For as long as I can remember I wanted to go sky diving. I was given that opportunity in 1995 while serving in the United States Army. On a particular Friday I attended an all day class to teach me everything I needed to know for a static line (deploys the main canopy) jump. The following day I was scheduled to jump out of a helicopter along with several other individuals.
That morning I had a bad feeling that I should not jump. Rather than pray and listen to Yeshua I chose to ignore the feeling and proceed (1st mistake). When I arrived at the take off position I felt nervous. I talked to one of my instructors about my concerns. She assured me that I would have a set of headphones on and that she would be guiding me after I jumped. Although she would not be able to hear me she assured me that I would hear her. My anxiety was temporarily relieved.
That day the instructors told us that the winds were higher than normal. They said that one of the things that can happen with high winds is that parachute lines can get twisted once you jump. They said if this happened to do a bicycle maneuver with your legs and this should untwist the lines. This furthered my anxiety. I knew I should not jump but I was too stubborn and too prideful to back out. After all, my friends were there to see “Me” jump.
As we were getting ready for take off on this helicopter I saw the instructor I just talked to boarding the helicopter. When I saw her, I said “I thought you would be instructing me” and she said, “Don’t worry the other instructor will be on the other end and he can guide you.” By this time my anxiety is at an all time high.
Since I was so anxious, I volunteered to jump first (2nd mistake). When the helicopter took off I was so anxious I didn’t dare look out the window (3rd mistake). Had I looked out the window I would of seen where I was being dropped off in proximity to the landing zone. This would have been helpful information.
When the helicopter was at the right altitude I was positioned to jump out the side door. Once I jumped I was taken back by the strong wind. It took a few seconds for me to catch my breath. I look around and am in awe of being in the sky. As I look around and up I see that my lines are twisted. I do the bicycle maneuver and my lines untwist.
I am in awe of everything. I had no sense of falling as my eyes had nothing to be fixed on. Here I am out in the big blue sky. Look at me! I am really something!. As I continue to drop I hear on my headphones the voice of the other instructor. He says to me “head to the drop zone, you are not near the drop zone.” He can’t hear me but I say out loud anyway, “Where is the drop zone?” Of course, no response.
Had I been the 2nd person to jump I would of at least seen where the other person was headed. Had I looked outside the helicopter window I would of at least had a general idea where the drop zone was. I kept thinking to myself that at anytime I would see the drop zone. As I continued to drop, I heard that same voice increasing in intensity, “YOU ARE NOT HEADING TOWARDS THE DROP ZONE, HEAD TO THE DROP ZONE.”
As I am getting closer to the ground I realize that I will not be landing in the drop zone. As I look around I see that my landing choices are street traffic, a building with a flat roof, electrical wires or a forest area. As my eyes started to fixate on my surroundings I realized how fast I was dropping. I knew I had minutes before I would land.
Everything that I was taught in class about a emergency landing left my mind. As the ground came closer I realized I was out of my element and didn’t have a clue what to do. That day though Yeshua and his angels were watching me. I said out loud, “God, help me, I don’t want to die.” After that the forest area where the trees were opened up and allowed my parachute and me to go through. The branches hit my canopy helping to decrease my speed.
I landed all the way to the ground in a sitting position. I take my hands and touch my legs. I have feeling in my legs and know that is a good sign. I am in fact alive or am I? Within a few minutes I hear a voice, “Are you OK?”, at first I am not sure I hear a voice. I wait a few minutes and hear it again. This time I responded, “I am over here.”
Out of the trees a military man is walking towards me. I asked him to come closer as I wasn’t sure he was real. I asked if I could hold his hand and he obliged me. He said he was on his way to work and saw that I was not near the landing zone. He then decided to continue to watch and then help.
I told him I was OK and asked him if he would go out to the street as I knew my friends would be looking for me,
While sitting there I decided to take off my gear (4th mistake). I was in too much of a hurry to wait for help. I also wanted to try and walk. If I could walk then I was OK. As I started to walk the danger of what I just went through started to impact me. I realized how close to dying I came and I also realized that the only reason why I was alive was because Yeshua saved me.
