God often works in mysterious ways. This is what Tan Flippin, the pastor of Lakeside Baptist Church in Granbury, Texas, discovered. The 57 year-old learned that God causes things to happen that seem bad at the time, but ends up being a blessing in disguise.
To stay in shape, Flippin used to have a running regimen, but traded that in for cycling after tearing his meniscus. While cycling beside a subdivision that was undergoing repair in 2018, God made a move that would eventually save his life.
“I guess they had a little bit of asphalt left over and put it on the shoulder,” Flippin told Kentucky Today. “I’d gone through that area before with no issues.”
Flippin ended up hitting the asphalt, causing him to flip over the handlebars with his shoes coming unclipped from the pedals.
“I’d had a lot of wrecks and just got up and brushed myself off,” he said. “But this time there was a terrible pain in my right hip and I couldn’t stand.”
Doctors discovered that Flippin had four fractures in his hip. Due to the nature of his accident, doctors insisted that he get a CT scan to ensure that he did not suffer a concussion. When the results of the scan came back, Flippin received the shock of his life.
Doctors discovered that he had a mass the size of a baseball pressing on the front of his brain.
“If I had looked forward one second earlier, I would have seen the clump of asphalt and avoided it,” he said. “God allowed the accident for my brain tumor to be found.”
Flippin spent spent 103 days recovering from hip surgery. Two months after the accident, he underwent a craniotomy to remove the tumor.
Flippin completed 25 rounds of chemotherapy, but within a year, PET scans showed another tumor forming, this time on his breast bone, as reported by Kentucky Today. A year later, he continued to fight as more tumors began to appear in other areas of his body.
At this point, Flippin learned that he had a rare blood disorder predisposing him to tumors growing on his bones. Another test would reveal that he had another tumor growing on his skull.
According to Kentucky Today, in October 2021, Flippin underwent bone marrow and stem cell transplants, since radiation was no longer an option. He has been cancer-free since.
“People want me to tell this story and that my faith has inspired them and been an encouragement. I hear that about every week,” he said, talking about the impact this had had on his congregation.
“God brought me through this situation in an accident I truly believe He caused,” Flippin said. “I joke with people and say I wish it hadn’t taken a broken hip to find the brain tumor.”