I Could’ve Died, But I Was REBORN Instead!

Jenna012313This past Tuesday, I turned 13-years-old (that’s not a typo) as the new ME. People often say I’m wise beyond the years of a 13-year-old. I’d have to agree, because I’ve been through quite a lot. On February 5th, 2000 I was offered a second chance at life. I was given what I call a “re-birthday”, and that changed everything for me.

Before I was reborn, I was a disrespectful, unhappy, frustrated, depressed, and misguided 17-year-old on the cusp of her final semester of high school. I knew, deep down, that I was supposed to do something important in this world, but I had no idea what that was supposed to be. An emotionally abusive relationship, which consumed my sophomore and junior years, pulled me away from playing team sports.

I had been active my whole life and, leading up to my senior year, I hadn’t been active or paying attention to my health. I didn’t understand the direct correlation between a toxic lifestyle and severe depression.

So, here I was. Unhappy and not understanding why. My depressive thoughts sprouted beliefs that I wasn’t good enough – at anything – and my inner chatter began to affect my outer ways of being. I started to slack off in school and ditched when my friends did. I wasn’t living my life for ME, making my OWN choices, or being a leader of MY life.

I was CERTAIN that nobody really wanted me around. I “knew” that people were friends with me because they felt like they HAD to be. Those were my own convictions, based on the “truths” that my Ego told me everyday. What a jerk.

At that age, I did have an interesting relationship with something bigger than me. I didn’t know what to call it then, but it’s what I refer to as “The Uni-verse” now. I kept asking this greater power for some kind of a sign; something that would validate my worthiness – or lack thereof.

I began having visions of me in a hospital bed. I wasn’t in a lot of pain, but I was in intensive care. I faintly saw bodies, but no faces, in the room and I wanted – so badly – to see who loved me enough to visit me in that hospital.

Fast forward to the night before the biggest party of the year. I decided to host the Winter Ball after-party at my house, and my friends and I decided to utilize the barn on my parents’ property for the fiesta. I was in the hay loft decorating and that was the last thing I remember.

What I don’t remember is “running out of floor” as I walked backwards and plummeting 14 feet onto my head on concrete 14 feet below. My friends and sister, who watched me fall, said it was all in slow motion – and the worst sound they’d ever heard.

Before I woke up from my coma the next day, with brain damage, doctors said they didn’t think I’d wake up. They also said if I did, I wouldn’t be pleasant.

Umm, ok.

I actually woke up a brand new person: sweet, lovely, grateful, blessed and whole. There was standing room only, and countless people came to see me. After spending a week in the hospital, I returned home to find my room covered in stuffed animals, flowers, and banners on my wall. Hundreds of people from my school, and LIFE, had written their condolences on these massive pieces of paper. I had never felt so much love in my entire life.

Doctors also said there was no way I’d finish high school on time because of the brain damage I was still experiencing.

Umm, ok.

Clearly, they didn’t know who they were dealing with. Clearly, they didn’t realize that their discouragement would only fuel my fire. I graduated on time with the highest GPA I’d ever had. Why?

Because I said, “I AM going to graduate on time!” If I had accepted their prognosis – I wouldn’t have walked with my class. I was also simultaneously diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was in the hospital. Instead of feeling the weight of a disability, I CHOSE to make it a perfect reason to take action for my life and HANDLE it.

On February 5th, 2000, I woke up to a second chance at life. Why? Because I asked for it. I knew deep down that I was meant to do something great, and I needed a little push. The Uni-verse gave me a love tap that sent me flying into the next phase of my life on February 4th. Since then, I have been on a mission to motivate and inspire the world. My mission continues.

The Uni-verse always hears your requests, and it will give you what you need WHEN you are meant to have it. Trust in your ability to manifest all that you desire, and in your capacity to handle what is delivered to you at any given moment. The Uni-verse has big plans for you. Are you ready?

Do you get the power of LOVE and INTENTION? Have you ever experienced a life-changing event that shifted your whole perspective on life? If you haven’t, are you clear on what your purpose is? I love reading all of your comments below! Please share what’s on your mind! ūüôā

Love all that is you,

Jenna xox


Jenna Phillips is a Total Wellness Philosopher, Certified Holistic Lifestyle Coach, AFAA Certified Personal Trainer & the founder of her lifestyle brand I’m On A Mission. Follow her on Twitter and be inspired.


  • Cyndi

    thank you for sharing your story and a great big thank you for sharing your bright and beautiful light. 

  • Mo

    Thank you for sharing this story, Jenna. I’ll tell you mine. First of all I’ve had a lot of Love Taps in the past few years and I realize just how far off track I had gotten in my pursuit of a family and middle class comfort. But I resurrected after putting my marriage to rest and made myself into a new mother for my children.

    Then I started to feel that my skills and talents weren’t being put to the best use in my job. It’s a good job with lots of benefits and good salary. But I always felt a little uncomfortable in the position of being critical of other people’s efforts at this organization. I caused a lot of discomfort when I tried to inspire a more wholistic and caring approach to the work. But still I worked hard to get promoted and show my coworkers that I could fit into this culture.

    After 5 years of doing this, my supervisor told me that the managers would not support me for promotion a 3rd year in a row because they did not perceive me as being a team player. I felt that I had given so much to fit in. I had read so many books of how to work with different personalities. I had so many clients who loved me. My work was getting easier and being well received. I was more productive than most. But, the truth that I had known all along was right in front of me. I would be tolerated another year, but not promoted.