Help arrived and by that time I was very tearful. People thought I was in pain which I was however the tears were because I realized that Yeshua answered my cry and saved me. That day I fractured the head of my right humerus along with a lower vertebrae fracture. It took me several months of physical therapy to be able to return to normal activity.
There were many miracles that day. Miracle #1 is that Yeshua saved me. Miracle #2 is that for the type of fall I had my injuries were minimal. Miracle #3 is that the type of humerus fracture I had usually results in a need for surgery due to a rotator cuff tear, however I did not have one. The Orthopedic doctor that examined me said that I was the first person he had ever known that did not need surgery, miracle #3.
I was told in the classroom that if you do a tree landing be prepared that your parachute will be torn in shreds. My parachute did not have one tear. Absolutely no damage was done, miracle #4. The instructors said they had never had this happen. Along with that they had never seen a person go through trees and not be suspended, miracle #5.
I was also told that rarely does anyone ever get close to the ground in a tree landing. They said most people will be suspended and if that happens then do not take off your gear. The ground will be further away then you can see. As I mentioned I was never suspended, miracle #6.
In 1999, after almost 18 years of service (15 in the Army and 3 in the Air Force), I had a strong desire to leave the military life. I had felt this way for a year and during that time was praying for Yeshua’s guidance. In October of 1999, I felt Yeshua leading me to go to the main administrative building at the Air Force Base where I was located.
Through several dealings I was lead to a particular woman. I asked this woman if there was anyway I could request to be discharge from the Air Force. I was very hesitant because I had heard that the military never allows nurses to be discharged before the end of their commitment.
This woman told me that she had just received a memo the day before I came. The memo outlined the process to apply for discharge. The stipulation to applying was that the paper work had to be turned in within 30 days (short suspense) and the person had to agree to be discharged by December 31, 1999.
I filled out the papers and then the next step was to have leadership sign off. It took several signatures. Each time I asked for signatures I heard the same thing. “I will sign this but it will never be approved. Nurses never get discharged early.” My reply was the same, “If it is God’s (Yeshua) will, I will be discharged and if it is not then I accept that.”
It wasn’t long after I turned in the papers that I received my discharge papers. When leadership found out about my discharge they were shocked. I however was not. As you can imagine another response I often heard was “What are you doing!? Getting out of the service after 18 years! Are you crazy? You will be discharged without a retirement.” That was hard to hear however I knew that I was following the will of Yeshua and He would take care of me.
Before I left active duty a VA counselor met with me. She reviewed my medical records and told me that I may qualify for a disability rating. My sky diving accident had left me with permanent damage to my back and knees. She suggested I apply which I did.
The year 2000 was a very challenging year for me as I learned that year that I am a satanic ritual abuse (SRA) survivor and that I am dissociative. I struggled financially because I was not able to work full time. About 6 months after discharge, I received a letter from the VA. They granted me with a 60% disability rating. Receiving this was not the same as a retirement pay however it did give me what I needed.
Receiving VA disability has blessed me beyond words. Not only do I get a monthly payment I also receive VA health care for life. Yeshua knew that day of the sky diving that I would injure myself. He also knew that there would be times I could not work and He provided for my every need.
I am thankful for that day I chose to jump as I learned so many valuable lessons. I learned how much God (Yeshua) loves me. He is real and He wants to help. I learned that my prayer does not need to be long or fancy.
He is faithful and on that day back in 1995, I said, “God (Yeshua) help me, I don’t want to die.” Yeshua saved me and he can save you too. No matter your request He hears. You don’t have to jump like I did just pray and He will help.
I thank God (Yeshua) for saving me. The Lord said in Jeremiah 29:11 (shortened), “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.” He has plans for me and He has plans for you. He loves you more than words can say and He wants to save you too.