How to Overcome Tragedy, Trauma, and Tough Times

A Faith-Based Approach

“There is always something good coming on the backside of pain.”

Sabrina Lorene Cripe

Have guilt, shame, or regret found their way into your life and just won’t let you move forward?

Have you wondered if you are ever going to find relief, healing, and recovery in the aftermath of a tragedy or trauma in your life?


I have experienced my fair share of struggles, bottomless pits of despair, and hitting the lowest of rock bottoms that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. My rock bottoms have been living in a tent underneath bridges or spending countless nights in homeless shelters. But remember that your idea of rock bottom and mine could be very different. And that’s okay. We can still find the goodness of life together.

Welcome to your healing!  I am Sabrina, but you can call me “Beans”.  When I was about 5 or 6 years old, going to school at Nathan Hale Elementary in Whiting, Indiana, I would insist to my mother that I must wear this brown Girl Scout beanie to school everyday and thus, my friends donned me with the catchy nickname of “Beanie”. 

 It just stuck with me over the years. So that’s how Beans came to be.

I am the oldest of two daughters. My sister is named Kelly.  We were better known as “The Gravely Girls”. Once we were inseperable, but over the years we have grown apart. I have accepted my role in damaging our relationship as I was struggling with my demons. But now, because of forgiveness and love from God above we are rebuilding. I am so grateful for family. God does know what I put my family through and he still loves me just as I am. Granted, I am a completely different version of myself. My sister and I had a lot of good times growing up in Whiting, but we also had heartache and challenges as well.  Most of which no one around us knew about because we were taught not to speak of the things that went on at home. Our mother loved us very, very much but she had the demands of a single mother to meet. I can also say she loved her grandchildren even more.

 I have come to know what it really feels like to struggle.  To hit rock bottom.  To want to give up because you feel you can’t catch a break.  Trauma building upon trauma that just keeps you locked in a never ending cycle. You are not alone my friend.  Let me share some of my story with you now…

My mother and my oldest son, Jacob, were in a horrific car accident on March 26, 2010.  My son was crushed by a semi-truck and he was only 12 years old.   My mother had 167 stitches to her face and broke her neck in two places and had suffers with traumatic brain injury and early onset dementia as a result of said injury. The injuries my son endured from this accident tried to claim his life, on more than one occasion. But I believe that God wasn’t ready to take him home yet.  He laid in a coma for months.  They had to remove his skull to alleviate the brain from swelling down into the brain stem which would have cut off oxygen and blood flow to the brain.  So, by removing a large section of the skull, the brain could swell up and out of his head instead of suffocating the brain stem.  His eyes were bulging severely from the brain swelling causing them to “pop out” of his head…So, they sewed his eyelids shut.  He had a fever of 108 degrees for days.  Things that are just unheard of and I could just go on about the symptoms he experienced but I feel I have shared enough details already. I saw and experienced things that no mother should witness their child going through. As a result of countless strokes and injury to the brain he is now quadriplegic.  Paralyzed from the neck down. There were uncountable numbers of strokes which depleted areas of brain cells. Especially those that control major motor skills and abilities.

I was devastated.  Could you imagine? I couldn’t understand why God would do this to a child. My child.  My sweet baby boy. I had such big ideas and dreams for him.  “No God, please not my baby!”  I remember dropping to my knees, sobbing heavily, begging the chaplain in the ICU at South Bend Memorial Hospital to pray to God so that he wouldn’t take him from me.  Now, with the knowledge and wisdom I gained over the years, I know that when I dropped to my knees in that hospital and sobbed, with a mother’s grieving tears, that God there with me and was he was grieving too. He hurt because I hurt. According to Robia Scott, He doesn’t want us to hurt. She discusses in her book “Counterfeit Comforts” and talks specifically about the subject of God allowing us to suffer. It’s not that he wants us to suffer but when Satan creates tragedies God does show up for us. 7God saw me there on the floor and though he cannot take away the things that hurt us in life,He can help us find goodness and lead us to the blessings that follow, and are sometimes a result of the suffering. Basically, we have to go through trials like this in order to rebuild. I always say that, “There is always something good coming on the backside of pain.”

I was unknowingly experiencing the beginning moments of my life’s transformation. 

