Wow, what an amazing, inspirational, moving story. The Barrick's story is proof that life can truly change in an instant. Yes, there were times that they wondered what God's plan for them was. But, the important thing is that never once did they turn their back on Him. It was obvious to the Barricks that God's presence was with them through their entire struggle.
When Jennifer came out of her coma after 5 weeks, she did not even know her own parents. She could not speak to anybody that came to see her. She could not hold her head up. She could barely open her eyes for more than a minute at a time. Yet, to everyone's amazement she begins to pray out loud - in perfectly clear speech - for hours at a time! And she is not praying for herself, for her own healing - she is praying that God will use her to minister to others. She is praising God and thanking Him for being by her side and for healing her. She seems oblivious to the fact that she is severely brain damaged, nearly blind, and unable to walk, and care for herself. Yet she is is singing His praises!
But, when she is not praying, her severe injuries are painfully obvious. It was 3 months before Jen was released from the hospital. When she came home, she still had a feeding tube inserted because eating "real" food made her terribly sick. She had constant debilitating headaches. She was nearly blind. She had almost no short term memory. Yet, when she was worshiping God, she was like the old, uninjured Jen. A light shone from her, and everybody around her knew that they were witnessing a miracle.
Jen's mother, Linda, found prayer journals that Jen had been keeping before the crash. Jen was a very private person. But she had a very close relationship with God. In these journals, she poured out her deepest feelings and desires for her Christian life. She knew that one of her shortcomings was that she was not very good at speaking out loud about faith. These journals were full of prayers that God would use her to be a witness for Him. Just 3 days before the crash, she completely surrendered herself to Him - pleading with God that He use her in however way He saw fit, to bring people to Christ. This part truly gave me chills!
This book was a wonderfully inspirational and emotional read. In several places, I felt the need to close the book and pray - pray for a renewed relationship with Christ. Jen truly is a miracle. This is an extraordinary book, and I hope that you will check it out!
Fifteen-year-old Jennifer Barrick was the daughter parents dream about: a varsity athlete and cheerleader; a healthy, happy girl with a loving heart. And if the Barrick family had left church even one minute later that night, everything might have stayed the same.
But in a moment, less than a mile from the Barricks' home, a drunk driver careened into their van at eighty miles an hour. The entire family was seriously hurt--but Jen's injuries were so devastating that the paramedics thought she had no chance to live.
The above is a tiny excerpt from the back cover of the book Miracle for Jen.
In this true story we learn that giving our lives to God doesn't mean we will have an easy life.
For Jennifer Barrick it was just the opposite.
In a time in her life when she was really wanting to become a voice for God she experienced a horrible car accident that left her dependent on everyone around her.
They thought there was no chance she would survive.
Then they thought there was no chance she would recover.
What they didn't realize was that God was using her as a vessel to share his word with everyone...
...including her own mother.
After 5 weeks in a coma Jen woke up.
Her first responses were praises to God.
There was a long road to recovery for her and she never will be the same Jen she was when she started that car ride, but if you ask her she'll tell you that she doesn't want to be the same.
A few things that her mother writes in this book that speak volumes to me were:
"A blessed life doesn't mean an easy life....."
"....I have always been a positive person, but now joy is a choice--I don't just have it automatically."
and one of my favorite quotes:
"I can become bitter, or I can become better."
If you have ever wondered why God let you go through something, I encourage you to read this book.
If you enjoyed reading Heaven is for Real, I encourage you to read this book.
Jennifer's attitude jumps off these pages full force and shakes the readers to the core.
What an amazing read! I was intrigued even in the very first chapter. What an amazing walking miracle and testimony Jennifer Barrick is to the mercy and grace of God! I thoroughly enjoy true stories and was looking forward to receiving this book for review. Little did I know how this book would break my heart over and over again and open my eyes to the realization that God is in control of each and every one of us. He decides when we take our last breath, not man.
I would definitely recommend this book. It is a great story of triumph and celebration that if God brought you to it, he will bring you through it. Nothing is too great that our God cannot intervene, as he did with Jen. I laughed, I cried, I felt so ungrateful after seeing all Jen went through and to still come out thanking God more than ever and to know we complain when something doesn't go our way. She is a true definition of what a Christian should be!
What can I say? It always amazes me how God can use even the most hopeless of situations for his good purpose. Jen Barrick is a living testimony to God's healing power and grace in her life. There were times when I laughed, there were times I cried, and also times I was shaken to the core by the absolute horror of what the Barrick family had to go through. Miracle for Jen challenged me to step back and look at how I am living for God in my life.
Written from Jen's mother's point of view, Linda Barrick, MFJ takes the reader on a remarkable journey of Jen's life. The writing is both gripping and detailed, and is intensely moving. One of the thing I grew to look forward to were the snippets of Jen's journal at the beginning of each chapter, a glimpse into the mind of the amazing girl whose relationship and love for her saviour is extraordinary, in the midst of unbearable pain and suffering.
This is a very meaningful story which is hard to describe. There are so many personal elements added, which makes it all the more special. The whole book is very encouraging and is sure to give you a new perspective on the important things in life. One of the most important things I took away was a lesson in trusting God through every situation, just like the Barrick family were able to do.
Sometimes life can change in an instant. The plans that we had laid out in front of us, the goals in life we had hoped to achieve, even a simple dinner plan with friends can be changed in the blink of an eye. That is just what happened to the Barrick family. One minute they were on their way home from an event at church where they watched their daughter, Jen sing in the church choir and preparing for dinner at their house to celebrate with family and friends. However when a drunk driver slammed into their mini van at 80 mph head on, what they would be left with would be considered a miracle.
In the novel, Miracle for Jen by Linda Barrick and John Perry, the reader is taken on a fateful journey that forever changed the lives of not only the Barrick family, but for every single person to be impacted by their story that is captured from start to finish in the beautiful memoir. What would later be a series of miracles that began from before the accident to years later, this book will take you on a walk with angels and with God as He carefully orchestrates a plan to use Jen's life in a very powerful way. This will change your walk with God and also show you just how powerful our prayers can be and they really do communicate with Jesus and His Father.
I don't think anyone who reads this book will ever be the same again. I personally have never encounter a teenagers faith as strong as Jen's prior to her accident and even more so afterwards. This has renewed my faith and increased my prayer life. I will never take things for granted again and will be working to make my own personal walk with God more diligent and powerful. I think that is exactly what Jen and God had planned in the most unexpected ways.
This is the journey of Jen's spiritual walk even before her accident, how she found God in her recovery efforts when she couldn't remember her mom's name but remember her favorite scriptures and songs of praise and worship. When her efforts at speech seemed futile, her prayers to God in the company of those who heard her, showed that Jen has a unique relationship with God that not only walked through that valley with friends and family but helped her see His purpose in it all.
I received Miracle for Jen compliments of Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review and have to say it's a must read for anyone wanting to know what faith looks like. There are many pictures of before and after the accident and for Jen and her family to be alive at all, is a miracle in itself. This one rates a 5 out of 5 stars in my personal opinion and I can't wait for you to read about Jen's story!