People may ask, “Dude, what happened to you?” When you see me, you may be looking at a crippled body, but I am actually a renewed man! It happened when my awesome God gave me a second chance in life. I am alive today so that I can share His divine and true love. He has also strengthened me to be a witness for His sake.
My name is Marc Sherman and the Lord has shown me that this world is His gift to us and that He loves us unconditionally. I hope that through reading my testimony, you will sense the reality of God. I know His plans for mankind are good and true! Jeremiah 29:11 says, “for I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Quick Overview of My Life: I was adopted at birth. My wonderful parents invested all of their efforts into raising me and my three siblings. We were raised in the Catholic view of Christianity. I will never give this view a bad name because there are many people who love the Lord and attend the Catholic Church. My upbringing gave me a basic understanding of who God is; however, I did not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I had always been interested in God, but I was not committed to knowing Him or worshipping Him.
After high school, I had been attending the Catholic church off and on. I even tried a Lutheran Church. I was looking for some answers for the questions in my heart. I felt compelled to find the truth about life. On two different occasions, I was so overwhelmed by feelings of emptiness that I attempted suicide and thought about it on more than one occasion.
Masking the Truth: In college, I went wild! I had disowned my family, myself and God! In 1990, I was introduced to a very bad life. A girlfriend of mine smoked marijuana and I decided to try it. My interests progressed from there; It did not matter what the drug was. I tried whatever came across my path. I even did many criminal activities to help support my cravings. I did these crimes to supplement my income to support my developing habit. I had an engineering job that did not come close to supporting this expensive lifestyle. I was not interested in quitting my habit. As a result, I became a small-time dealer. To me, I was rolling in the dough!
I had practically disowned my family because I had no use for them in my life. My father was a policeman for a major city and my mother was a clerk for the local court. I was not interested in obeying the law and viewed my parents as a threat to my lifestyle.
The Weekend that Changed My Life: I had worked 63 hours at my engineering job and was looking forward to my weekend off. I decided to visit my fraternity brothers for the weekend at the college I used to attend. I drove down on a Friday night. I partied so hard that I did not sleep the whole weekend. I was celebrating the fact that I had made my biggest drug deals that weekend! Sunday finally arrived. I thought that I should take a nap prior to my return trip home. I went to bed around midnight.
On January 16th, 1995, I woke up around 3:00 am. I started on my 2 1/2 hour journey back home. I was planning to get home in just enough time to take a shower before I was scheduled to work that morning. My 2 1/2 hour trip only lasted about 20 minutes. I was heading North on some back roads and fell asleep driving my new pickup truck. I stayed virtually asleep for 3 months.
The Accident Report: According to the police report, I was driving Northbound when I apparently fell asleep. My truck traveled left of the centerline and ran off the westside of the road. The truck traveled about 180 feet before striking a drainage ditch embankment. My truck was then airborne for approximately 100 feet before striking the ground and then flipped end over end. My truck came to rest on its side in a ditch of water. I was found approximately 40 feet from the vehicle.
I Should Have Died: Since it was so late in the night and there were extremely foggy conditions, I was not found for about 3 hours. I was found by a truck driver who was passing through that remote area. I obtained open wounds all over my body. I had 2 broken bones and a double concussion. The 2 broken bones were vertebrae in my neck. I became a C5-C6 Quadriplegic. I remained in a coma-state for nearly 3 months.
On March 11th, 1995, I woke up! People were surrounding my bed and singing to me “Happy Birthday”. I turned 25 years old that day. When I awoke, I found that my whole body was paralyzed. All of my normal functions were gone. I was on a ventilator which did my breathing for me.
I stayed in the hospital until September 5th, 1995. It was a very long 8 months.
Rediscovering Independence: After months of therapy, I managed to get off of the ventilator. I had strengthened my lungs and gained limited movement in my arms. I had to learn to lift a utensil to my mouth in order to feed myself. I functioned as a 5 month old baby. I lost the ability to use my fine motor skills in my hands, have no feeling from my armpits down to my toes, and am confined to a power wheelchair for mobility.
Amazingly enough, I went back to work 4 months after I got out of the hospital. With some assistance, I was able to purchase a home of my own. I got engaged to a woman and was painfully close to our wedding date when I discovered that she was not meant for me.
In 1996, I was invited to a friend’s church. I noticed that the people at that church were really interested in following God. I was impressed by their sincerity and invited Christ to be Lord of my life. I also prayed to receive forgiveness for my sins. I started to change my ideas of religion into an actual relationship with Jesus Christ.
Nearly 5 years to the date that I was released from the hospital (November 1999), I met my best friend! Carey is a jewel in my life!
Making Things Right Again: I have been able to mend the relationship with my parents. I am a very active person now. I have played on a wheelchair rugby team, water skied, played ice hockey, shot a bow and arrow, gone fishing, been in a hot air balloon, gone camping, lived by myself, returned to college in 2001 and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the Indiana University School of Social Work. I am currently employed as an Independent Living Advocate and Information Specialist for a non-profit organization. I also earned my learners permit to learn how to drive again as a C5/C6 Quadriplegic. I have given many public speeches/testimonies for educational and inspirational purposes.
Drug Addiction…is there a Magical Cure: When I began to get my life back in order after recovering from the accident, I found that my temptation for drugs didn’t magically go away! My accident was a direct consequence of the drug abuse and stupidity that ruled my life in 1995, but my “will” has to continually be conformed to the will of God! After choosing Christ, I chose to put away the things that ruled my life. I want to follow hard after Him! I am not implying that I live a perfect life free of sin, but I strive daily to please God through living a Holy life that is set apart for Him! I have made a decision not to return to a life of drugs; through making that decision, God has removed the desire from me! It’s a balance of many things that include an act of will, discipline, obedience and desire to be Holy.
If It Wasn’t For God: The Lord has become my main influence in life. His love never fails! I want to live my life praising His name! Even though I have many physical challenges, I am proud to be alive! I believe in God’s purpose for my life and I want to live for Him! I praise God for humbling me. He allowed me to experience a tragedy in order to find Him in the midst of it. I am living proof that God gives second chances! To find out more about God, begin to study His Word and join fellowship in a church near you. Carey and I suggest a Vineyard, Community Church or Methodist as a place to start fellowship. It’s a good idea to join fellowship in a church that has accountability to other churches. Our beliefs are based on basic orthodox Christian teachings.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story and I pray that God richly blesses you!!
The love of my life, Carey Germana, is a singer/songwriter and you can check out more about me, my family and Carey’s music at the following myspace address: http://www.myspace.com/careygermana