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Life doesn't always have a storybook ending

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Kathie Nelson of Oregon was the featured speaker at the monthly Lower Valley Christian Women's Club luncheon. She spoke on the story of her life and how it didn't turn out the fairy tale she expected it to be.

PROSSER - Life sometimes is much like a storybook, according to Kathie Nelson, the featured speaker at the Lower Valley Christian Women's Club meeting Monday.

A person's life can be an adventure, a love story or a soap opera, among many other types of stories, said Nelson, who is a wife and mother.

A book lover, Nelson remembers being in a lot of trouble when she was younger. The middle of five children, she found refuge in books.

"I love books," she said.

As a child she remembers playing Nancy Drew with the neighborhood girls, taking turns to solve mysteries.

As she grew older, Nelson knew her life would be similar to that in a storybook.

"I grew up and married my handsome prince after dating a couple of years," she said. "We had the storybook, outdoor wedding with the big white dress."

Nelson said as a young bride, she didn't know what she wanted, but she knew she wanted to be married. Ten months later her first son was born.

She decided to stay home with her son and cook and clean.

"In the story you stay home cooking, so that's what I did," she said.

Ten months later her husband came home late as he often did and said, "I'm not happy. Do you want to move out or should I," said Nelson.

"I went from a storybook life to a soap opera," she said.

Feeling cheated and angry towards the God she had accepted as her savior as a young child, Nelson, 22 at the time, went back to work and became the supporter for her son.

"I was taking charge," she said. "I worked, played and was a mom. I was worn out."

Nelson said she was taking her anger out on herself.

She said God tells us in the Bible that nothing could ever separate us from the love of God.

As a young girl, she said that she learned that God has a plan, like a storybook, for her. She learned that sin is not just lying, cheating and stealing, but the things she did that were wrong and nobody knew about.

"Sin was going my own way and doing my own thing separate from God," she added.

"Even in the depths of my despair He didn't forget me," Nelson added.

It was nearly a year after her husband left her that Nelson received a wake-up call.

She woke up in a hospital room with no idea of how she got there. Nelson later learned that she had been in a car accident and had been in the intensive care unit for two weeks. She had undergone 14 hours of surgery, had a head injury, broken ribs and a severe infection in her leg.

"My driving force up until that point was my anger," said Nelson.

It was later, when she learned of the incidents the day of her accident, that she realized that God was in control of the situation.

Late to work, Nelson was traveling Highway 42 between Myrtle Creek and Coos Bay in Oregon after leaving her son with her parents. About halfway through her journey, she came out of a curve into a straight-away and lost control of her vehicle. She was thrown from the car, down an embankment and into a guardrail.

Nelson said she was fortunate that a truck driver noticed her car lights over the embankment below and that he was able to get help from nearby workers who were clearing brush from the roadside.

"They just happened to find me within minutes," she said.

When Nelson's blood pressure was low and she wasn't accepting blood fast enough, the nurse in the emergency room, who had lost her son the year before on the same corner, didn't give up because she didn't want another parent to lose their child on that stretch of road.

A doctor was determined to amputate her leg, but then she was transferred to another hospital, where a different doctor decided that he had seen worse and was going to do everything possible to save her leg.

"I watched tissue repair and bone rebuild," she said. "I think of the care that God created us in."

When there are lots of stories that Nelson could have in her life, she believes that God gave her this story because it reminded her that God had a plan for her life.

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