New Book Released!

Ice Storm’s 25th Anniversary Marked by Triumph Over Tragedy

FLORENCE, AL –   The devastating ice storm of February 10, 1994, is one during which many people in the Shoals will recall the reigning Miss UNA, Jacque Rainwater, nearly lost her life when her car was crushed on Walnut Street by a falling ice-laden tree. This February marks the 25th Anniversary of that storm, and Jacque Rainwater is returning to the Shoals area to celebrate triumph over that tragedy.

During the 1994 accident, Rainwater had a broken neck, a fractured skull, punctured lungs, and injuries to her chest which literally exposed her heart. Rainwater coded on the scene twice from going into cardiac arrest, but was revived.

Told by a neurosurgeon that her daughter would probably not make it through the night, Susie Rainwater, Rainwater’s mother, along with countless friends across the community, began to hold vigil over Rainwater. With Rainwater in a coma, their vigil would last for 31 days. Doctors had told them if she did not wake within 30 days, she likely would never return. But, on day 31 Rainwater woke. Upon doing so, however, she could not see, walk, nor talk. She did not even know her family.

“I never realized how hard it was going to be for Jacque to find her way back to normal,” said Susie Rainwater. “I only knew we were going to have to fight for all that we could get, and never give up.”

Rainwater proved to be a tenacious fighter. Despite facing innumerable challenges, over the months that followed she slowly reclaimed her life. Even when doctors advised her not to return to college, she refused and eventually graduated from the University of North Alabama in 1997.

Appearing on such shows as “It’s a Miracle” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Rainwater shared her story and began to use it as a platform to encourage and help others. Today, she is a beacon of hope, speaking to groups and organizations about overcoming adversity through faith.

Rainwater, who now lives in Cullman, Alabama, will return to the Shoals as an author. Her autobiography, “On a Limb and a Prayer” is being released to coincide with a 25th Anniversary Celebration of Life event on February 9, 2019, at the Shoals Marriott Conference Center.

“My life was actually hanging ‘on a limb,‘” Rainwater said. “I believe it was the love of God and His work through amazing people that helped me survive that day.”

In her autobiography, Rainwater recounts her near-death experiences, along with all she has learned throughout her journey. As her book cover notes:  “By the grace of God, the love of her family, and her own sheer determination, Jacque Rainwater is an overcomer, who now shares and encourages others to be overcomes too. Her insights into the pursuit of happiness in the midst of adversity will challenge you. Her sense of humor and passion for life will captivate, motivate, and uplift you. Jacque will inspire you to embrace ALL that God has blessed you with – particularly the amazing gift of simply being ALIVE!”

The 200-plus-page book, which retails for $15.99, includes photos and news clippings, as well as recollections from rescue workers, friends, and family. Proceeds from the book will help to support “Living Out The Miracle,” the Jacque Rainwater Foundation.

“The doctors said if I lived I would probably never be able to walk or speak again,” said Rainwater. “But here I am. I am alive! And they can’t shut me up!”

For more information, to schedule Rainwater to speak to your organization, or to order a copy of “On a Limb and a Prayer,” visit

# # #

Remembering My Dad…

Twenty-four-years ago this month my father passed away. Unlike most people, I had to experience his loss twice. When I awoke up from my accident I kept asking where he was. I didn’t remember that he’d passed away four years before. Not only couldn’t I remember his passing but, during my coma, I had seen my dad so clearly. I had felt his presence. I knew he was with me.

My family couldn’t bear to tell me that he had passed away. Doctors and rehabilitation specialists advised my parents to withhold the information; to allow those memories to return to me when… or if they ever would.

They did.

The memories slowly emerged from darkness, almost like a bottle that had risen from the great depths of an ocean, with the contents stoppered inside… safe and sound. I was a daddy’s girl, no mistake. I miss him but I have humbly and thankfully accepted the comfort God has offered me in my grief. And I choose to remember my father with great joy and happiness.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

Love Reminds Us Why: Inspiration from Trystan Owain Hughes

“Pain may well remind us that we are alive, but love reminds us why we are alive” Trystan Owain Hughes

Some of you might recognize this quotation from Wm Paul Young’s book, Cross Roads, but it originated from a book called Finding Hope and Meaning in Suffering by Dr Trystan Owain Hughes. Hughes wrote the book after he was diagnosed with a degenerative spinal condition in the hope of showing others that, even if we are struggling with a severe illness or injury, we have a choice how we respond to adverse circumstances. What Hughes found when he was diagnosed was that, instead of casting him in a downward spiral of unhappiness, the pain and suffering he experienced actually prompted him to actively seek out sources of hope and meaning. He encourages us to “take a step back from our anxieties and worries and rest in the love of God.”

Hughes suggests that there are “five areas where love may be found in the midst of pain: in nature, memory, art, laughter and other people. By becoming conscious of the echoes of the transcendent in these areas, we will gain new strength. And paradoxically, through facing our suffering, learn to truly live.”

He covers the topic beautifully in a post on his own blog entitled: “Love reminds us why”: God and the mystery of suffering.

Suffering can oftentimes be a very private matter and that was one thing I found when I was recovering from my accident. It was difficult for me to fully disclose the depths of my suffering on both a physical and spiritual level because I felt like I was letting everybody down. In retrospect, I was punishing myself for not being a superhero! And although I didn’t have Hughes’ wonderful book to inspire me at the time, I did arrive in the same neighborhood as some of his conclusions.

It became indelibly clear to me at one point that I had a choice. I could lumber and struggle under the weight of my own sorrow and pain, shying away from all the beauty and promise that life offered before my accident… or… I could move toward that light again; actively seeking out the good in life, the positive. Doing things that would affirm my relationship with God, with family, with friends… with myself.

I’m interested to know how you’ve dealt with pain and suffering. What techniques have worked for you? Feel free to leave comments below or if you wish, email me at


Sometimes we need to hear the truth. There’s nothing wrong with honesty and that’s the spin I like to put on this quote. When the chips are down, and it’s important, a real friend will tell you the truth, even if it might sting a
little… Many thanks to Oscar Wilde for this quote:

A true friend stabs you in the front.

But let’s be quick to add, honesty shouldn’t always be equated with ‘brutally’! There are very kind and gentle ways to get one’s point across.

The Greatest Gift is Love

When I had my accident during the Ice Storm of 1994 I was driving a car with a personalize license plate which read: 1 Cor 13.

For those of you familiar with the verse 1 Corinthians 13, you will know that it is attributed to Paul and it speaks of love, or in the Greek version agape which, although it has a rich and interesting history of interpretation, most often from a Christian perspective centers around love and charity; in particular the love of God for humankind, the love of humankind for God, or the love of our fellowman.

I believe it was the love of God and God working through all the amazing people who helped me that day – and in all the days of my recovery – that saved my life.

1 Corinthians
13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there aretongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.