“Saved from Drowning”
It was summertime in the South. A family reunion had been planned at Brown’s ferry in Georgetown County, South Carolina. It was a park area on the river. A bridge crossed the river next to the park. Down below the bridge, there was a boat landing where the paved road lead to the river and people would back their trailers with their boats into the water. They would remove the boat from the trailer and enjoy a day of skiing, fishing, are just boat riding along the river. While the family was enjoying the fellowship after the picnic up in the park area, my older cousin, a teenager, agreed to take myself and some of the younger cousins down to the swimming area beside the boat ramp. I was approximately 7 years old. I did not think of danger, as a seven-year-old I knew someone older was watching out for me. I assume that my older cousin would warn me if I did something wrong. While the others swam, I did something very wrong. I decided to follow the paved ramp into the water. All of a sudden I stepped off the end of the ramp into water over my head. I did not know how to swim. I turned towards the shore and I seem to remember that I screamed for help, but as I open my mouth water filled my lungs. I can still remember seeing everyone that day on the shore and in the swimming area. Then, I was under the water, and I could tell I was swallowing water. For the second time, I could see my cousin swimming and then again there was water all around me. Finally, a third time I came to the surface and then I felt only peace as everything became dark and I went back into the water. I can feel that peace even now as I retell the story. I had come up and gone down three times. I was not coming back up again. I was drowning. My cousin and the others were not paying attention, but a high school girl sitting along the shore noticed me, and she noticed that I did not come up. She jumped into the water and dove into the area where she had seen me sink under the water. Groping under the water, she felt the hair on my head. She grabbed me and brought me to the shore. Someone gave me artificial respiration. I can remember coughing up water and spitting it out, it gurgled out of me. In a moment, my life would have been over. I would’ve never gone to high school, to college, got married, and had children. My life would have been over. There would be no grandchildren today. But in a moment, God used this high school girl to save my life. This miracle of divine protection has hung over my life all through the years.