Donna Berger lived a balanced life of faith, family, and her career as a nurse anesthetist until one hot summer day in August of 1989 when her life was torn away from her. That day an impaired driver crashed into her parked car and killed her husband, Gerry, their three children, Dawn (8), Stephen (6), and Michael (3); and left her badly burned, fighting for her life in a burn intensive care unit.
Clinging to life and to Romans 8:28, And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose, Donna chose to not count her faith amongst her many losses and to instead trust in the Lord to get her through all the grief and pain. And through that agonizing journey, the Lord has been steadfast in His love and faithfulness.
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Just two days after that accident, while Donna’s fate was still uncertain, her husband Gerry’s best friend, John Berger, came to her bedside. He was moved powerfully by the Lord during that encounter, and while he was not completely sure she could hear or understand him, he whispered in her ear the promise that if she lived, he would take care of her.
John’s love was just one of many blessings the Lord poured out on Donna to help her through the most unimaginable grief and loss. After a very long and painful recovery, she and John were married, and four more very long years after that they were abundantly blessed by the birth of their twins, Meredith and Christian. This new beginning for Donna and John marked a time of rebirth for Donna and the beginning of a close and personal relationship with the Lord.
In 2012, Donna agreed to help a friend establish a Bible study in their town, and the inaugural group of six followers of Christ began to grow. By 2014, the “Sisters In Faith” had grown exponentially and Donna was asked to take over the leadership position of this fellowship of amazing, faith-filled women who together seek the Lord in Scripture.
In 2014, Donna could no longer resist the call to witness to how powerfully the Lord worked in her life, and she began writing her first book, Through the Tumbler with her co-author, William Searcy.
Today, Donna lives with her husband John in Florida, where in addition to leading Sisters In Faith and blogging weekly for this website, she and Will are working to secure a pathway to publication for their book which is recently finished. Donna and John also frequently travel to Virginia to visit their twins who are in graduate school.
Will Searcy is not a teacher; he’s another Christian seeking to learn more about the Lord and His perfect love for us. Any good Will has accomplished in his life has been the Spirit of God working through him in that perfect love. Anything else is on him.
Will tries to love as God loves him, but, like most of us, he fails in varying degrees every day. He has fed the hungry, given drink to the thirsty, welcomed the stranger, clothed the naked, cared for the sick, and visited those in prison, but the instances in which he has done so are far outweighed by the number of times he has been either blind or indifferent to their needs due to his own concerns and anxieties.
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Will has a wife and son that he loves dearly and wishes he showed it more often, particularly when he is caught up in a Miami Dolphins or Virginia basketball or football game. Despite all these shortcomings, Will knows that God sent His only Son to save him from his sins through death on the cross.
Will is eternally grateful for that gift of love and salvation, and he tries to hear God’s voice and follow His will in his life. On this blog, you can follow along with Will’s Christian journey. Among the items of discussion will be the Bible, family, sports, movies, books, popular culture, and how God can sometimes be discovered hidden behind a secular world.
Visit him at his website WillSearcy.com
Meredith Berger is the website designer, a contributor and the daughter of the author, Donna Berger. Meredith has experience as an opinion columnist for two student-body newspapers and has been published on various online platforms. A follower of Christ and a lover of words, she is thrilled to be a part of the Through the Tumbler team, further developing both her faith and her writing.
Meredith enjoys her Bible studies and the community they foster. She finds comfort and joy in the word of God, and uses it for guidance as she navigates through life.
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Meredith is also a recent college graduate from the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce (MS ’17), and works for a software company in Virginia.