If you get knocked down, get up again
by Sharon Furrate Bailey
Jeremy Martin does not “clown” around when sharing his incredible and miraculous life story that encompasses near death experiences, a difficult childhood, failed marriages and the reason he believes God chose to spare him, protect him and why he is still here. Not only is Jeremy still here by the grace of God, he is in the process of writing a book entitled “God’s Fourth Quarter,” which he hopes to complete in the next six months.
Martin is an entrepreneur and the owner of AutoYes, a car dealership specializing in certified pre-owned cars, trucks and SUVs. He has a passion for life and intends to make the most of every day. He is not one to look back with regret. However, he does reflect back on a life full of challenges and realizes that God was always there.
At times he admits he got off track in terms of following God. What Christian hasn’t been derailed before? Temptation is ever-present and the flesh is weak but to live for Christ is much more than simply following Christ. Something he has learned over time is that it’s not enough to say you follow Christ; living for him is requires more depth and authenticity.
Martin shared his belief that “one must live for Christ, not just follow Christ,” several times — a message he often shares with others. He is confident that he is on this earth in order to complete his book and to serve others as an evangelist. “I am a vessel living for God,” he says. The way he witnesses at work is the same way he would witness anywhere else — as a vessel who has been given a second chance at life. Despite the twists and turns he’s experienced in life, he has surpassed all odds and is still going strong.
Martin shares miraculous stories from his childhood growing up in East Waco, Texas, as well as stories from his adult life that he hopes will help others think beyond this world. He desires to encourage others through his personal encounters with God and his understanding that tomorrow is not promised, so one better start living for God today.
Q: As a child growing up in East Waco, Texas, life was not always easy. Would you please share about those quarters as you define them in your life that shaped you into the man you are today?
A: I am here today by the grace of God, but there were many attempts by the devil to thwart God’s plan in my life. These times are embedded in my mind and I like to present them as quarters in my life. The “quarters” reference relates to having been involved in sports my entire life from soccer, football, baseball and track, to riding dirt bikes. The first quarter involves my birth. Back in the 1970s abortions were illegal, yet they were still being performed in alleyways. But, one abortion did not happen, and that is why I am here today. My parents were 16 when my mom got pregnant. My mom went to have an abortion, but the coat hanger the doctor had used on a previous abortion fell out of the bag and blood spilled out everywhere. My mom stood up and ran out of that alley like a track star and never looked back. The devil did not succeed.
The second attempt occurred when I was 2 years old. We lived in a quadplex in a seedy area of East Waco. My dad worked nights at 7-Eleven, and my mom was home smoking pot and drinking upstairs. She walked down the stairs and saw me lying near our front door, which was wide open, and she picked me up and placed me back in my crib. If I had gotten out the front door it could have been very serious.
There are more details to this second attempt at my life, because the door incident correlates to a recurring dream I have had about a door shutting on me. In this dream, the wind kept shutting the door. However, I learned more in-depth about this dream after a good visit with my mom when I was 31 years old. During our visit, I had her finally open up and share things with me that now make sense. It was not easy for her to open up, but she did so with such dignity and humility that I am forever thankful for her transparency. She explained that evening when she placed me back in the crib that the spring on the door had been broken off, and that I was being protected by the wind slamming it shut. Again, God intervened.
The third quarter in my life happened when my parents divorced. I was 7 years old. My mom was going to school at night and working a second job. When I got home from school, I was supposed to do homework and stay inside. The kids across the street were playing football one day and kept yelling my name, “Jeremy, come on over.” So, I disobeyed my mom and started running across the street. Something stopped me in the road. It was not a force that was normal, nor could I see it. If one was to prop a trampoline on its side and place it upright — it was like that was what I ran into that blocked me from seriously getting hurt. A car driving about 60 mph flew by and had this miraculous force not blocked me, I would have been dead. After it passed, I ran across the street and played football. Again, these major events in my life surface in my mind as an adult and keep me “on track” with God, knowing he was there in each moment that could have resulted in catastrophe.
Q: The fourth quarter of your life involves what the doctors and the surgeons deem a medical miracle in your life. What happened when you were in the hospital after your first aneurysm?
