This lady really needs no introduction, in the rodeo and bullriding world, Tiffany Davis is bonafide "household!" If you ever have the privilege and honor of meeting this amazing woman she will make you feel like the most important person in the room, her next of kin and you'll be begging for her do adopt you. She's the real deal when it comes to walking the walk as a lover of Jesus and loving your neighbor. Her story has always been so enduring to me and I couldn't wait to post it her on our little ol' blog. Tiffany, I love you sister and I'm so blessed to call you my friend!
Some endure life, others enjoy life. That’s a decision I had to make in my life many years ago. There is something about reaching a breaking point that causes us to seek the Lord more sincerely.
In 1998 I was 23 years old and engaged to the greatest man a girl could ever imagine. We were to be married in May, I had already bought my wedding dress. I was living the fairytale life everything was perfect. Jerome was winning everything he had been on. He had only been thrown off 2 bulls so far that year and was leading the world in the PBR. He had already won the World Championship in the PRCA in 1995 and set a record for the most money a bull rider had ever won in a year in 1996. We were on top of the world! Then in a split second everything changed.
Jerome was hit in the face by a bull while he was riding and knocked unconscious. When he came off he landed on top of his head causing him to break his neck and left him paralyzed from the chest down. Talk about a game changer! First, came denial. Which we are still in because Jerome still plans on walking. Second, was uncertainty, I was so confused. I wasn’t sure how to pray, should I be thanking God that Jerome didn’t die, and was it selfish to pray for him to be healed? Then I got mad, I did not understand why this happened to Jerome. He was (is) the nicest guy in the world. Jerome was a good person that treated everyone with respect and kindness. He was so humble and had the happiest personality of anyone you would ever meet. He was one of the “Good Guys." This just did not make any sense to me. Why would God do this to him, don’t we need some good role models out there? We were Christians; we said our prayers and read our Bibles. I just did not think this was fair.
As I was sitting in the corner of the waiting room and having a mental temper tantrum, this lady kept walking by the door looking in. Finally, she came into the waiting room and said she had heard about Jerome on the local news and felt God had told her to come talk to us. Oh really…I don’t think she wanted to hear what I had to say. She proceeds to tell us when she got to the hospital the devil kept telling her to go home, but she decided not to listen to him and she told the devil just to go back to Hell, she was going in! Now by this point she had my attention and my sleepless sarcastic side found her pretty amusing. Little did I know this was an Angel that had been sent from God, she went on to answer all the questions that kept circling in my head. She told that in times like this we get mad and think God is the one that does this but He hasn't. God loves us, it is the devil that comes to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). Boy, did that give me so much peace. I did not want to be mad at God, I needed Him more than ever. I could so much easier be mad at the devil, I didn’t like him anyways. This gave me a whole new perspective. I turned to God and just started holding on to Him. John 16:33 says, “In this world you will have troubles, but take heart! I have overcome the world!" Okay, God I know this is gonna be a pretty rough ride we have drawn here but Phillipians 4:13 tells us that I can do all things through Christ Jesus. Even though I’ve got thrown a few times God always helps me back on. I believe getting down is part of life, but its staying down that will kill you.
I read once the difference between people who thrive and people who decline over a long period of time, it's not that those that thrive don’t get knocked down; it’s that they bounce back up. I don’t want to just survive in life, I want to thrive! I have found that God wants this for us too. I mentioned part of John 10:10 earlier but I left the best part out. Jesus says “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” How awesome is this?! So Filler Up!
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that since Jerome’s accident it’s been a bed of roses. I would have to write a few more blogs for all those stories, but with our faith I’m still hanging on.
As for Jerome being a good role model, I believe he is an even better one now for how he handles and endures his new life. I think Jerome has impacted more lives from a wheelchair than if he would have won 5 World Championships. We started helping 10 years ago with He Paid Your Fees Christian Junior Rodeo which we have here at our ranch. There has been hundreds of kids and even adults accept Christ in their life at this. It is so amazing to be a part of something that has saved so many souls. We also help our church (Traid Cowboy Church) with an event in the spring that has really impacted our community in a lot of the same way. When you see a hundred people come into the arena to give their life to Christ it fills your heart more than any buckles ever could. I love my life God has given me and I am so thankful for all the blessings including a great family and wonderful friends that has helped us so much along the way. They are truly a blessing and will never know how grateful we are for them.
Sometimes we must be broken before we realize our most important needs, and that is a deep loving relationship with our Father, that’s when we are made whole. So wherever you are in life keep hanging on, stay strong in faith, and never let go. God is with you, Enjoy The Ride!
When I am weary I run to Jesus and He refreshes me. Matthew 11:28