Updated: Aug 1, 2020
Richard Mayo was a “different” type of teenager; a “peculiar” teen one might say. When it came to having a relationship with Jesus Christ, he took it seriously. He went to church faithfully and carried his bible with him every day so he could study the word of God during his lunch breaks. Growing up in a family of ministers and strong Christians, he recognized at an early age that the hand of God was on his life, and he wanted nothing more than to draw closer to Him every day. While Richard was in college, he found a full-time job to allow him to earn some extra money to cover expenses for school and offer financial support for his family. One day while he was at work, he was listening to the radio and heard a song by Shirley Caesar entitled “You’re Next In Line for a Miracle.” The song struck him so deeply that his tear ducts began to fill and he started to weep. He felt so strongly in his spirit that God was speaking to him. He didn’t know what the miracle would be, but he knew that God was preparing his heart for what was about to happen next.
A month later in January of 2009, Richard was driving on his way to work in his Ford Fusion. While he cruised down the street, listening to one of his favorite Jamie Foxx songs on his 6 disc CD player, he approached a red stop light. He came to a complete stop in the middle lane and noticed a construction truck pull up next to him on his right. While waiting for the light to change, he glanced at his rearview mirror, only to discover a car racing towards him. He quickly realized that the car was driving too fast to slow down. There wasn’t enough time for him to get out the way of the speeding vehicle, so he braced himself for the impact and immediately called out on the name of Jesus. The car violently hit the back of his car, taking the breath right out of his lungs. As soon as he began to comprehend what happened, the car smashed into him again, this time throwing his car into the truck that was positioned next to him in the right lane. He opened his eyes to find everything around him in smoke.
Disoriented from the crash, he heard a faint sound of people in the distance screaming at him “don’t move!” By the grace of God, there happened to be a police car and an ambulance passing by at the time of the accident. They rushed to his vehicle and had to pry the door open to get him out of the car. As they began to carry him to the ambulance on a stretcher, his car that had been destroyed from the car crash, started to play Shirley Caesar’s “You’re next in Line for a Miracle.” The word that God had spoken to him a month before immediately came to his remembrance, and he began to praise God while the paramedics carried him on the stretcher. He knew he only survived the horrific crash by the grace of God but had no idea the painful journey he was about to embark on next.
When he got to the hospital, the doctors ran several tests to determine the seriousness of his injuries. Surprisingly, he didn’t sustain any broken bones or internal bleeding from the accident, so they sent him home that same day. Richard left the hospital thinking that he escaped the crash with just a few cuts and bruises, but the damage the accident caused to his body was severe. After the initial shock from the collision subsided, he began to feel every muscle in his body tighten up, causing him excruciating pain. Richard found himself at the doctor’s office a minimum of three times a week for treatment to his back, neck, shoulders, and knees. He went through countless surgeries to treat the injuries, and in many instances, it seemed like his treatments were only making the pain worse. He tried medication after medication to numb the pain, to the point where his medicine cabinet looked like a small pharmacy. As time progressed, he also began to struggle with severe headaches, where he would find himself becoming dizzy and light headed all of the time. They diagnosed him with a seizure disorder and put him on additional medication to address this issue. His life as he knew it had literally flipped upside down since the crash, but during the midst of all of this, Richard’s faith never wavered. Those who worked with or went to school with him never knew the level of pain and heartache he was dealing with. He refused to allow the pain that he was experiencing to stop him from living the life he had before the accident. He continued to go to school and work, walking around every day with a smile on his face. He found comfort in the fact that God was with him through this experience and approached every day with hope in his heart that this season will eventually pass.
In January 2012, while Richard was engaging in a conversation at work with another coworker, he suddenly had a major seizure. He became unconscious and woke up in the ambulance with his coworker looking over him. His physician had recently advised him, in error, to stop taking his seizure medication. The doctors at the hospital expressed that he needed to start taking his medication again immediately, and he would probably have to take them for the rest of his life. Although Richard recognized the severity of his last seizure, he also knew God to be a healer. As a child, he had seen how God healed his sister from a form of cancer that she only had a 10 percent chance of surviving, and he believed God would do the same for him too. Richard did not want to be forced to take the seizure medication for the rest of his life, nor did he want to continue to walk around in unbearable pain every day. At that moment, he prayed to God for healing and surrendered his situation to Him. He meditated on God’s word, standing on Philippians 1:6 that says “being confident in this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Richard continued to keep a positive mindset while waiting on God to restore him. He gradually started to wing himself off of the various medications, and his pain began to dissipate slowly. By the end of that year, Richard was entirely off of his seizure medication. Six years later, he has not had a seizure or taken medication for it since.
God held true to his promises and healed Richard of all of his infirmities. This experience served as an important lesson for Richard, which taught him the meaning of patience and endurance. His faith, although already strong before the accident, went to new heights because he knew without a shadow of a doubt that the only reason he is still standing today was that God saved him. It is Richard’s deepest desire to use his testimony of God’s grace and faithfulness as an opportunity to encourage others. This month, he will be graduating with his Masters in Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary, and his committed to helping others experience the love of God so they can live every day of their lives to the fullest. He knows there will be moments in everyone’s life when they are confronted with a problem that seems too big to overcome. In our own strength, it usually is; but with God, all things are possible. This experience taught Richard that those moments serve as the perfect opportunity for us to encounter the miraculous hand of God in our lives. His testimony of survival and healing gave him a “Nothing but God” type of faith that no one could ever take away from him. Richard is as a living witness that God still does miracles today, and he believes that many of those who are reading this article right now, are next in line for a miracle too.
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Please note, that this article was not written to give anyone medical advice, but is only meant to capture the personal experience of one individual. Please consult your doctor for medical advice concerning medication or any medical symptoms you might be facing.