Omega article on Cornelia:
The following article appeared on pages 38 & 39 of Omega Christian Magazine, Sept/Oct 2000:
... and zooming in a little bit on the wording of the article itself:
As I'm unable to even read paragraphs with comprehension, writing this testimonies is not in my ability at all. I give all the glory to the Holy Spirit in putting this through me on paper, and I owe it to the Lord to share it with you.
About 41/2 years ago I was amazingly successful in the world's eyes - In my first 26 years I conquered more challenges than some people could hope to achieve in a lifetime - no challenge was too much for me and my brilliant brain.
Electronic Engineering was apparently a difficult degree, so I completed that with success; I worked day and night as Electronic Engineer at the CSIR, completing a world first computer program on Neural Networks - that is the simulation of the human brain to make decisions, still used daily by Denel and the Air Force. At the same time I studied Computer Science part time through UNISA.
Over weekends I got my adrenaline rushing by doing parachuting with the Air Force; White Water Rafting and Bungee Jumping at Vic Falls (at that time it was the highest natural bungee in the world); Moto-crossing with my bike and Kung-Fu. No challenge was too difficult for me and my brain.
My life changed dramatically when, after repairing friend's computers, I was on my motorbike on my way to gym when a lady skipped a stop street and wrote my motorbike off. I was thrown off the bike, my helmet came off, and my skull was crushed against the curbstone. A man was driving behind me and saw the whole accident taking place. In his eyewitness report he states that when he reached me lying on the road, I was blue in the face, not breathing and my eyes were turned around.
I was basically dead. He then gave me mouth-to-mouth breathing, and I was brought back to life. As I were on my way to gym I had no identification on me, and was refused entry to two private hospitals. As a result I was admitted to HF Verwoerd Hospital as unknown and brain-dead and left to die. I was only operated the next morning, when the eyewitness came to my rescue again and insisted that they attend to me. I was then operated for cracked skull and brain haemorrhage and was for three weeks in a coma. It was only after I woke up from the coma that my life, as I now know it, started.
My father died for example a month before my accident, but according to me I've never known a father. Knowledge from University studies is lost. All that I know of my previous life is what I see in photographs, certificates, University articles and journals. I also had to learn to talk and learn to walk again. At age 28 I was medically boarded from my job in which I had complete work satisfaction, as my ultimate holiday experience apparently had been to work throughout the night at the CSIR.
After approximately 21/2 years of avoiding people because of all my inability's and losses - to count ... that was up to a few weeks ago a problem, but not anymore - praise the Lord!
I'm so happy! I've been able to count, just as ... well, other people. Please people, don't take abilities that you have as just for granted - praise the Lord continuously for every ability that you have, however obvious and simple it may seem to be able to do it. But anyway, getting back to my story:
Last week, while attending the Being Refreshed in the Holy Spirit - weekend, the Lord touched me at some time during the weekend. With shock and great excitement, I suddenly realised on Sunday morning that I've got 10 fingers, instead of the usual 20 that I believed I had and insisted on since my accident. When confronted with this counting issue, I always believed that I was the only person that could count in this world, based on having had a distinction in 3rd year in Maths at University!
Truth was, however, that I've never been able to count since my accident more than 4 years ago. Anyway, somewhere between being filled by the Holy Spirit, experiencing God's touch, and all your prayers, I regained my ability to count! Praise God for answered prayers... not in our time, but in His perfect time!
I am however still having problems to read with comprehension, to watch television with understanding, concentration and severe memory losses ... but then I've found the Lord as my Saviour.
As new Christian I was faced witli the concept of forgiveness - forgiving a lady that was found guilty of reckless and negligent driving in two courts, but she still insisted that I, as biker, was at the wrong place at the wrong time - she did nothing wrong. That resulted in me ending up in Denmar for a month, trying to work through my frustrations. Eventually I was able to send her a letter of forgiveness earlier last year, and since then my life has opened up (in spite of my occasional frustrations at my inability to commitlrecall anything to/from memory; and being permanently in pain).
People that knew me before the accident, said that they had the idea that I considered my brain as my god - me and my brain needed no one else to overcome all challenges. Suddenly that on which I've depended on for so long were no longer there. God just wanted me to rest my weight fully on Him. I have now come to realise that it is not at all important what milestones, achievements, qualifications, status symbols or business successes I'm able to achieve in this life... - BUT that the only important thing in this life, is to have a living relationship with the Lord... and to rest our weight fully on our heavenly Father.
I've been praying for a piece of Scripture to sum up my testimony, but by not having the ability to read books, articles or paragraphs on the subject with understanding, I initially did not succeed. Anyway, earlier this year, as I was listening to Impact Radio, a text verse was given that puts the message of my story in a nutshell: Mark 8:36 (What good is it for a , man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?)
At the bottom of my Life Application Study Bible the following discussion is given on the verse: ...Jesus said that a world centered on possessions, position, or power (in my case qualifications, worldly success and achievements) is ultimately worthless. Whatever you have on earth is only temporary, it cannot be exchanged for your soul. If you work hard at getting what you want, you might eventually have a pleasurable life, but in the end you will find it hollow and empty ...
Are you willing to make the pursuit of God more important than the selfish pursuit of pleaure (and success)? Follow Jesus, and you will know what it means to live abundantly now and to have eternal life as well.
Whenever and wherever I am, my ever-present pain is always blocking out many other thoughts out of my mind. It was the same thing a while ago during the recent Quiet Morning, Councelling Course and Family Camp. I was unable to concentrate much on the message that was conveyed due to the ever-present, intense pain allover my body. But then God spoke to me and said that I should rather inspire people to cope with pain, than to focus so much on the pain itself. "O.K. Lord -here I go!": I was desperately talking to Mike (my minister) a while ago in being disillusioned to always go forward for prayer, but not seeing healing where I desperately want it. Mike then really opened my eyes by his sympathetic reply that I must always keep in mind that: maybe, just maybe, complete healing is not in God's plan for me.
At last I also know why I attend both and take notes during both morning church services, and then also get the preacher's notes afterwards: Nick Sailer (Lay Preacher) spoke a while ago on healing, and as I was at home rewriting and going through my and his notes again and again, the Holy Spirit pointed something out to me: The fact that we may experience God's gift of healing in one of two ways: EITHER the burden is removed or changed OR God changes us through His power of endurance, where our burden no longer causes us anguish, sorrow and pain, but the miraculous God given ability to endure and be victorious over it makes us stronger and wiser in faith and brings us closer to Him.
I am also now learning to change my attitude towards my pains and aches. Rather than only complaining about it when asked how I'm doing, I now reply positively with (if I can find the reminder on paper!): "1 am in pain, but the Lord is busy healing me!"
Lastly, there is one particular verse in the Bible that really always keep me coping from moment to moment. That is Romans 8:18, where Paul says that he consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. In other words our current pain and sufferings over this microscopic small timespan during our present time on earth are absolutely NOTHING, but NOTHING compared to the glory that we will experience in all eternity... and we must just cling onto that!
Visit Cornelia Raath's testimony/life story page at: http:/ /www.miaauw.co.za