• Today's Daily Devotion
Facing the Fire
In December 2001, Brian was discharged from the hospital. At home, Mel was his caregiver.

Facing the Fire

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Brian Birdwell, U.S. Army and Mel Birdwell

In December 2001, Brian was discharged from the hospital. At home, Mel was his caregiver.

After his physical therapy sessions at the hospital, Brian took a nap before Mel helped him work on getting better range of motion in his arms by bending and straightening them.

The two-hour after-dinner routine included Mel helping him shower, putting lotions and creams on his fragile grafted skin, dressing him, and massaging scars to help break up and loosen scar tissue.

For thirteen months, Brian also wore tight compression garments on his hands and arms twenty-three hours a day to help reduce scarring and bumps as the skin healed, and to keep scars already there as flat as possible. He also wore a headband for his forehead.

“While I was carrying the burden of physical pain, Mel carried the burden of the emotional,” said Brian. “I think the greatest strain was on her, and I don’t say that because my job was easy.”

On March 12, 2002, Brian returned to work at the Pentagon part-time. “Stepping back into the place that could have that should have been my murder scene was important to me,” said Brian. “I stepped back a winner. I was a walking miracle, a testimony to what God did for me that day. We were winning; the terrorists weren’t.”

Brian and Mel have shared their story and their faith through The Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC’s Nightline, CBN, CNN and FOX News Channel. They also authored Refined by Fire and created Face the Fire Ministries in 2003, through which they personally bring hope and encouragement to burn survivors and critically wounded military and their families nationwide (www.facethefire.org).

“It’s exactly as 2 Corinthians tells us, to comfort others with the comfort we have received,” said Brian. “It’s very gratifying to be able to come alongside somebody and encourage them. We discuss the strength that carried us through this process, which was certainly our faith in Jesus Christ. As brutal as that experience was, the Lord had a better plan for us than what we knew, so here we are.”


Lord, use whatever trials I face in order to reflect your goodness and grace.

Other Items In The Battlefields and Blessings Series

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