John Schroeder

JohnSchroeder   My Name is John Schroeder, and I was born in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1970. We lived there for three years before my dad got a job in Los Angeles as a Printer. We moved to a city in the San Fernando Valley, named Northridge. When I was five, my brother was playing with some matches and burned our house down. I smelled smoke, woke up, and got my brother and mom out of the house. My dad had already driven to work. The house was rebuilt, but we ended up selling it and moving to Chatsworth.

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    I loved living in Chatsworth, with amazing parks and a great baseball field. My brother and I, along with our friend Erik, would go over there and play baseball about every day. During the summer in the afternoon, JR High School would open and we would play games in the gym with the other children in our block.

   August 24th 1977, I had a day that changed my life. I was riding my bike out of the parking lot at the school and a car slammed into me while riding across the street. I flew seventy-two feet onto the hot concrete and was knocked out for nine days. I woke up and saw my mom, and she ran to get the nurses. My stomach was smashed, my appendix burst and both of my legs were broken. They were shocked that I lived through it. Less than five percent of the people that experienced this kind of accident survived.

   There was a doctor from Chicago, in town that day for a conference at UCLA, who specialized in doing leg surgeries for kids. Dr. Harris was his name, and he stayed in LA long enough to operate on my legs. During the nine days that I was in a coma I saw myself being operated on from above the room. While in that State, God gave me supernatural peace.

   The peace that passes all understanding. I experienced the personal God who spoke and the world leapt into existence.

    I grew up in a church that never shared with me, how I can go to God in a personal way. The prayers they told me to say were written down and I would just say them. When I would pray, I felt like it was a ritual and not a personal relationship; where I would talk to God and He speaks back to me. I didn’t know about the word Grace. I thought, based on the teachings in church, that my works were the main reason I got to heaven. I would see Jesus on the cross, but I never understood why He was up there.

    Even in the midst of all that confusion, I knew God was with me because of He did while I was being operated on and the personal peace He gave me. I was searching for who God was, that touched me that day. I would get into fights with some kids in school, because I walked with a limp from my accident. I was constantly made fun of and felt like everyone at my school hated me.