My Survival to Revival Story

MyFS2RStoryApril 6, 2011 was a beautiful spring day. The daffodils were in full bloom. My husband, Richard, and I were excited: Our two oldest children were being rewarded for their academic achievements and our two younger children were there to watch.

As the festivities ended, I returned to work while Richard was to take the younger two, Allison and Jacob, to the dentist’s office. They did not make it. Less than a mile and a half from our home, they were hit head on.

Allison was alert enough to have someone call 911 and then call me at work. When I arrived, I could tell that Richard did not survive. The other driver said, “I didn’t mean to kill anybody.” I said, “He’s not dead, He’s alive in Heaven.”

Allison said, “I’m fine Mommy, get Jacob.” Unknown to her at the time, she suffered  lacerations, a broken back and a spinal cord injury which left her paralyzed from the bra strap down. Jacob had multiple injuries; his legs looked like someone had taken a weed eater to them. He spent ten days in the hospital and had three surgeries. Allison spent 99 consecutive days in two hospitals.

The toxicology report showed the other driver had marijuana in his blood resulting in two grand jury hearings and an indictment of driving under the influence. Allison had a lot of anger, hatred, and bitterness toward this man. From of the indictment to the day the judge heard the case was almost two years . . . a long time to have to harbor anger, hatred, bitterness, malice.

I found out on a Wednesday that the case was dismissed (due to an illegible signature). On Friday morning, I was listening to the radio and heard Forgiveness by Matthew West. God broke my heart of malice that day. The words to the song penetrated my soul and I felt freer than I had in a long time.

When I returned home, I listened to it over and over. I was so excited for Allison to listen to it. Once she got home from school, I immediately had to share this song with her because God had revealed Himself to me through this song. I just knew she would benefit from it too.

She listened and glared at me. Apparently, she wasn’t ready to release the hatred toward the other driver. But this is what God did: almost every time we got in the van to go somewhere, guess what came on the radio? Yes, Forgiveness. She would sigh and I just smiled. Eventually God healed her, too.

I still have some moments of depression where I just want to stay home and stay in bed and not face the day, but God is my refuge during these emotional times. Allison has not allowed her paralysis to slow her down; she has actually allowed God to use her in a mighty way.

We have overcome this tragedy. No, I wouldn’t call it a tragedy. A tragedy would be if my husband, Richard was not saved. We do have the blessed hope and assurance that Jesus promised us that we will see him again.

Everyone has their own From Survival to Revival story. Thank you for allowing me to share mine with you.



Last week we shared Dale Marie Schwab’s story about her journey to forgiveness and the role Matthew West’s song Forgiveness played in that process. Later that week, Dale and her daughter Allison came to From Survival to Revival in Columbus, OH, where we were delighted to arrange a meet up with Matthew at the event.update-FS2R-story

“We are blessed to see God’s work at-hand in making this moment possible. We truly believe it wasn’t coincidence that we heard Dale’s story, got to meet her family in Columbus and Matthew would also be there live.”

Share your story here


  1. 4 months ago
    Tara says

    I am lifting you up in Jesus name. What tremendous testimony
    I am still mad at the semi driver that hit us when we was in an accident four years ago. We have been hurting from it every since. He told the police that were on his blind side and he didn’t see us
    He did admit to the police that it was his fault not ours. I know I need to forgive him.

  2. 4 months ago
    Onome says

    Thank you for sharing. I am at a point now where I am so deeply hurt by a love one and I cannot let go. I am just so hurt and my family is not seeing that I have a reason to be hurt. It really hurts so very bad.

    • 4 months ago
      carlie says

      Forgiveness is something u do for yourself. By holding onto that hurt and not giving it to god youre only hurting yourself more. Your family may be trying to tell you what i am telling you. Its ok to be hurt over a love ones actions but what glory are you giving to god by holding onto the resentment?

    • Our Lord, Jesus Christ knows how hurt you are. He is with you now, and always. He understands you. Rest in Him and He will give you everything that you need, including the ability to let go and healing.

      Please do not expect anything from your family that they cannot give at this time; it will only aggravate you. Do not base your self-image on how anyone, including your family, treats you. Your self-image is based upon your identity in Jesus Christ and He loves you!

