Woman Alive deputy editor Jemimah Wright, says Jamie Lynn Spears telling the story of her daughter surviving a drowning, and why she became a Catholic, is encouragement to us all
I love testimony, I love the power of it, and the ability that it gives to explain the goodness of God. Revelation 12:11 says: ‘They overcame by the blood of the lamb, and the word of their testimony.’ Testimony is gentle, its human, and its powerful.
So when I saw Jamie Lynn, 32, the younger sister of Britney Spears, 41, sharing the reason she became a Catholic last week on I’m a Celebrity…Get me Out of Here my heart was warmed.
Mum, actress and singer, Jamie Lynn is a very likable character. The pundits on This Morning have noted that she is opening up more and more on the TV show, and sharing insights into her personal life, especially her relationship with her famous, and often controversial older sister.
Testimony is gentle, its human, and its powerful.
But it was the story of the reason for her faith that had her tearing up, and I am guessing many of the audience too. Jamie Lynn tells a story of amazing grace. Her daughter, Maddie should have died when she was trapped underwater by the ATV (all-terrain vehicle) she was driving in 2017.
Sitting in the I’m a Celebrity camp, Jamie Lynn shared the story with her fellow contestants. She said: ’I almost lost my oldest daughter… she drowned and we couldn’t save her.
’We tried really hard. She was trapped under a little side-by-side that we ride around our pond. In that moment you think: “This is not real, she’s going to pop up, this isn’t real.” I could feel her arm, and I’m jerking it, I couldn’t get her up because it’s a pretty heavy machine. In that moment you think, you know logically she’s been under water too long… nobody can live if they’ve been under water this long. You logically are thinking these things.
’Then you hear the sirens coming. Thank god my mother-in-law, first thing she did was call 911… she [Maddie] was caught in the safety netting. So when they got there, she was not alive. They took her from me and they incubated her. I was sitting on the rocks, I’d thrown up on myself, the adrenalin, then I heard her [my mother-in-law] call my mum and say, “Lynn, we’ve lost Maddie”.
‘Then the fire fighter came over three seconds later and was like, “We’ve got a pulse, we’ve got a pulse..”’
a priest to read her her last rites, and when they did, her body physically sat up, her spirit responded to it for whatever reason… ’
’They airlifted her… she’s hooked up on life support, breathing machines and all that… they come in, a priest to read her her last rites, and when they did, her body physically sat up, her spirit responded to it for whatever reason… ’
Maddie was able to leave the hospital six days after she first fell into the pond. She is now fifteen and has no health repercussions from the accident.
Jamie Lynn said: ‘She got better and better every day and walked out of the hospital. This has no repercussions. So that’s when I became Catholic. For about five minutes I thought I’d lost my daughter and then I was given the miracle of having her back.’
The response of her fellow contestants was understanding and compassion, one even gave her a hug. There is the longing in hearts for a sign of God, a touch of the supernatural. Jamie Lynn was sharing her experience of this.
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At the time of the accident she was recorded as saying: “I’m not one to preach, but we were shown God’s grace, and we still feel undeserving of His mercy. I’ll never stop thanking each of you for your prayers, because we recognize the miracle it created.” She concluded, “We are beyond blessed, and we will NEVER forget y’all, and God’s unbelievable mercy.”
Jamie Lynn led the I’m a Celebrity contestants in a prayer before their Thanksgiving meal. Prayer and testimony on live TV, to approximately 12 million viewers. Many will put her story down to luck, or an unexplained medical anomaly. But Jamie Lynn is not ashamed of her faith, and she is giving God the credit for saving her daughter’s life. As Matthew 10:32 says, “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.
Well done Jamie Lynn. Let’s all take a leaf out of her book, and share the reason for our faith to those around us.
I’m a Celebrity….Get me Out of here! is screened daily, with each episode airing at 9pm on ITV1