Ten Minutes to Live: A Story of Danger, Hope and Healing
by Sheri Schaefer
Sheri Schaefer was born in Oklahoma and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, until college, when her parents moved to Albuquerque. She met her husband, Mike while attending the University of New Mexico and later graduated with a husband and a masters degree. Today, Mike and Sheri have two adult children (who are married to amazing, loving spouses), and they adore their four grandchildren.
Sheri is passionate about teaching on parenting, marriage, and faith. She and Mike have pastored Church Alive! since 1995. When they are not pastoring they love to travel, ski, scuba dive, snorkel, hang out at the beach, and read. Taking mission trips into China and Thailand has enriched their lives and expanded their love for people.
You can purchase 10 Minutes to Live on amazon.com.
To contact Sheri for speaking engagements you can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sheri’s website is sherischaefer.com. Church Alive! website address is www.churchaliveabq.com. “Ten Minutes to Live” shares the story of how the Lord helped me to know how to lead myself, my family, my friends, and our church through the crisis of my husband’s and their pastor’s near fatal ski accident.
The following are a few excerpts from “Ten Minutes to Live” –
“Shaun, you and your dad were doing what you loved to do together—something you have done together for most of your life. We both know you didn’t mean to cut him off. We both know that.
“‘Mike’s going to be okay.’ I keep repeating that to myself. Mike’s going to be okay.’ But Mike is not okay.”
“But now I need God to intervene a little faster. My husband is in pain and I want to do something, anything to make him okay right now. The tears have been coming and going, and I’m trying to hold myself together.”
“The children and I are walking down an outdoor path to our hotel room and to our left is a large tent full of people dressed in finely cut clothes. I hear laughing and applause and see a flash of a white dress that sweeps the floor. Only a few nights ago we were all walking back on this same path together, but now the happiness and the feeling of being present is not with us. My soul is bereft of this loss that has caused me to step into another world of hotel room to waiting room to the ICU.”
“I am unaware of what is going on in the spiritual realm during these hours of darkness. Only later will I hear Pastor Marshall’s story:
It was in the early morning, sometime between 1 and 3 a.m., that I was suddenly made aware of the presence of someone I did not recognize.
I was in a room that had one way in and one way out. Someone, a male figure, stood in the doorway. I was not alarmed by his presence; in fact, I was actually taken more by the atmosphere around me. It was most unusual. I have never experienced anything like it and still struggle for words to describe it. Maybe the word ‘hollow’ or ‘feigned’ is most appropriate.
As I made eye contact with the man, he spoke. In a very pleasant and confident voice he said, “Pastor Mike Schaefer is dead.” It didn’t seem like an attempt to convince me, just to inform me. No hope was communicated that something might be accomplished to change the situation. No comfort offered, just the news that Mike had died.
Without hesitation, I sensed the Holy Spirit’s voice within me to the contrary. Those words so filled my heart at that moment that I could not help but speak them. With great calm and confidence (maybe the gift of faith at work), I said, “No, Pastor Mike Schaefer will live and not die.” That was all. “Pastor Mike Schaefer will live and not die.” At that exact moment, without argument or delay, the man was gone and the atmosphere in the room changed. I enjoyed an overwhelming sense that all was well.
Then my eyes opened and I checked my surroundings. I remained awake for a while to contemplate what had just happened, to praise God for Pastor Mike’s life, and for the move of God to protect him. The next morning, I woke with a sense that Satan had been trying to find someone to agree with him so that he could end Mike’s life. The atmosphere in the room was hollow and empty because of the messenger of Satan had carried false words and tried to deliver them as truth. The Holy Spirit in me was able to counteract his lies with God’s truth, straight out of Psalm 118:17.”
“Sarah, Jason, Shaun, Meghan and I make a decision; It doesn’t matter what the doctors say the facts are; we are dealing with far more that a physical body. The facts are subject to change, and we will be led by the wisdom of God and speak to every single problem and make it line up with the healing power of God.
Celebratory fireworks are going off around the building, set by people full of hope for the year to come. We will join with their expectations. If Satan caused this ski accident, then wow! He really had to dig deep to try to find a way past our relationship with God! The devil had to use a tree to try to take Mike out!
We will not back down. If fact, this only makes us more determined to see God’s goodness in the land of the living; to see Mike in full health again. We will not back down!
We’re allowed back into Mike’s room. Sally Ann’s face says it all, her eyes gripping the readings on the monitors: BP 98/55, O2 85 percent and dropping… she’s a registered nurse… I can feel fear trying to trap and suffocate me like a spider’s web. The doctor is fiddling with the ventilator, trying to reset it to bring up Mike’s O2 count, and all I can hear are the doctor’s words on repeat as I stare at each machine and digital display, each one shouting out, “He’s going to die. He’s going to die!”
NO! Mike will live and not die. He will live and declare the works of the Lord. I keep repeating this over and over while the doctor and nurse adjust the machines and talk together. The readings keep dropping, dropping to even more dangerous levels. Sally Ann is frozen, her eyes fixed on the numbers. I can almost smell her fear of his impending death.
She will tell me many weeks later that in those moments, she felt he might have only ten minutes left to live, that she became tuned into the sound of the machines and, as she listened, she heard another sound:
“The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yes, than the might waves of the sea” (Psalm 93:4).
What a great story “Ten Minutes to Live” is! Sheri Schaefer has put an amazing journey into an easy-to-read book filled with faith, hope, and love. It is a tremendous testimony of what it is to trust God in some of Life’s most challenging times. The good news is that God is no respecter of persons, and what he’s done for Mike and Sheri—as it is so beautifully detailed in this book—he will do for us all, as we keep our trust and abide in a loving Father.
-Rev. Tony Cooke, Founder of Tony Cooke Ministries, Tulsa, Oklahoma