Some people go to church their whole life but still don’t know what it means to be in Christ, or what it means to be all God created them to be. Kristen Anderson was a teenager like that. She was smart and popular, had a great family, and grew up in church. But when tragedy came her way as a 17-year-old through several deaths of friends and also the death of her grandmother, Kristen found herself depressed and hopeless, without any understanding that God would help her through the pain.
Kristen snuck out of her home one night to hang out with a friend and on her way back home, a sudden and truly demonic thought entered her mind. As she approached a set of train tracks near her house, with the sound of an approaching engine ringing out in the night, she envisioned ending her life by getting in front of that train. She said she just wanted her emotional pain to end. Impulsively, she laid down on the tracks as the sound of the locomotive drew nearer. With more weight and wind than she could have imagined, the train passed over her, 33 freight cars… and then it stopped. Kristen wasn’t sure if she was dead or alive, but when she opened her eyes and looked around, she saw her own legs laying behind her about 10 feet away. The train had severed her legs but she was still alive.
Obviously, that event was the beginning of a whole new level of pain for Kristen. Talk about life-changing. The story is gruesome, but it does have a happy ending. God used other Christians to help Kristen understand His love for her in her recovery, and to see that he saved her life that night. In an interview with The 700 Club, Kristen said, “I came to the understanding that I would have been sent to hell if I died. So I realized at that moment that God had given me a second chance to go to Heaven and spend eternity with Him.” What a merciful God.
Today, Kristen speaks as a confident, godly young woman. She does not have legs, but she has Christ, and her countenance radiates His life. She started Reaching You Ministries, and is using her life to bring hope to others who are battling depression and suicidal thoughts.
Before her suicide attempt, Kristen did not know who she was meant to be, and was willing to lose it all because it didn’t seem worth having. Today she knows the forgiveness of God, who He has called her to be, and the security and peace found through a relationship with him. Far from her former self, she is not floundering in depression, doubt, and anxiety. She has flourished like a plant finally rooted in healthy soil. She is in Christ, and she’s living differently because of it.