  3. I know the deep grief if loosing a loved one and the pain and anger we go through during this time. Even tho ‘ I knew they were going to Heaven because they loved and served God daily. My mom passed 13 yrs ago and if took me several yrs to come to grips with her death. When my dad passed last year I ask God to please help me deal with his death better. Knowing I will see them both again, God has done this for me, however I’ve had to deal with forgiveness or lack of due to some wrong doing. I wanted to press charges have all the paperwork and even talked to the DA.,
    but have been unable to do so. Not for lack of evidence. Knowing I have to forgive All knowing I have to be able to let it go once and for all. I’ve asked myself is if going to change anything except for financial ? Will they go to jail and pay for what they’ve done ? Probably not and I still have to forgive. So that’s what I’ve decided to do, and know that God takes care of the rest. Knowing there is a heaven and a hell I choose not to give up Heaven so I can hold a grudge it’s not worth the cost.

  4. 4 months ago
    opal says

    Thanks for sharing very touching story . Helps me know that we can completely have forgiveness even in the hardest spots in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones that are harmed or worse yet their lives taken in a senseless way.I admire you in survival-revival-story/the way you are able to forgive completely and completely give all your pain and suffering to God.I mean most of us can forgive but in your story a lot of us wouldn’t be able to completely surrender all.I lost my Dad when he was only 54 years old in a head on collision he was on his way to work he was excited to go to work he was counting his days to early retirement he had one house payment left and even when the weather was so bad with snow and ice on the roads he still made his way that day;was hit head on by a semi my mom had to identify him by his wallet he was unrecognizable. This was my best friend and it took me sometime to let it all go and forgive. Thank you both for the stories forgiveness is within us all we just have to let go and let God.The song by Matthew West is amazing song.

  5. 4 months ago
    Sonja Bailey says

    This song is a daily must foe some times hourly I struggle with forgiveness and as life goes by it seems harder…I can face most things , and go on… even loosing my husband I knew he was where he should be and taught two daughters it was better for him and we could be ok… but as I am strong foe others to help them I am so weak and selfish…when some one hurts me I hold onto it…let it sadden me prohibiting me from being who God wants me to be … but this song encourages me …thank you for all your songs…I live in the area where DAX was from…your ability to use others lives to reach people thru your songs is amazing You are blessed and cifted…I thank God for you and Women of Faith as well as Proverbs 31 Ministries… combined you all are so powerful

    my hear thanks you I pray to meet you one day …

  6. I am sorry for your loss. You are definitely not abnormal. You are precious in GOds sight. Please know you are not alone. He loves you and sees your pain. Please see dr for health issues. In time , the pain will be less. What you are feeling is part of the grieving process, please surrender this to Jesus. I will be praying for you. Please have christian fellowsjip. This will help. God bless you this is for sara.

  7. 4 months ago
    Udeme says

    I’m moved by this story.It takes the grace of God Almighty to forgive.I pray God to give me that very grace daily.amen

  8. 4 months ago
    Evangeline Coma says

    Tremendous testimony that really touched my heart… Can’t hold on my tears while reading.Its so hard toforgive but thank God for His word ,” that we can do all things through Him” Its through the Holy Spirit who comforted us, and remove all the grudges, pain, hurts… So we can forgive. TheAlmighty God will continue to guide and bless this family. We love them and their testimony. I am a pastor’s wife from the Philippines.

  9. 4 months ago
    Yvonne says

    Praise God. This story is really inspiring and the song can really make a change of heart :) Prayers up

  10. 4 months ago
    Linda Weems says

    So very powerful with God in our heart and life we can do so much that we could never do other wise.Praise God! T hank you for sharing and God Bless.

  11. 4 months ago
    Sonja Lowe says

    The Schwab family has been such a powerful, positive, and faith filled inspiration to their community. This was such a tragic experience that affected not only the family, but, their schools and community. God has allowed this family to be an example of the power of his love, grace, and faithfulness to all of those who come in contact with this family. Anyone that knows this family can see the depth of faith they have in God. Allison alone shows her peers everyday how she has taken this personally tragic event and continued to persevere and be an aggressive and progressive example of living her life now as a result of this tragedy. God has a plan for all and I’m sure he is not finished with Dale and her children yet.

