Give her an opportunity, and Pamela Christian will gladly tell you about the day she died.
It all began during an afternoon of tennis with some girlfriends. She had been battling stomach problems all morning, a problem she dismissed as indigestion. But after just a few practice swings she realized she was feeling short of breath and light headed as well, too much for the amount of exertion her warmup should have required of her.
In only a matter of minutes, she knew she was in trouble.
She intended to go home, but barely reached her car before she vomited and collapsed to the curb. A quick-thinking friend called 911. The paramedics arrived and what started as an initial examination shifted into efforts to save her life.
Even with virtually no physical exertion, her heart was beating at nearly 300 beats per minute. For someone her size and age, her heartbeat at maximum exertion should have been closer to 180.
The paramedics worked to stabilize her, but the upper and lower chambers of Pamela’s heart were beating erratically and out of sync.
That’s when she died.
Pamela had suffered a sudden cardiac arrest – her heart had stopped.
Fortunately, the paramedics were able to successfully defibrillate her and saved her life.
Years later now, just as vivid in her mind as the experience that ushered her into death is what she felt during those moments. She was committed to Christ in life, and in death she was fully aware that she was in the very center of the sovereignty of God and His care. Nothing else mattered.
To this day, the doctors can offer no medical explanation for why Pamela suffered such an extreme medical problem. Her weight was not a concern. She didn’t smoke, and there was no immediate history of heart disease in her family. After eight days’ worth of testing in the hospital, doctors never found any cholesterol or electrical problems with her heart or any other specific factor that could have triggered her condition.
But one thing was no mystery to Pamela: Her confidence in Christ. She felt no regrets about her life and understood that that wasn’t because of how well she had lived her life, but because of how the Lord had lived His life through her.
That’s why she’s happy to share about the day she died to anyone who will listen because she knows the gift that God offers to those who put their faith and hope in Christ.
I hope you’ll join us today to hear Pamela share her story. This is a serious topic, yet she handles it with grace and sprinkles it with humor. Most of all, she’ll share the hope available to all of us through Christ in light of the one outcome of life we will all face: death.