“I am thankful God kept me alive,” said Sara-Monèt Stowe, California Baptist University junior psychology major. “I have no doubt in my mind of his existence.”
On March 4, 2014, Stowe got into her car and headed toward Riverside, unaware she would be involved in a fatal car accident, changing her life forever physically, emotionally and, most of all, spiritually.
Stowe was driving on Ramona Expressway toward Riverside when another driver swerved into her lane, hitting her head-on. Both Stowe and the other driver were rushed to Riverside County Medical Center in Moreno Valley where shortly after, the other driver passed away.
While in the hospital, she underwent four surgeries and months of physical therapy. Today, she is fully healed, which she said she fully attributes to God.
“I was told I shouldn’t be alive,” Stowe said. “Many doctors told me that at 45 miles per hour, being hit head-on, both parties typically do not survive. I was hit head-on going 55 miles per hour and survived.”
Throughout the healing process, Stowe said she faced many challenges, and the biggest struggle she endured was the lack of control she had. When she woke up in the hospital for the first time, she said she was in immense pain and had no recollection of the accident. She said it was difficult for her to be stripped of the control of everyday, ordinary things.
She could not walk, go to the bathroom, shower, get dressed or move in any way without the assistance of another person. But through it all, she said her faith never wavered.
“My mom was a constant reminder that I had to lean on God,” Stowe said.
Stowe said her father, Joshua Stowe, also reminded her during her healing process to trust in God’s guidance.
“We cannot even begin to imagine how families deal with losing a loved one,” Joshua Stowe said. “We came too close for comfort and it was a very long recovery process, in which God was with us the entire way.”
Stowe said her faith in God grew immensely from the tragic circumstances.
Through the power of prayer, many sent their love and support to her, which she said is one of the best outcomes of her accident.
“The accident brought so many people on their knees, praying in faith for my recovery and if that was the only purpose of the trauma, I believe it’s worth it because it brought people to Christ,” Stowe said.
Matthew Applegate, pastor of New Life Church in Menifee, said he saw Stowe’s faith grow during recovery.
“In deep despair and tough times, people will either grow in their faith or crumble,” Applegate said. “Sara understood she was still alive because of the hand of God. Her faith has increased because of her unashamed voice.”