  12. 4 months ago
    Martha Wilson says

    Our community has learned so much from this sweet family. In the darkness, their light shines for Christ, giving Him all praise and honor. May we all strive to be more like Christ, just as the Schwabs have.

  13. 4 months ago
    Matthew Latham says

    Thank you for this story, I need it.

  14. 4 months ago
    Sara willis says

    Hi my name is Sara and I’m strugglin.
    My fiancée died of cancer and I’m not dealing with it very well.
    Am I abnormal?
    Am I going crazy? As I feel I am.
    In my heart and mind he is still alive and will phone me.
    Convinced I saw him at the airport last week.
    I’ve had a consistent bad cough since and Been coughing up blood I’m under gp care and medication which I don’t want to be on and want to come off had lots of tests which have come back fine which is making me believe I’m making myself I’ll due yo not accepting what’s happened and not doing grief.
    Am I going mad.
    I hug his sweater to sleep and when ever I fel low which is not normal.
    I’m having counselling which I shouldn’t as Neal is not dead he is alive.
    I’m drinking to numb the pain which I hate and wasn’t go stop
    My gp is amazing very surrportive and caring don’t know where I’d be without her xx

    • Sara, I can feel the pain you are experiencing a so does God. Just cry out to Jesus. He waits for us to give it all to Him, grief comes in many stages. When you feel like taking another drink to numb yourselve, just cry out to Jesus instead. Tell Him you can’t do this anymore, get the anger out. He knows anyway so just yell, scream, whatever you need to get out and tell Jesus to please take the pain, take it all away and give you strength . Give you healing, help you to go on and use this to help others. God loves you and although we don’t understand everything now, there is healing. I love you and pray for healing, peace, and joy.

    • 4 months ago
      Jodi Michaelides says

      Sara, I want to let you know that I lift you up to Jesus. He can take away your pain and severe grief about the loss of your fiancee. I feel confidant telling you this since I just got through very intense pain, loss and grief. The more you fix your eyes on God and pray for Him to help you…the easier it will be for you. You will not have the answers in this lifetime as to ‘why’ exactly all this happened so please just let it go and ask God to carry you. Grief can do so many things to your heart and mind and it is very wise to speak with a counselor to assist you in getting these feelings talked out. Also, remember that you will get to see your fiancé again in Heaven. You will get through this and be very kind and patient to yourself.

  15. 4 months ago
    Michael says

    This video is one of the most powerful posts I will ever share. GREAT testimony.

  16. Thanks for taking time to share. What an incredible testament to God’s faithfulness.

  17. Wow! Thank you for sharing your heart here. God is enough.

  18. 4 months ago
    lori says

    Wow, I hope if I ever have to be in that position, I can be as forgiving as her. God will truly bless her and work all things for good. What a testimony of faith. I am beyond touched.

  19. 4 months ago
    Paige says

    Oh Dale,

    This just jolted me, what a story of… forgiveness. I pray God bless the mess out of you and your family as you stepped out and shared this story. What a God we have.

  20. 4 months ago
    shanda says

    The article on Survival to Revival and the you tube video by Matthew West (Forgiveness) blessed me and has added a reminder of JESUS CHRIST reason and purpose in ministry! Thank you for posting this!

    Blessings to both people and their families in these two articles. Especially to the article on Survival to Revival I can relate personally to this story, I am a widow and my husband went home to be with the Lord and although it’s been 3 yrs now since he’s been gone, I miss him dearly and I’m having to walk out Proverbs 3:5-6 daily.


  21. What a powerful story on forgiveness!! When i first came to the Lord four years ago, I too, had a song stuck in my head…it was “A Heart that Forgives” by Kevin LeVar. I was singing it originally because it was such a beautiful song. Little did I know I was actually singing it to help me forgive. It was not until I truly felt offense as a Christian that the song resurfaced from my memory.

    God is so awesome in that he uses such songs to heal the broken-hearted! He is faithful to also restore EVERYTHING that the enemy has taken from you and your family!! God Bless!

  22. 4 months ago
    joyce landrum says

    I haven’t made it to my survival yet. I want to but something holds me back.I am coming to the june event hoping I will allow God to change my heart.

    • 4 months ago
      MOREHENG says