A: I was 42 years old, going through a second divorce and really living a wayward life. Going out to nightclubs and drinking were part of my routine, which were totally unlike myself. I actually heard God whisper, “How dare you, Jeremy.” It was during this off-season with God that I had my first aneurysm. It felt like a match had been lit inside my brain. My current wife, Brandie, found me unconscious and got me to the emergency room. Once in the room, I put my head down, only to wake up later and discover I had been in the hospital for 10 days. After the initial aneurysm, I had a stroke and two more aneurysms from what I am told. The only thing I remember during those 10 days of unconsciousness and dreams or semi-consciousness states, was the chaos in the emergency room — like sheer chaos all-around, hopelessness, images of angels, God coming back to earth and just not being moved. People from Antioch Church were all praying for me. The pastor of Antioch laid hands on me while in the hospital. There was a sales representative with News on Wheels who had seen me in the emergency room and she knew me; her father was also in the hospital. She had the pastor from Antioch pray for me and had others put me on their prayer list.
Anyway, my wife was told to prepare for the worst because I was probably going to be in a vegetative state if I survived. They needed to perform a shunt surgery because of the water and blood that had caused my head to swell and my eyes to poke out. The left side of my face drooped as well. The nurse could not believe what she saw on the eleventh day when she walked in. My eyes had returned to normal, and the left side of my face had healed. My main doctor discussed it with four other doctors because of the amazing healing. The doctor knows that beyond a shadow of a doubt I had experienced a true medical miracle. To wrap this experience up, I was admitted in the hospital, expected to be a vegetable and was released on the fourteenth day.
At my two-week follow-up after my release, I was filling out my paperwork and before I could complete the forms, I heard my named called. I just thought, “This is not good.” I sort of cowered inside because of my white-coat syndrome and thinking the news would not be good. This very tall man came out to meet me and said, “Jeremy, do you know who I am?” I did not recognize him. He shared that he was my surgeon and that he wanted to take a look at me and see how I was doing. He just wanted to see me because of the miraculous healing he witnessed. He totally believes my healing was God-thing and not a science thing. What an amazing fourth quarter!
Q: What would you say is your purpose after all these experiences in addition to being a successful entrepreneur and creative soul?
A: I am a vessel living for God. Simple. The only stress I feel is to complete the book. The proceeds from the sales of “God’s Fourth Quarter” will go to organizations like A Door of Hope and other charities. I have been sharing my story through forums and speaking to various groups, but the book will be completed and published because people need to know God is real. This book will be part of my legacy. Brandie and I have three kids ages 5, 7 and 13, and it is as much for them as it is for those who purchase a copy. Even though I am their stepfather, they are like my very own.
Q: What would your main message be to families today, especially to fathers?
A: Dads need to stand their ground. It is important to stay grounded in the Word of God. It helps me to read a Psalm each morning, which is a regular habit now. We are all just people trying to survive. When it comes to marriage and being a dad, love and forgiveness are vital. Give it to your family and others 100 percent. Forgiveness is key to healing and moving forward. During the time I met with my mom at age 31, I assured her that I had forgiven her. I also lived in high school with my dad, so I have maintained a relationship with both of my parents.
My grandfather raised me prior to my high school days. He was instrumental in my life. I never remember him getting angry. He was a man of honor having served in the Army, and he fought in World War II. He was in the Shriners and I always remember him giving money to various charities. So, I encourage people that have much, [to give]; [to whom much is given], much is required. To give is to receive.
Q: As a man who has lived despite the odds and has three businesses, Auto Yes, Mr. Fix-It and a car dealership opening in Prairieville, what would you like to share with others to sum up this amazing testimony?
A: Success only comes through failure. One must learn how to fail and to be fine with failure. How one handles failure is the true test. If you get knocked down just brush it off and get back up again.
Martin is hoping to complete “God’s Fourth Quarter” in the next six months. There is a spiritual battle going on, and it’s real. The book will feature more details regarding political warfare, the spiritual battle and God’s sovereignty.
Jeremy may dance around in a clown suit on his AutoYes commercials, which has done quite well to brand his business, but when you sit with him at a table, he begins to pour out story after story of how God is always right beside you. Start living for God today.