That poor, innocent boy has now grown into a fine young man now and I am blessed each day with the gift of “one more day of life” that we have here on earth together and that I get to share with him.  There are still at times Jacob will look at me and ask, “Why me Mom?”  (He repeats himself sometimes because he has problems with memory function.) It is difficult to hear him ask this question but now I am able to tell him that God has a purpose for him and he will go to heaven aftere he has fulfilled God’s purpose for him. It just has not happened yet. The other, and more disturbing question he asks is, “Mom, why won’t anybody come visit me? ” It’s somewhat difficult for him to understand but people do not come because they haven’t accepted what has become and they can’t let go of the past. I always tell Jacob, “Honey, you can’t experience to abundant blessings from God if you clog up all your thoughts with sadness and negativity. You have to give God the chance and the opportunity to lead you to the Happy Place(s). There are pure blessings that I get to experience daily with Jacob. Throughout all of this, I eventually became became aware of God’s loving presence in my life.  I went through 8 years of torment, trying to suppress and push down the hurt, the guilt, the shame, that only became worse because I tried to block, hide, and numb any feeling that I had with alcohol and drug use.  I just couldn’t face the world. I couldn’t accept what had happened. That was really the driving force for all of my insanity. I just was floored by it. It was tragic for me. The world became a very dark, scary, and lonely place. 

“Psalm 119:105 paints such a beautiful word picture for us. His Word ‘is a lamp to my feet’ meaning [he is] a guide for the steps I’m taking Right Now. His Word is also ‘a light for my path’ meaning [he is] a guide for my immediate future so I will know what steps to take.”

Beth Moore author of Breaking Free

But today, I have a different story to tell you.  And yes I am going to talk about God.  But give me, and give Him, a chance to intervene because he wants to meet you too.  Moreover, I want to talk some with you (add comment!) and share A LOT about my SPIRITUALITY and how I have experienced miracles and healing as a direct result of God’s love.  I feel that I have a lot of experience, wisdom, and education about tragedy and trauma.  But I am not claiming to be a professional.  I just feel very “schooled” in this department and am hoping to pay it forward. 

What’s the Purpose of this Site

Some things I will address include:

  • adversity
  • struggles
  • despair
  • drug addition and alcoholism
  • heartache
  • guilt and shame
  • forgiveness
  • finding yourself
  • finding God
  • going to jail
  • practicing spirituality
  • Treatment and Rehabilitation
  • respecting the process 
  • And so much more!

Life has given me so much experience in these areas but I would also love to hear about those things you might like for me to address with this blog. I want this to be an interactive blog where the topics are driven by you too. So, I am open to suggestions. Just leave them in the comments box and we can continue the healing process together.

Heed this gentle warning though

You will experience pain.  Memories will surface. My hope is that you use this site as a catapult to begin your own life transformation.  Let it begin now!  Amazing…are the things that are about to happen, in your life, if you trust in me and allow me the chance to pass on to you the gifts that have been given to me from my sobriety and ultimately from my relationship with God. Hopefully, you will also allow me to introduce you to my friend…Jesus.

It has been a long, challenging journey, but one that I wouldn’t change for anything because my rewards have been plentiful.  All of my blessings today are a direct result of yesterday’s trauma.  God grieved when he saw me hurting in that hospital, in that treatment center, in that counselor’s office, and He has always lifted me up and to show me what real love is supposed to be like.

I’ve also learned that Satan will cause tragedy and trauma just so he can put the blame on God and make you question His very existence. Don’t fall for this trick. It’s a trap. Don’t let the Devil win. Wonderful things are about to occur for you. Just don’t give up. Jacob’s dad tells me about studying the Word, “Just have an open mind.” And that is all I ask of you.

Like I said in the first sentence, “Welcome to your healing”…it begins today. God has brought you to this very place, to this very moment and has already begun His work in you. Are you ready and willing to receive happiness in your life? We have been through so much sadness as it is, it’s time to turn our lives around. I can honestly say that I have never been happier in my life than I am today.

Keep On Keepin’ On.

Joe Dirt

Much love,


P.S. Below you will find a post I created about a year and a half ago. (even though it somehow is dated for today). I’m so glad it found it’s way onto this site, though, because it was written before I found God. It talks about finding successes in my life and I can honestly and humbly state that I have done just that. It also shows how long I have been trying to accomplish this project.

The post is only visible on computers.