In the beginning of last year, I found myself in a place of hiddenness with the Lord. It was a time when I did not feel the presence of God, instead, I had to trust Him for it. Later, I discovered that during that time He was elevating me to a new layer of intimacy with Him. For the first two months of the year, I did not hear from Him at all. The hunger to hear Papa’s voice increased. In the spring, the floodgates finally opened. My journey began with God encounters, prophetic dreams and deep revelations. I spent a lot of time in intercession, targeting the enemy’s plots against the people in our country. There were several specific assignments that I was given. In August, I started teaching a spiritual warfare group. In the beginning I warned the ladies that they would more than likely face spiritual opposition when diving into the course. Satan does not like being exposed, but it is to our benefit to see the ways he has been scheming against us and overcome his tactics. We learned how to keep aligned with the Holy Spirit and defeat the enemy. After the study was complete, I had the women come to my house and we anointed one another with oil and prayed, speaking prophetically over each others lives. That meeting took place on October 6, 2020.
The next night I had a frightening nightmare. It was evening in the dream, and my husband and I were taking a walk around our neighborhood. When we got back to our house something was off. The door was open, and some of the walls of our house were missing. When I went into the house, there were no light switches, so I had to find my way around in the darkness. As I sat in my bed, I suddenly felt an ominous presence. The outline of a black panther appeared and was crouching near my bedside. I could see its eyes glaring into mine, sizing me up for an attack. Then, I woke up to feeling the panther’s breath on my hand like it was there. Needless to say, I could not go back to sleep. After sharing the dream with some friends of mine, they all got the impression that Satan was trying to intimidate me. One thing I have learned about the enemy is that he uses intimidation when he himself is feeling intimidated. Just 5 days after this dream, Satan tried to kill me.
On October 12, six months ago, I was in a serious car accident. That day started out like any other. I had just dropped both of my kids off at their grandparent’s house and was on my way home when I decided to make a quick stop at Target. As I entered the freeway, my car accelerated the way it always did and as I looked behind me, I saw a large semi approaching. When it came time to take my foot of the gas pedal, something horrible happened. In horror, I watched the speedometer continue to rise even with my foot off the gas. There it went, 78mph…79mph…81mph… with a semi behind me. I put my foot on the brakes and nothing happened. I tried the emergency brake…nothing happened. I was in trouble. In a panic, I called out to the Lord, “Jesus I need HELP!!!” Still trying to stop my car, I got off the freeway and headed toward 185th street when I heard the voice of Holy Spirit speak to my spirit. He said, “Janell, do you trust me? You need to jump.”
Can you imagine jumping out of a moving car that you cannot stop onto a busy street during rush hour? If it was not for the instructions of God, I would not have done it. My memories after that are blurry, but I did jump out. I grabbed my bag and jumped out of the driver side door. According to witnesses, I tumbled across the road and my car accelerated immediately after I jumped. My car crossed the median and finally came to a stop when it hit a tree. Somebody stopped and called an ambulance. I was rushed by ambulance to HCMC in Minneapolis. While all of this was happening the cops at the scene found my ID (remember, I grabbed my bag out of my car). They went to my address to alert my family of my condition, but my husband was not home. My neighbor across the street saw the cops and went outside to ask what was going on. They told her about the accident and asked if she had any emergency contact information from me. Fortunately, she did have my mom’s phone number and so the cops called my mother and told her what happened.
For hours, I laid on a bed in the emergency room. I had what I can only describe as an out of body experience. I saw everything happening and was talking to the nurses and doctors, but nobody heard me. Then, I saw a familiar face on the other side of the room. Jesus had a smile on his face, and he winked at me. Several hours later they finally brought me to a hospital room. I was able to talk to my husband, but they would not let him come to the hospital until the next day because of covid restrictions. I had a broken nose, open wound on the back of my head that had been stapled shut, and intense pain in my right leg. The nurses told me that I had a traumatic brain injury from the fall. I spent the next day with a physical therapist who helped me walk around with my injured leg and did some mandatory testing for concussion patients. They sent me home that evening with a walker and some pain meds.
The first two weeks after the accident were intense. I could barely walk, and I was always tired. The world would spin when I laid down. And a week after the accident, I experienced whiplash. It was probably the most severe headache I had ever had in my life. I went to see my doctor and she removed the staples in my head and set up appointments for me with a Neurologist, ENT specialist, and TBI physical therapist. I was amazed at the results of each visit. The ENT said that everything looked great, and that my broken nose was healing properly. The Neurologist showed me the scans of my brain from the hospital, and there were two small bleeds inside my brain. But they looked good, and I was not having any symptoms that concerned him at all.
