Swift Creek would like to welcome the newest member of our support staff, Dana Fisher!
Dana started at the end of April as Swift Creek’s new receptionist. She will be answering the phone and the door, managing the church calendar, helping Pastor Mark with student ministry, and generally assisting with the day-to-day tasks in the office.
In addition to her role in the church office, Dana and her husband Tyler are excited to begin in their new roles leading the Friends ministry this fall. “I just want to be an advocate for them and make them feel like they’re loved and that they’re cherished. They deserve to be able to go and have a great time at church just like everyone else does.”
For Dana, these new roles at Swift Creek feel like a new beginning. Currently, Dana and Tyler live in Dinwiddie with their one-year-old son Nathan, and attend Kingsland Baptist Church with Dana’s family. However, just two short years ago these newly-weds began a journey they couldn’t have predicted would lead them to where they are today.
Three days after Tyler and Dana returned home from their honeymoon, Dana had returned to her job where she worked with special education two and three year-olds. That day she twisted her back on the job, and the next few months were an uphill battle of back surgery and physical therapy. In March 2016, in extreme pain and out of solutions, she ended up back in the hospital completely unable to walk.
Things went from bad to worse when on her birthday that same month, Dana experienced a stroke which caused her to lose memory of the past two years of her life. “I didn’t remember my marriage. We didn’t know if I would ever come back from it. That was a really hard time, just having no control over my life.”
Dana struggled to regain her memories as she worked with the doctors to regain her ability to walk. After a couple months of physical therapy and injections, Dana was able to walk again and her memories started returning. But life threw her another curve ball when later that summer she and Tyler found out they were pregnant. Although her pregnancy had some complications from her previous back problems, in March 2017 Dana and Tyler welcomed their healthy baby boy into the world.
“All I wanted to be was a great mom to him. I felt like he was a light in the middle of the darkness. The night of my 6-week appointment I had a horrible migraine and lost vision. I went to the hospital that night because it wouldn’t go away. I started having debilitating migraines every day and I couldn’t even watch my kid. I had family helping me get through day to day. We couldn’t figure out what happened.”
During testing from her previous stroke, the doctors found a malformation that caused Dana’s brain to be larger than her skull. Because of this earlier discovery, the doctors were able to diagnose her migraines as a symptom of this malformation brought on by the trauma of delivery. Dana was forced to undergo brain surgery to relieve the symptoms by having a piece of her skull removed.
“So I was really frustrated, really mad. I don’t think I’ve been that mad at God before in my life. I pretty much just called it quits. I really thought I was going to die, and my son was just three months old.”
Dana reached a turning point one day riding in the car with her sister. The song “Hills and Valleys” by Tauren Wells was on the radio, and God used this song and encouragement from her sister to change her perspective. Matter of factly, Dana’s sister encouraged her to remember God’s presence and power over her situation. She reminded her of how much her family and her son need her, and that she couldn’t give up.
“It was just a smack me in the face moment. I was like, ‘I need to get out of this hole, stop throwing a pity party and just know that I’m strong enough and I can do this. It’s another obstacle, but its not the end.’ I had to just make peace with it. Every single thing that I went through, His hand was in it all. He was there protecting me and was never going to leave me. I get goosebumps and emotional just thinking about how faithful the Lord is.”
Dana says she doesn’t take the blessings in her life for granted. She believes God brought her through those trials in order to point others who are struggling toward Christ.
“We were 22, and I got hurt the week after our honeymoon and 3 years later, we are stronger than ever living the best life we can and thanking God for all we have.”
Rebecca will feature a different ministry assistant on the blog each third Monday of the month.