Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Torn Inside, Beautiful Outside, by Annette Skarin

When I was a teen, a horrible incident left my already crushed soul eviscerated and stamped down to the core. I chose not to have an abortion. When I saw my perfect baby daughter for the first time in my arms-in all her pureness and innocence-my soul once more was touched by the merciful beam of redemption.

One day when my daughter was almost three, an unforeseen tragedy was about to happen. I had just returned with a friend from doing volunteer work at a hospital and the night had already grown dark. I wearily got out of his van, picked my daughter up and placed her on the sidewalk next to a parked car. I reached in the van, got my belongings, shut the door, and turned.

Just as the adrenaline shock reached my brain, I heard the screams! I saw the back tire of the van going over her little body. As if a robot had taken over my bodily actions, I ran to her, picked her up, put her into the van, and directed my friend to the nearest hospital. Her body was twisted and her eyes were rolling back in her head.

When we arrived, I handed her to the nearest attendant, who whisked her tiny body through those huge swallowing doors. Doctors soon came back through the doors-out of breath-and said they needed to operate immediately. They led me to her tiny pallid body, her belly bloated with blood. I stood in the waiting room-a desperate praying mother.

The doctors came out after her operation, and snapped me out of my stupefied state. They explained that most of her organs had been torn in two, or in fourths (liver, gall bladder, kidneys), and some of her intestine had to be removed. They said she was stable and would be in intensive care for a few days. I camped out at the hospital during the day. One morning the nurses told me they had heard singing coming from her room and thought there was a TV program on.

They went in the room to find her belting out a children’s song about Jesus. She recovered quickly except for a large hematoma which remained for a long time. I asked the doctor what her chances of being normal physically were, but he could only reply that he had never seen a child survive an accident like this. She didn’t find out until later in life that her pelvis had been broken in two.

My daughter graduated from college, then went on to an international school to teach English in other countries. She is a vivacious and well-liked person. She taught in China, Thailand, Japan and Portugal. She has done rock-climbing, surfing, scuba-diving, hiking and Frisbee tournaments. Presently she is finishing her thesis for her PhD, at Stanford University. I am so proud. But best of all I have a precious granddaughter, who is now 7 years old. That is a miracle.
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Note from Bonnie:
Annette wrote this story at my request. She told me part of the story in class one day and I was so moved by it that I asked her to write it down. I am grateful that she was willing to share such a personal story in this medium.  She has limited her story to the 500 word maximum for this post, but the story is even more gripping than appears here. For a longer, more complete version of the story, please see Annette's blog at:


  1. Dear Sweet Annette,
    You certainly are torn inside and beautiful outside. Your title is so fitting. I am so sorry for all of the tradgedy that came your way.You have endured more than most can even imagine. And that is the point! You endured. All of the horrors that you suffered have made you the person you are today. None of us know our exact purpose in life, but I believe that we aren't given more than we can handle. All of your past gives you great insight and ability to pass on wisdom. I pray that your soul is healed and your pain is abolished. Gail

  2. Thank you Gail for your kindness. I mentioned in class that God has shown me grace through people. I have many more stories from my life that were harder than this. I feel like I'm an overcomer and know for certain that one of God's puroses in my life is to give hope to those who have suffered in the way I have. Even though I have forgiven others, it still brings the pain back to the surface when I share my experiences but I no longer hang on to the pain or hold it over the head of those who have harmed me. I have learned to let God nurture me instead of expecting it from those who are incapable or choose not to nurture me. Your comment was comforting. No one can know another's sorrow.

  3. Annette, what a moving, very personal, life experience you have shared with us. I read once, "Behind every face there is a story." In your case, there are many. I know your faith has played a large role in bringing you to where you are today. And what an accomplished daughter you have! Please continue to share your stories relating to both the happy and not-so-happy times in your life. We can all gain strength in handling life's many challenges from your wonderful writing.

  4. Dear Annette, your daughter sounds simply amazing! Many fine works are the result of much hard labor, action and temporing. Nothing of great value comes easily. You have been tempored into a rough diamond!

  5. Annette, I can't imagine the pain you have suffered because I seemingly have had no pain in my life compared to what your life has been. I believe with all my heart God allows the things that happen in our lives for reasons which we shall never know, but always to bring about the results He knows is best for us. Of course God looks at things in the spiritual realm where as we look at things in the physical. There is a song called "Why Me Lord". It is the story of a man who questions the good things that have happened in his life. I love the song because I think of myself as being like that man. Your story brings me to even more appreciation of my life and the courage to accept what God may have for me in the life I have left.

  6. Dear Annette,
    That was a most compelling story and it took great courage to write it. Nobody should have to go through as much pain as you did. It was a miracle that you found Jesus and that you were able to forgive your mother and even take care of her. I am so happy that you kept your beautiful baby daughter and I wish her every success at Stanford. She is a remarkable young woman and more especially because she gave you a precious granddaughter to love. Keep the faith Annette - "If God brings us to it, He will bring us through it."