The amazing thing about all of this was that it confirmed God’s healing work in my body that happened just two years prior. You see, I was born with something called Von Willebrand disease which is a lifelong bleeding disorder in which your blood does not clot well. People with the disease have low levels of von Willebrand factor, a protein that helps blood clot, or the protein does not perform as it should. In years prior I wore a medical bracelet around my wrist in case of an emergency, such as a car accident. The bracelet’s purpose was to alert the medical team responsible for me that I needed blood clotting medication and more than likely an infusion of blood. It is a genetic disease that was passed down through my mom who also had it. There are 3 different types of Von Willebrand’s disease. Type 1 is the most common and mildest form of VWD, and the severity can range from mild to severe, but it mostly presents as mild. Type 2 is less prevalent and more severe than type 1. Finally, Type 3 is the most serious and patients with this disease must take medication daily to prevent losing too much blood. I had type 2 and was closely monitored when I delivered my two babies. I was given a medication called DDAVP to help control the bleeding after birth. I did hemorrhage a little with my second, so that medication saved my life. If I still had Von Willebrand’s disease at the time of my accident, things would have gone a lot differently. My recovery was proof of His healing in my body. God prepared my way through this ahead of time.
About a month after the accident, I found the last entry in my journal. The date was marked as October 11th, the day before my accident. The kindness of God displayed in the words He spoke to me overwhelmed my entire being. I could see clearly that He knew what was coming.
“Will you let me grow you up in Christ when you suffer? I have a purpose for it. There is no shame in suffering, instead there is only victory in Jesus. Watch me set things right, set things in order. Every place you step, you are taking ground and the enemy is moving back.”
I spent weeks fighting with my insurance company over getting approval for an MRI of my injured right leg. They finally gave in and I was able to get the imaging done. There was a large amount of inflammation and swelling around my knee and ankle. And my ACL was badly sprained, so I was given a few appointments with a physical therapist to improve my mobility and the strength of that ligament. Slowly but surely, I gained ground in physical therapy to a point where the therapist said that I could continue the exercises at home. At this point, I am able to walk longer and farther than I did before my accident. There are portions of my calf in the right leg that still have limited feeling. According to my chiropractor, I had some nerve damage to that leg. Nerves take a while to heal and there is a possibility that I may never get the feeling in my leg back. Nonetheless, I am continuing to take ground just like the Lord said that I would.
I found out later, that a few of my dear friends got on zoom and prayed for me after hearing of my accident. They took communion for me and continued to intercede on my behalf for the next couple of days. The Lord showed them that I was receiving a spiritual transfusion, healing the brain from trauma. Another friend told me later that she was specifically praying for a spiritual advocate to guard me in the hospital, whether it be angels or Jesus himself. And that is why I saw Jesus in the emergency room, because He was advocating for me. Just a week after leaving the hospital, I had dreams of angels in my room while I was sleeping. I got the sense that I was seeing what was happening in the spirit realm. For God sends His angels to watch over us and help us in our time of need. Remember when Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert? After He sent the devil away, ministering angels came to Him and strengthened Him. I can say with great certainty that I experienced a similar strengthening in both my body and my soul. I watched God set things right over the next couple of months, and was amazed at the progression of healing that was taking place in my body.
The car that had malfunctioned was destroyed, and we were looking for its replacement. We looked around at different used vehicles until one car in particular caught our attention. A retired undercover police car. It was a Ford Police Interceptor, and it was from the very city I lived in (where I had the accident). We purchased the vehicle, and then I remembered a prophetic word that was spoken to me just before the accident. This is what was said: “Janell, you have a calling on your life. God is going to use you to take out the devil without him knowing it.” My new car was a symbol of this ministry. God had called me to live under the enemy’s radar, under the cover of God’s wings. I knew that the Lord was going to teach me how to intercept Satan’s plans and enforce the Lord’s will into situations. God showed me that like the car, I had new armor for the battles ahead. The Interceptor has 160 pounds of extra steel, creating a protective frame. And while all vehicles on the road must meet a federal impact safety standard of 50 mph, the Police Interceptor is the only SUV in the world that claims to provide rear-impact protection at up to 75 mph. Everything the enemy had meant for evil, God was turning for good. He was reinforcing me with new strength for the road ahead.
When the Holy Spirit speaks, listen. And when He tells you to “jump out,” don’t hesitate. Be like the disciple Peter. Don’t hesitate getting out of the boat and doing things that seem impossible. His hand is open and waiting for yours. Isaiah 30:19-21 says this, “He will most certainly be gracious to you at the sound of your cry for help; when He hears it, He will answer you. Though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of oppression, yet your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will [constantly] see your Teacher. Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.” If you are in a place of pain today, I encourage you to call on the name of the Lord and ask for help. Like it says in scripture, God will hear you and answer your cry. The Spirit of God lives within every person who accepts Jesus as their Lord and savior, and He is our helper and teacher today. He will never steer you in the wrong direction, and as you follow the sound of His voice, you will grow into the person that God created you to be. In this time of uncertainty, we have a certain hope in Christ. Just like the Lord protected me from the enemy’s schemes, He is the same shelter of protection for you in the middle of your storm. I still had to go through pain, but I walked through it with the Lord at my right hand. As much as we desire to have the hard situation taken away from us, God often takes us through it instead. The reason for this is because He knows that there is a strength that we will gain and a testimony we will carry by walking through the valley of the shadow of death. I’m declaring over every person who reads this, that this year is the year of encounter with the Holy Spirit. Get ready for Him to interrupt your way of thinking and take you into new dimensions of freedom and breakthrough. This is a year to lean into Jesus. This is a year to get out of the comfortable routine and walk into operating as the body of Christ. Remove the distractions that are keeping you from hearing the whisper of God, and listen for Him to say,
“This is the way, walk in it.”