Brian Woods: Refocused on God
By Tim Smith
The 700 Club
CBN.com -Brian Woods had a problem. His whole world revolved around Brian Woods.
“It became this ego-centric cycle of performance, of doing, so that I could get response from other people to drive me further to do the next thing,” says Brian.
This endless cycle of attracting attention began in high school where Brian excelled as a student and as a musician. He decided to go to college, where he met Amy.
Brian and Amy married in 1994. A year later, Brian started medical school. In 1996, the Air Force commissioned Brian to work for them and also paid for his med school. He soon worked his way up to Chief of Aerospace Medicine. And he still made time for his hobby - music.
Amy remembers it well. “He just was always doing something. It was difficult for me to be able to get him to stay home and be with us and pursue what a healthy marriage could be. He was very absent.”
“After about two years of that, my wife sat me down, basically, and said, ‘Listen. We’ve got three kids. I’m tired of telling them how many days it’s going to be before they can see their father again,’” says Brian.
“…just wishing that I wasn’t the single mom that I felt like I was,” says Amy.
“My response to my wife’s desperate cry of, ‘I need my husband back’ was met with indifference. ‘Who are you to tell me that I can’t be an officer in the military, that i can’t save people’s lives in the er on the weekend?’”
“The person that I saw him becoming was just not someone that I was super excited about living the rest of my life with,” says Amy.
Then it happened. The accident.
“I was driving down I-35 here in Dallas, and I rear-ended a semi truck, probably doing about 80mph. Witnesses at the scene said I never swerved or braked. I just impacted the back of the truck, my car flipped around the front, and impacted the wall,” says Brian.
Brian was flown to parkland hospital. He had fractured his legs in five places, shattered his pelvic bones, ripped his liver, and his spleen had burst.
“Any one of those four injuries we just listed is enough for even a young healthy person to bleed out, internally. And I was dealing with all four of those at one time.”
Still, Brian survived. He was in a coma for 26 days and he had six surgeries. Several weeks later, he went home. He couldn’t walk. He couldn’t get up to use the bathroom. All he could do was lie on the couch or in his bed. And think.
“The depression began to grow,” says Brian. “Depression turned into darkness, turned into panic, turned into sheer panic attacks where I was shaking.”
Brian had become a Christian as a boy and was active at church. But as his life fell apart, he got angry - at God.
“I was very direct. I was very ugly. I was challenging God, saying, ‘Who are You to let this happen to me? Don’t you know all these great things I was doing for You?’”
“On a Thursday afternoon, I was in the middle of one of my fits, telling the Lord how dumb He is for all of this. I won’t say I heard an audible voice, but it was a very clear message to me that I heard: ‘Brian, I do love you, but you no longer need Me.’
“’What do you mean, I don’t need you?’ And for the first time, that presence of need became a new thing. And I broke. My heart broke. From the standpoint of realizing I don’t need God just for salvation, I need God to exist. I need God to live. I need God to breathe. I need God to walk again. I don’t know at this point how that’s all going to play. I need God if I want to a husband that I know I’m supposed to be. I need God if I’m going to be a father.”
“I did begin, even that day, to see a softening of his heart and of his spirit and the way he spoke to me was different. It was like something had changed with him,” says Amy.
“The Lord broke through at that moment, and that changed everything in me,” says Brian.
“His heart was changed that way, where he was really encouraged and encouraging. You could see the peace come over his body and his mind,” adds Amy.
Brian had several more operations and months of rehab.
“A lot of people have asked, ‘Do you think, as a doctor, that this was a miracle in your life? That you lived? That you made it through all that?’” says Brian. “And I think my honest answer is – the physical, medical truth of everything I that I went through and what I recovered from, there’s a lot of great stories and miracles in there. But the greatest miracle of this event is that the Lord used all of that to put me in a posture and position to finally receive His truth for my life. To receive His identity for my life. I think that’s the greatest miracle of this entire story, is that the Lord allowed all of that for me so that I would become and understand and live the way that I am called to live.”
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