The day she fell was the day she was saved
One Baptist church member's moving testimony, told in a new book, shows how God can be at work in people's lives for years before they finally take a step towards him
Much of Wendy Reakes’ early life was a struggle. As a child, she was a carer to her disabled mother. Then when she was 15 her father, an alcoholic, suffered a stroke. But it was a freak accident in June 1999 that changed her life forever. Wendy fell off a ladder shattering the bones in her right leg. As infection set in, the only option was an amputation.
Wendy, a member of Clevedon Baptist Church in North Somerset, tells the story of her accident, her journey to recovery and her growing awareness of God’s presence in her life in her recently-published autobiography Saved: the day I fell was the day I was saved.
“The book is about my life before I found God,” says Wendy. “It includes the details of my accident and subsequent amputation and the many miracles which happened along the way. The final part is when I discovered there was someone I could put my trust in, someone who loved me unconditionally; our God! All that time I faced my troubles alone, without anything tangible to hold onto and without the realisation that God was right by my side.”
Wendy has not just suffered the loss of a leg, she has also experienced the loss of close family members. She was just 21 when her mother died, and, tragically, her brother died just six months later from a brain tumour.
“I lost them all in such a short space of time”, Wendy recalls. “I felt my heart was breaking, but still I never prayed or turned to Jesus.”
Even in her desperation after the accident, as she got to grips with losing a limb, Wendy didn’t turn to God.
In fact, it wasn’t until three years ago that Wendy finally became aware that God had been pursuing her throughout her whole life and wanted a relationship with her.
A friend invited her to Clevedon Baptist Church where the pastor at the time, Phil Hughes, preached the Trinity. Wendy recalls the day with great fondness. “When I listened to the sermon told with such passion and conviction, I was immediately hooked. It was as if the essence of the Lord had filled my mind and body with the greatest of gifts as I at last turned my life over to Jesus.”
It was at Spring Harvest last year when Wendy, an author of several real-time fantasy novels, felt God was telling her to write her autobiography. “I remember sitting bolt upright and thinking, 'that is such a good idea'. Then God told me the title I should use and the log line 'The day I fell was the day I was 'SAVED'. People have often tried to get me to change it but I have always refused. God knows best!
“I made it my goal to have it ready for Spring Harvest this year and I achieved that,” she says.
“My goal is to reach people like me, the non-believers who suffer alone. I want them to know he's there, even when they don't believe or when they don't worship him. Most of all I want people to know how their lives can be turned around if they put their faith in him; my life has since been super-enriched.”
A more detailed version of Wendy’s testimony appears in the Summer 2015 edition of Baptists Together magazine
Wendy Reakes’ autobiography ‘Saved’ (1781483620/£7.99) is published by Grosvenor House Publishing and can be ordered from your local bookstore or purchased on Amazon.
Wendy is the author of several novels, including ‘Sinkhole’ and ‘The Song of the Underground’, for more details visit wendyreakes.com