electrical wires alongside the highway. Three days later, I awoke in a hospital. Dad was sitting back in a chair next to my bed, eyes closed, a look of exhaustion on his face. “Daddy?” I said.
Dad instantly sat up and leaned forward to take my hand. “Sheri! Sheri!” he said. He told me I was in a hospital about an hour and a half from home. The next thing I remembered was riding in an ambulance to the hospital two blocks from our home. I was still groggy with drugs to dull the pain of a broken arm and head wounds.
The hospital where I was taken was the one in which Mama worked. But Mama wasn’t there. The church where we attended was next to the hospital. The next afternoon, I heard the church bells ring. That only happened when there was a funeral. I suddenly became anxious. I rang for the nurse. When she entered the room, I demanded, “Where’s my mama? I want Mama!”
The nurse turned away, but not before I saw the tears in her eyes. She said, “Sheri, your mama can’t come right now,” and hurried out the door.
I was terrified. Suddenly, a man with curly black hair, wearing a long white robe appeared at the foot of my bed. Though he did not have wings, I knew at once that he was an angel. He came over beside me and sat down. “Sheri,” he said, “your mama and Donna and David are in heaven with Jesus now.”
Through a mist, I saw Mama walking across a beautiful, green lawn, carrying my baby brother, with my little sister, Donna, walking beside her, holding her hand.
The angel continued, “You are going to have to look after Mikey from now on. He’s going to need his big sister because he doesn’t have his mama anymore.” Then the angel held up a large, white Bible opened to Revelation 21. He showed me the letters, and they were pure gold. He read about how someday God would live among us, and he will wipe away all tears, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. He ended with “These words are true and faithful”. Then he vanished.
Losing my family was not easy. But I never asked God why he took them, because I had seen them in heaven, where Jesus lives. I have not been afraid of death since then. Result? God has given me some difficult assignments that have required unshakable trust in him.
There is strength and power available to those who have faced tragedy and have chosen to trust God through it. They become strong warriors to defeat evil in this world and to bring many to Jesus. They stand between the world and the schemes of Satan. Those who are not afraid of death are unstoppable.
“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap on behalf of the land . . . ” Ezekiel 22:30, NIV
About the author: Children’s ministry veteran Sheri Schofield was unexpectedly called on to save her husband’s life, a battle that took her to the Pentagon, Congress, National Security and the President of the United States. At her website, www.SheriSchofield.com, she shares this journey in her book One Step Ahead of the Devil. Sheri’s new book, The Prince And The Plan, will be launched June 1. It is designed to help parents lead their children into a saving relationship with Jesus.
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