“Last October, I decided to cut down a mulberry tree in my yard. I had a rusty old ax in the shed but for some reason I wasn’t in the mood to clean and sharpen it that day, so I went to the hardware store and bought a new, razor-sharp one. There were plenty of low-hanging limbs that draped to the ground preventing me from getting a good swing at the tree’s base. The new ax went through the first set of branches cleanly and with little effort. With one last limb in my way before I could start cutting at the base of the trunk, I reared back thinking it would fall with one hard swing, but the ax kept moving and hit my left leg right next to my shin bone. My first thought was that I could bandage myself with some duct tape and paper towels and get back to work, but then I noticed how badly I was bleeding. I took off my belt and strapped it above my knee while I used Siri on my iPhone to call 911. Once I was at the hospital, I was in such bad shape the trauma surgeon told my wife, Charlena, ‘I don’t know if he’s going to make it.’ Thankfully, God wasn’t done with me yet. I’m a commercial photographer and was concerned about providing for my family because I wasn’t able to work. The recovery process, still ongoing, put me out of work for more than four months. Although recovery has been incredibly painful and limiting, God used that time to do so much in my life and marriage. For starters, we never missed a bill and incurred very little debt, which alone is a miracle. The way my wife and I have grown closer together is a direct result of this accident. For six weeks I barely moved from my recliner and she waited on my every need. That’s a humbling situation if you’re a hardheaded, self-sufficient, and incredibly stubborn person like me, but when you realize how dependent you are on others, it changes your heart. I’m so grateful to God for the heart change. In fact, if I could go back to that day in October—having gone through all the good and bad and having seen God move in my life and my marriage—I would pick up that same ax and do it all over again.”

Eric and his wife, Charlena, attend the Southlake Campus.