Our Testimony: Beyond the Walls of “Church”

By Darnisha Taylor

“Then I heard a loud voice in Heaven saying, ‘Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Anointed One, for the accuser of our brothers and sisters—the one who accuses them before our God day and night—has been thrown out. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives even in the face of death.’”

Revelation 12:10-11 TLV

Scott and I had just come back from our honeymoon and were learning how to do life together as husband and wife. We decided to go scuba diving before Michigan waters got too cold. It was a beautiful day—not a soul on the lake, just us enjoying the newlywed life. 

We descended 50 feet to explore Crystal Lake. The conditions were not ideal—less than 10 feet of visibility. Terrible for diving, but I always hung on to Scott’s BC anyway. He was the master diver, and this black girl was just getting accustomed to getting her hair wet (LOL). The lake was vast, but it was not unfamiliar. Still today was different. 

We were 30 minutes into the dive when Scott turned to me. Something was wrong. My equipment was leaking air. But we were trained, “Don’t panic.” He held the safety line as I made a safe ascent. At the surface, nothing went right. Hundreds of yards from shore, I tried but failed to repair the damage. I panicked and called for help. Still under water, Scott could not hear me. Being alone on this 8-mile long lake was suddenly a very scary place. Within moments of being swept to deeper waters, I knew I was going to die that day.

After struggling to save my own life I prayed, “God, if this is how it is going to happen, I trust You.” 

God faithfully met me in those final seconds as described in Philippians 4:7, 

“And the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Miraculously, God led Scott to me in those murky waters. Finding me at the bottom of the lake, he had no time to get to shore before he conducted CPR. So he tread water, prayed, fought the enemy screaming words of condemnation, and breathed for me. Then God spoke to me. As I forgot earthly worries and neared the gates of heaven He said, “Darnisha, I need you to relax and let him bring you back.” 

I remember that wonderful place. Scott remembers the hell he endured. Our Father in heaven heard both our prayers for help and provided our rescue, a small boat filled with 3 praying strangers. 

God mercifully allowed me to recover with no physical damage after being dead 8-12 minutes according to dive records. God also allowed Scott and me to walk through the pain of great emotional damage following that traumatic experience. 

I led worship that weekend, in shock and riddled with separation anxiety. It was a slow walk to emotional recovery, but one that allowed us to share the Good News. 

Trauma accompanies every human experience despite age, ethnicity, gender, or faith. We have shared this testimony at conferences, churches, Dr Oz, 700 Club, grocery stores, yard sales—wherever someone is struggling—and we have seen God use our testimony to change lives. 

For us, God used prayer, medical professionals, pastors, friends, sharing, and writing to get us through this life-altering experience. 

Scott Anthony Taylor’s book Deathgate describes our experience in detail. His song “I Live to Praise You” encapsulates our experience and our mission as a couple:

I live to praise You

I live to praise Your Holy name

I’ll be a testimony

Tell them about my story

Tell of Your wondrous glory

To a lost and dying world 

I encourage you to allow God’s recovery story in your life to evangelize wherever you go—outside and inside the Church.

Shared with permission of Scott Anthony Taylor www.scottanthonytaylor.com

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