Mya DeRyan made her living as an artist. She specialized in an ancient Japanese art form called gyo-taku or “fish rubbing.” Her gallery in Ladysmith, British Columbia was flourishing. She had caring friends and a loving son. It seemed as though she had everything to live for.
But when the 52-year-old sought a doctor’s care for symptoms of severe headaches and nausea, Mya received some devastating news. She was dying. Mya was diagnosed with a terminal disease and was told to anticipate a lingering death.
This was more than she could bear. So Mya believed her only escape from this agonizing ordeal was to take her own life. Her plan was to ride a ferry across the Strait of Georgia, which separates Vancouver Island from mainland British Columbia. Then, when miles away from the shore she would cast herself into the strait’s bone-chilling waters. Mya knew that hypothermia would quickly overpower her.
In late October, 2017, Mya boarded the Queen of Cowichan ferry. Halfway into its journey from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo’s Departure Bay, she jumped into the shockingly cold waters.
Mya had not anticipated the concern and efforts of others to save her. The ferry’s personnel and the Coast Guard worked frantically to get her out of the water as quickly as possible. The Coast Guard knew that even the hardiest of human beings could survive no longer than three hours in those near-freezing waters. According to the United States Search and Rescue Task Force, “Cold water robs heat from the body 32 times faster than cold air and physical exertion speeds up the rate at which the body loses heat. Swimming or treading water can shorten one’s survival time by more than 50 per cent.”
Unfortunately, Mya did not cooperate with her rescuers. She resisted their attempts to save her. When they threw life-saving rings and ropes to her, she only swam further away. Eventually, however, hypothermia—along with its confusion and fatigue—took its toll and Mya gave up fleeing.
But by time Mya had a change of heart she was too paralyzed to swim any longer. Now that she wanted to live, all strength was gone. A wave of desperation and panic engulfed her. Though not a person of traditional faith, she cried out to the heavens for help. Immediately she caught sight of a life-saving ring and grabbed hold of it. The Coast Guard soon caught up with her and pulled her from the water.
Mya was convinced that the life-saving ring appeared at just the right moment as an answer to her prayers. The Coast Guard personnel, however, believed the greater miracle was that she didn’t die from hypothermia. Mya had been in the cold water for five hours!
She was hospitalized for the next week, receiving both medical and psychiatric care. And it was in the hospital that Mya received some other news. She was not terminally ill, after all. Her physicians had misdiagnosed her symptoms. Further tests confirmed that, aside from hypothermia, Mya was in perfect health.
There are so many times when bad news converges upon us and our future appears hopeless. But it’s all a lie. There is always hope for the child of God. God has not abandoned us, nor will He ever do so (Josh. 1:5–9). The enemy of our souls is feeding us misinformation to discourage us and bring us to despair (John 8:44).
But we must resist the devil by believing in God’s promises which cannot fail. Trust God’s promise that nothing will ever separate you from His love (Rom. 8:21–39). Trust Him that He will work all things together for your good (Rom. 8:28). Believe Him that He will never allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear (1 Cor. 10:13; Isa. 43:1–3). Cling to His promise that He will keep you from falling and present you blameless before His glorious presence with exceedingly great joy (Jude 24; Phil. 1:6; 1 Thess. 5:23–24).
Dear Father in heaven, please guard me against the lies and confusion of the devil. Help me, O God, to cling to the promises of Your word at all times so that faith will always rise up within me. Amen.
Information from: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/woman-who-jumped-from-ferry-savours-new-lease-on-life-1.23112686
In article photo: Sailors conduct search and rescue training by the U.S. Navy licensed by U.S. Govt. Works