God rebuilds shattered wrecks – the story of Jennifer Rees Larcombe
Jennifer Rees Larcombe was confined to a wheelchair for eight years until she was unexpectedly and instantly healed. But that is only part of the story, discovers Sandie Shirley
Jennifer has a gentle persona that belies the former heartache she suffered. She is also a prolific author, despite being bullied at school because she was dyslexic.
Her life was plunged into darkness and despair when her idyllic village life as a mother of six and a foster mum, came to an abrupt end in 1982 when she became seriously ill with a brain virus.
“I was whisked away in an ambulance unable to breathe, eat, swallow, speak or move. I actually died and floated out of my hospital bed as my minister and his wife were praying for me.
“It was like free-falling from an aircraft, going up. It was beautiful and I knew I was going towards God, but I heard a voice saying: ‘Are you going to come in or out?’”
With concern for her six youngsters aged four to 14, she let go of her desire to be in heaven and believes she was instantly transported back to her bed of suffering.
The gift of peace and inner contentment came as she wrestled with her recovery. She turned to writing and speaking to encourage others.
Eight years later, after a simple prayer by a complete stranger at a conference, she moved out of her wheelchair and took it home in the back of a friend’s car and has never used it since.
Jennifer and her former husband helped setup the Beauty from Ashes trust to support others suffering from loss and trauma. But there followed a cruel irony. Unable to join him for one of the events, her husband, soulwmate and dearest friend, fell in love with one of the women he sought to help.
“After 30 years of marriage, he packed up his belongings in four black plastic sacks and drove away down the drive,” says Jennifer who prayed for reconciliation.
“It was the last straw. Within six months my little granddaughter and two of my best friends had died, while two of my children had emigrated. It was a scary feeling – I wanted to die.”
The past traumas have changed her.
“I am much more of a real person now,” she admits. “The enemy of our faith has an agenda to destroy our life, while God wants the opposite.
“God has not caused what happened. He wanted me to release the anger that had built up and forgive and love at an even deeper level.
“Forgiving those that have hurt you deeply is humanly impossible. You have to look to Jesus and ask him to do it through you and then you can, but it may take time.
“We have the gift of choice and live with the consequences, but God is so powerful he can give us better things.”
Forgiveness has been the essence of her inner healing.
“It has come in stages – in my heart and when I have reached out to another person,” she says.
After persistent prayer, Jennifer asked her former husband and his new wife for coffee.
“As I asked God to give me his love and grace it became so easy and now we are quite close. I can feel very comfortable with his new wife and that is the biggest miracle.
“Now no-one can convince me that God does not heal. He’s healed the damage from my dyslexia and brain virus and my broken heart. He has also healed my children and helped countless other people who come to Beauty from Ashes.
“God rebuilds shattered wrecks and mends them so they can hand his comfort to others,” says the author, speaker and counsellor.
The tears and broken years could have birthed bitterness and resentment, but the perils have been turned to pearls of forgiveness, peace and acceptance as she now enjoys the happiest years of her life.
• For further information go to www.beautyfromashes.co.uk