    This threw me into a grief. I was not really angry with my supervisor as much as untrusting. I wondered why it took 3 years for this truth to come out. I wondered why no one had come to me to ask my opinion on all the evidence they were gathering to support their notion that I wasn’t a teamplayer. For a while I felt the pain of my dying marriage suffocating under the weight of my ex-husband and his family’s unyielding perceptions of me and the way that he selectively remembered and retold things about me to validate their opinions. I was reminded of an old college roomate who, in hearing about some of my explorations, told me “I have an opinion of you.”

    So much judgment. And the cruelty of the group ganging up to let me know that they did not like me? who I was being? what I was doing? I can’t tell which. But in any case, there was no real room for compromise or forgiveness.

    And so I told my supervisor what I had finally learned that I could say to my ex-husband and his family.¬† I don’t like this, but it’s OK. I gave my best. I worked hard. I’m¬†different. I’m not going to be like you. I’m not going to do anything to alter your perception because I know that it’s one behavior today;¬†next year will be another. I’ll find somewhere else to work, and it really is¬†OK. In the case of the marriage it was, I’m going to go because I don’t want¬†to make¬†you feel uncomfortable.

    And I skipped off down the road.

    It hurt and I¬†felt a large part of me die, the part that had invested¬†so much.¬†But a different part of me was born, the part that is calling for her people, her place in the world.¬†I don’t feel bitter or even hurt. I feel sad for the past and all the time and energy I invested in being a part of something that I didn’t¬†truly vibe with. I’m sad for all the chaos it caused.¬†But as I sit with this sadness, I’m getting closer to reaching through it and feeling love on the other side. I did all of that because I had love to give. I did it in the name of love and diversity and growth. And I walked away in the name of love and letting others be who they need to be.

    That’s my story.

  • Denise

    Thank you for sharing this, what an uplifting story.  I also have an acquired brain injury that I sustained in 2001.  This year I am celebrating being 12 years old!
    Recovery was a difficult journey – spent 2 months in the hospital (4 weeks ina coma) and another 2 months recovering at home.¬† The first few years were rough, I had a difficult time accepting the ‘new me’ and to make it more challenging I had an invisible disability – friends didn’t see anything was different…and on the outside they were right.

    Things changed dramatically when I choose to look at it as I got a new life rather than focusing on how my life had changed.  Life is so good!

  • Wow!¬† Just wow.¬† SUCH an amazing story!¬† Thank you for sharing it.¬† I also love the idea of your re-birthday!¬†

    I related to the part where you said you “knew” people were friends with you because they “had” to be.¬† I’ve felt that way myself.¬† Honestly, I’m still working on that belief about myself.¬† When I was in first grade, I was at a sleep-over at my best friend’s house, who was also my next-door neighbor.¬† I pretended to be asleep, to be funny.¬† Then I heard my “friends” say they didn’t really like me.¬† Yes, I really did.¬† There were about 7 or so little girls at that party and I distinctly remember 2 or 3 outright saying things like, “I don’t really like her anyway.”¬† I also distinctly remember one girl going against the “crowd” and saying that she DID like me.¬† That night, when I was just 6 years old, has affected my whole life.¬† I didn’t realize that was the core of the issue, until I was well into adulthood.¬† Then I remembered that night and made the connection.¬† All growing up I felt like no one REALLY liked me.¬† That people hung out with me and invited me to stuff b/c they felt like they “had” to.¬† Even now (at the age of 35) I struggle with believing if someone really wants me there.¬† I’ve also wondered if I just up and ran away, without telling anyone, how long it would be before anyone really missed me.

     Clearly this is something I still need to work on.  In thinking about all this as I write, it got me to thinking I need to get out there more!  Meet more people.  Make more friends.  Connect with people.


  • Angela

    Wow, this is an amazing story! I had a huge wake-up call when I was engaged and heard a big “no” from within…I broke up with my fiance and have spent the last 2 years doing some major soul-searching and I feel like I am understanding my purpose more and more every day.¬†

  • A RoseLittle

    Over throw judgment and liberate love. Join me and many others in this gracemovement. Stand up against the vulture culture. You alread have made an outstandin effect in my perception of life. So together i would love to help you change the consciousness of the world to more,love. I believe everyone needs a second chance. I am AshleyRose and i am People of the second chance. Find out more @ love your daily blog stay tenacious. Bless you..potsc.com

  • Kristin

    Wow, that is an amazing story and thank you for sharing. God used a tough situation for your good, you could have given up and felt sorry for yourself but you persevered. Inspiring!

  • WOW!! I loved reading and was stopped when I read, “I AM going to graduate early.” It reminded me ¬†I said those very same words 12 years ago. When I had that drive and focus I WAS¬†unstoppable. ¬†Reading this made me remember that I have that drive in me. Its been buried away for some time, pulled out but not fully used to its capacity. Until now my dear. ūüėČ Another favorite part I related to was, ” The Uni-verse gave me a Love tap that sent me flying into the next phase of my life,” ¬†These words spoke so Loud to me!! Thank You, thank you for sharing this with us. ¬†We are given what we need when we need it. love to you my friend ‚ô•