Girls Write Out
Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hey friends, I have to tell you a little story. It's about how I came to know the Lord and the family that was instrumental in changing all our lives.

It was my birthday, January 19, 1979, and we'd just been at a birthday party at my inlaws for me and our son whose birthday was the day before. Freezing rain had come down while we were inside but we thought we could make it home okay. They lived in the country about ten miles out of town. When we turned onto the highway, the roads were still like glass. Dave was driving slow and being careful. I was holding my 3 year old daughter back in the days before carseats and we were both dozing. I heard Dave shout, "Look out!" I looked up to see a car heading at us and knew in that moment we were all about to die. And I wasn't ready. None of us were. I remember screaming, "Oh God," and it was prayer in that moment because I knew He was the only one who could save us. The next thing I knew icy rain was pouring in the broken T top, the horn was blaring in a nightmarish fashion and we were sideways in the road with more traffic coming. All of us were only half conscious and our five year old son was crying. I had part of the dashboard in my leg. Dave's mouth was bleeding from teeth that had been knocked out and blood was coming from our daughter's nose and mouth. I could tell she was terribly hurt.

Dave stumbled outside to try to flag down traffic before we were hit again. One of the boys in the other car was already dead. The first car to stop was a family that went to a local church. One of the family members rode with our daughter (broken jaw) to the hospital while we waited for the 2nd ambulance. We all had various injuries that kept us in the hospital about 10 days. When we got home, the pastor of the church where the family went that had stopped to help us, Don Gutwein, arranged for food to be brought in. He led us to the Lord within six months. So everything that has happened in my Christian life started there. Would we be Christians without that accident? I don't think so. God in His kindness did what was necessary for our eternal future.

Fast forward thirty years. We'd kind of lost touch with Gutweins over the years. I follow Mike Hyatt on Twitter and he mentioned a young man named Austin Gutwein who started a Hoops for Hope ministry to raise money to help orphans in Africa. Nelson is bringing out a book about his story and Mike just heard him present at the sales conference. Hmm, Austin Gutwein, I think. Gutwein is a very uncommon name. I shot off a tweet to Mike and asked him to ask Austin if his grandpa would happen to be Don Gutwein. Amazingly it is! He's Danny's boy.

When we went to AZ last month, Dan arranged for us to surprise his parents at breakfast. The entire family has had such an impact our lives and it was wonderful to get caught up. I know I would not be writing books today if it weren't for that family. And to SEE God's hand bring all this together just gives me chills!

His book, Take Your Best Shot, is in stores now and it's an amazing story about what just ONE person can do. Austin was just NINE when he decided he wanted to do something for the orphans in Africa. His parents encouraged him. Here's a news article about him. I read the book and it's FABULOUS! It's so amazing to see what God has done in his life--and continues to do!

Run right out and buy the book! It will inspire you to dream a big dream--bigger than you can even imagine. God has so much more in mind for you than you can believe!

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Colleen Coble  
posted at 1:17 AM  
  Comments (11)
 
 
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11 Comments:
At 9:11 AM, Blogger Barb said...

I love to hear stories about how people come to faith in Christ. Thanks for sharing about your family and about Austin. What an inspiration to all of us to do our part.

 
At 11:09 AM, Blogger Ellen said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Colleen! I agree - "Take Your Best Shot" is excellent and entirely inspiring!

What a wonderful connection!

 
At 1:32 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Glad you've read it, Ellen!

Sometimes we forget the difference one person can make!

 
At 2:34 AM, Blogger Anna said...

Oh, Thank you sharing your story I love to hear about other peoples testimonies.

 
At 7:37 AM, Blogger Lisa Jordan said...

What an incredible story, C! God took the darkest time in my life to show me the light. While I regret how certain decisions hurt others, I needed that time to come to know His awesome grace. This sounds like a book my boys will enjoy. Thanks for sharing!

 
At 10:11 AM, Blogger Peg said...

That's an incredible story, Colleen. It gives me chills for both the horror of what might have been and the awesome realtiy of how it turned out.

I'd forgotten your birthday was the day after mine, which, apparently I share with your son on Jan 18. *smiles*

God is so Awesome!

 
At 5:25 PM, Blogger Hoops of Hope said...

Colleen - I'm so glad for Twitter [didn't think I'd ever say that}. You need to know what an encouragement your family is to all of us. My dad still talks about our breakfast that morning - it meant so much to him.

Thanks as well for supporting Austin's book. Our prayer is that it will inspire young people and adults to Do Something Bigger than Themselves....

love you guys,

Dan

 
At 5:26 PM, Blogger Hoops of Hope said...

Colleen - I'm so glad for Twitter [didn't think I'd ever say that}. You need to know what an encouragement your family is to all of us. My dad still talks about our breakfast that morning - it meant so much to him.

Thanks as well for supporting Austin's book. Our prayer is that it will inspire young people and adults to Do Something Bigger than Themselves....

love you guys,

Dan

 
At 8:43 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

That is an AWESOME story, Colleen!!! I didn't know you met them while you were in Arizona--that is WAY COOL!!!!!

Our God is an awesome God!!!

 
At 9:14 AM, Blogger Maureen said...

Colleen...this story gave me goosebumps, and I didn't even realize it was you until I finished reading.
PTL

 
At 9:26 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Pretty incredible, isn't it, Maureen?

 

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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

www.KristinBillerbeck.com

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

www.ColleenCoble.com

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

www.DeniseHunterBooks.com

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

www.DiannHunt.com

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

www.HannahAlexander.com

 
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