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I just nearly died. God had different plans.

ryan bomberger
Courtesy of Ryan Bomberger

I just nearly died.

It sounds dramatic. And it was. Two weeks ago, I was rushed to the hospital unable to breathe. I had suffered a pulmonary embolism resulting in blood clots to my lungs, and it was a terrifying experience. Unbeknownst to me, I had been battling blood clots for years and never knew. It was a mixture of health deterioration that led me away from my normal self for, especially, the past year. My heavy travel/speaking schedule, heavy creative demands, and heavy heart for reaching a broken culture was breaking me.

Thank heaven I wasn't flying when this happened! To further complicate things, bilateral pneumonia infection set in days after being admitted to hospital.

But the prayers, and encouraging messages and all kinds of support poured in! My wife Bethany and I are so grateful – so incredibly grateful – for all the love! I’ve always kept my wife and kiddos my highest priority but wasn’t protecting myself the way I should have. There’s nothing like nearly losing your life to be reminded about how precious every single person you love is, especially family.

After a week's worth of IV antibiotics/antiviral treatments and "remarkable progress", as exclaimed by the physicians and other staff, I finally returned home two days ago. It will be a long journey of recovery, but we're praying and believing for a God detour to complete healing! It's easy to be overwhelmed by my fragile state, but I'm looking forward to being overwhelmed by what God will do through all of this.

In the meantime, we've had to cancel all of my in-person speaking events for the rest of the year. All virtual events are still in place. (Bethany's were already moved to virtual due to the pandemic.)

There are exorbitant medical costs, of course, and a drastic loss of income but many have rushed in to help. Thank you!

I will take time to heal. During this time, as I opt out of all travel for the rest of the year, The Radiance Foundation will continue to write, to create, and to engage the culture. We are excited to resume our Life Has Purpose podcast this week (10/28/20) and continue to be a public voice of Life in a culture of death.

I was almost swallowed up by death. I now deeply understand how crucial rest is. We often dismiss it. But rest is a powerful spiritual weapon, too. You can't thrive if you ain't alive!!!

Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. And he has tried to destroy me throughout my life, before I was even born. Many say someone with my story should have been aborted. I was conceived in rape but adopted in love. My birth mom's courage set off a course of events she never could’ve imagined. Her singular decision has caused beautiful reverberations for generations. Countless lives have been changed, by the grace of God, because she chose to be stronger than her circumstances. I pray the horror of rape, over the years, has been replaced with healing. I’ve never met her, but hope that one day I can see her and tell her face-to-face how grateful I am for this incredible gift of Life.

This whole traumatic experience brought me back to a story I had read hundreds of times throughout my childhood in the book of Genesis. It's amazing how a moment illuminates something so differently. It's the story of Joseph and what is usually described as a situation of sibling jealousy and the power of forgiveness. But I feel there’s even more to the narrative.

Joseph’s brothers never saw his worth but that his existence was a threat to their own joy and fulfillment. How many take that approach to a life, especially the unborn, that "interferes" with their own?

They originally plotted to kill him but threw him into a pit and eventually sold him into slavery. The elaborate scheme to erase Joseph from their lives ended with them convincing their grief-stricken father, with the coat of many colors drenched in blood, that "without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces." 

His brothers tried to destroy what they could not understand.

Despite being horribly treated like property Joseph treated them with humanity. He saved them from starvation. They couldn’t comprehend their Father’s love for him and it drove them to discard the miracle that was actually made for them.

Millions are discarded because so many don't see their Divine imprint or the dreams they could've possessed and could've uniquely fulfilled. My heart weeps for those lost dreamers. I thank God that Satan has failed to erase me.

These words from Joseph, in Genesis 50:20, are a new life anthem for me: "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is being done, the saving of many lives.”

I nearly died, but God had different plans! I know I was meant to be. And I'll continue to fight, through whatever circumstance (Phil 4:13), to rescue the ones left to perish in our cultural pits.

Ryan Bomberger is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of The Radiance Foundation. He is happily married to his best friend, Bethany, who is the Executive Director of Radiance. They are adoptive parents with four awesome kiddos. Ryan is an Emmy Award-winning creative professional, factivist, international public speaker and author of NOT EQUAL: CIVIL RIGHTS GONE WRONG. He loves illuminating that every human life has purpose.

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