Depression,  Discouragement,  Faith,  Family,  Forgiveness,  Grief and Loss,  Health,  Heart,  Hope,  Mind,  Strength,  Tragedy

God at Work Amid Tragedy

CLICK TO TWEET: The Barrick Family lives #HopeOutLoud. A Miracle Story of God at Work Amid Tragedy by @Deenamadams on

In January, I attended a women’s conference and met the Barrick family.

Because of a packed schedule preparing for their upcoming book release, Linda Barrick wasn’t able to submit their story for my blog but gave me her blessing to share. She provided a paragraph with a short explanation on what they went through you’ll find as you read the story.

As an introduction to this amazing family, take three minutes to watch this video.

Thirteen years ago, when Jennifer Barrick was fifteen-years-old, a drunk driver hit their family head-on going 80 mph.

The Barrick Family’s van after the accident – November 2006

Emergency personnel took each of their four family members to a different hospital. Jen was in a coma for five weeks and wasn’t expected to survive. 

When she came out of the coma, she didn’t know her name, couldn’t see, couldn’t walk, and could only speak muttered words. But when she prayed and sang hymns, she spoke in complete sentences and sounded like herself. 

Jen singing with Andy in the hospital

He has used a terrible tragedy to open a door for an incredible ministry of hope through this family. 

Linda and her husband, Andy, have worked through their pain and heartache asking the hard questions of why God would allow this terrible accident and why their beautiful daughter had to suffer so much.

I asked Linda to approve my story before publishing and, when I originally wrote they had to work through “anger” at God allowing the accident, Linda requested I change it to “pain and heartache.” Here’s her explanation:

“It’s not anger but more the struggle of knowing God is loving and good and all powerful and yet He allowed something so terrible to happen to our family. The key is learning to trust God’s sovereignty even when we don’t understand it. God could have easily stopped our wreck from happening. But He allowed it because He knew He was going to use it for His greater glory to bring more people to Christ. God had a plan to do something far greater than we could ever imagine. But that doesn’t mean it’s been easy.” 

Along with working through their pain, there’s dealing with anger at the driver who hit them and almost took their lives—the man who caused their daughter to live with a brain injury, vision problems, and severe headaches.

Could they ever forgive him? 

Jen and her parents would agree it takes the power of God at work within us to forgive a person for such a horrific event. 

At the conference, Jen read the letter she wrote to the man who hit them offering him her forgiveness. What a powerful testimony of God at work. 

When I think about how I’ve struggled to forgive someone who offended me or hurt my feelings, I’m ashamed.

That’s an example I want to follow.

Before the accident, Jen was a shy and quiet girl, journaling privately to God, begging for courage to speak for Him and to impact the world.

Since the accident, God has given Jen a platform, and she speaks boldly for God on stages around the country.

Jen’s family wears bracelets with the words “Miracle for Jen” and 1 Corinthians 2:9 on it. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Jen has written a devotional book for teen girls called, “Priceless,” encouraging them to find their worth in Christ. She’s also written a Hope Out Loud book of prayers, among other resources.

Linda has a bible study available called, “Beauty Marks: Healing Your Wounded Heart.” Andy Barrick authored, “Unbreakable: 30 Days to Strengthen Your Faith.”

You can find all their products, along with a line of inspirational jewelry, and more about their story at

If you’d like to learn more about their incredible story, apart from their website, you can check out these videos. You can also follow them on Facebook

About the Barrick Family: God is using the Barrick family to inspire and give hope to hurting people all over the United States and internationally as they share their miraculous story of God’s faithfulness and healing amid tragedy.

The Barrick’s live in Lynchburg, Virginia and minister together as a family with Hope Out Loud. Their passion is to help people who are broken and hurting find hope and healing in the truth of God’s Word.

The Hope Out Loud ministry uses every means possible to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ through speaking, written materials, TV, radio, DVDs and the internet. God continues to open up doors for the Barrick family to reach out and speak in public and community venues and Christian environments.

Andy is the President and CEO of Hope Out Loud, Linda and Jen lead online Bible studies with women from over 46 countries. Joshua is in seminary at Liberty University.

The prayer of the Barrick’s is that God will be glorified and that many people will come to know Christ as Savior through their testimony.

Join the conversation. Can you relate to the difficulty of offering forgiveness to others who hurt you? What aspect of the Barrick family’s story inspires you most? How have you seen God turn tragedy into ministry?

As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life, which fuels her passion to inspire others through hope-filled fiction based on true to life stories. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and is a multi-award-winning writer, an active ACFW member, and ACFW Virginia president. Connect with Deena through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  • Aleta Cowns

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    • Deena Adams

      Hi Aleta. Thank you so much for your encouraging comments! I’m so glad you find the content on my blog helpful. I’d love for you to subscribe so you won’t miss any posts. As a subscriber, you’ll receive an email each Wednesday with a link to the new post, a free PDF of Ten Steps to Finding Hope When You’re Heartbroken, the opportunity to receive five free devotions, an entry for a $25 Amazon gift card each quarter, along with a quarterly newsletter with personal updates from me. Whether you subscribe or not, I welcome you as a friend along the journey with me. Blessings to you!

  • Lynn Moore

    What a beautiful family with such an awe inspiring heart & love for God….in spite of such a horrific life experience. Allowing God to turn our tragedies into opportunities to encourage others all the while giving God glory …….. that’s faith at its best! Taking what our enemy, Satan, would use to destroy us & allowing God to use our situation for the good of others, to bring God the glory and allow healing to come to our hearts….now that’s a “Win-Win-Win” for real!

    • Deena Adams

      Amen Lynn! Thanks for chiming in. I always love your comments. Keep joining the conversation and sharing with your friends and family. May God be glorified through these stories of hope!

  • Cindy McCord

    Hi Deena, Thanks for sharing this story of hope for a hurting heart! I’ve been struggling with the recent loss of my brother, which has opened up the wounds of the loss of my younger brother a few years ago! I’ve questioned why God would allow this to happen to my elderly parents, especially since my dad is disabled after his stroke and with me living a few hours away. Just in the last couple of weeks, you’ve helped to encourage me and I thank God for you allowing Him to use your life for His glory and honor! I’ll be praying for your ministry to be everything God wants and needs it to be! Love you, my friend!

    • Deena Adams

      Cindy, I’m so sorry for all the pain you and your family have endured. I love you all and hurt with you. I’m blessed to know I’ve encouraged you in some way. You mean so much to me. Thanks for your comments. Keep in touch!