Jill’s Story

A Year Of Experiences

Jill Gornick

So this year I decided not to make a New Years resolution and instead I simply prayed and asked God to make 2016 a year of experiences… by this I meant new friends, spontaneous plans, plenty of traveling, going to a bunch of concerts, and of course that my whole summer at SpringHill would be full of adventures and God moments. But as we all know, God has a funny way not always answering our prayers in the ways we expect Him to….

It was probably the second or third week after being back from winter break and my friend and I had this idea to get dressed up and go back into the ravines behind Calder and have a little winter photo shoot together. So it’s a beautiful day and everything is going well and we go all the way back through the woods and eventually get to the frozen river. My friend suggests I take a couple steps onto the ice and she would take some cool pictures of me. Now, I’m a pretty adventurous person, but I’m definitely not reckless. So I cautiously took a step onto the ice and it felt solid enough so I decided to take another one. After about 3 or 4 steps I began to get nervous and it didn’t help that the ice was beginning to make that weird shifty noise. At that point I decided it would be better to be safe than sorry and began to turn around. It was at that moment that the ice shattered beneath my feet and within a split second I had plummeted into the icy water and was completely submerged. Now I don’t remember exactly what happened next except that within a split second I was gasping for air and screaming at the top of my lungs. The fight or flight immediately kicked in and I began attempting to get out by pulling myself up on top of the ice surrounding me. Unfortunately, that ice decided not to be solid anymore either and cracked the second I put any weight on it so I was unable to get out on my own. After what felt like eternity, but was probably only 40 seconds from the initial fall, my incredible friend pulled my sopping wet, muddy self out of the icy river.

I tell you this because so many things could have gone wrong that day, yet I’m standing right here in front of you all today. I mean this is a river I fell into and rivers have currents. I’ve heard countless tragic stories of people falling through ice and being pulled under the ice and had no way to get out from underneath and drowned. I even could have hit my head on the sharp ice and been knocked out, but no. Instead I walked away with only a slice on my hand and now a scar to remind me of this moment because He never left my side, and never will. About an hour or so after the incident, it occurred to me how my accident really wasn’t even an “accident,” but instead was God giving me exactly what I had asked for… experiences. You see, sometimes we begin to think we can do stuff on our own and that we’ve got life under control. That memorable January day reminded me again how His plan is monumentally greater and perfectly flawless compared to mine, regardless of if His plan for me for the day includes a very wet detour in the Grand River! I obviously still have a lot I need to work on in my faith but because of this day I’ve gained a new perspective and cannot help but rejoice daily in His almighty love and unfailing faithfulness.. and this is why I worship!



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