Are you ready to rise up?
On June 21, 2020, Scott Schatzline died for 22 minutes at his daughter's high school graduation party. Punch Back is the miracle story of resurrection, rising up, and reclaiming God's promises. Learn how to turn any setback into a launching pad (and come out swinging)!
Some days you make decisions that are big. Like obviously big. Do we buy the small house with the pool or the big one in the country? Do I go to the liberal arts school or play it safe at the state university? Do I marry this person or run far, far away? Other days, you make small, seemingly insignificant decisions that somehow change your life forever.
On July 4, 2020, that’s exactly what happened to Jessica Gray Lee.
Jessica wasn’t supposed to be working. It was supposed to be her day off. Her autoimmune symptoms were lighting up like a solar flare. And besides, who would watch her kids? Still, her manager begged and pleaded with her to come into the hospital for a shift. They desperately needed a speech therapist and Jessica is one of the best. She almost said no. She would’ve had every right to. But she pulled on her scrubs, pushed through the shooting pains, and showed up anyway, ready to help patients find their voices.
Hospitals have soundtracks all their own. Machines beep, buzz, and spout off the occasional scream for help. Those are the noises you expect. But when she stepped into her first patient’s room, something was different.
Worship music, she noticed. Her tension eased as the Holy Spirit atmosphere welcomed her. She was grateful for it, because this patient was a serious case. A man lay in the hospital bed with his concerned, and very exhausted, wife pinned to his side. Jessica introduced herself and shared her role with them.
The wife explained his recent history. It was bad. He’d been in the intensive care unit (ICU), totally nonverbal just a week before. Jessica saw desperation and pain in her eyes—but there was hope, too. The wife held her husband’s hand tightly, it was obvious she hadn’t left his side and certainly didn’t plan to. However, the damage seemed done—this man needed a miracle if he would ever speak again.
Jessica began her evaluation.
“What is this?” she asked the patient, holding up a cup.
He mumbled, vaguely repeating back her words. So she tried again, and again, and again. Still nothing. But after a few turns of this, something changed. The energy in the room shifted and the man’s gaze went from wide-eyed and blurry to laser focused, making intense eye contact.
He spoke. His voice was soft and raspy. But words that shouldn’t have been possible poured out of him.
"You are powerfully anointed for something BIG. God loves your heart,” the patient said. “Your husband is a very powerful man and your children are anointed. Get ready, prepare, BIG change is coming."
Tears streamed down her face. What she was experiencing was medically impossible. This man couldn’t even identify a cup. His wife’s hand floated to her mouth. She sat stunned, listening, watching, hoping.
He laid his hands on her forehead and shoulder, and said quietly, "God sees your hurt and wants to heal it in Jesus’s name."
Jessica’s small choice to work that day turned into a life-altering lesson: when a man who was just dead two weeks ago prophesies over you, you listen.
Those prophetic moments encouraged her deeply—but it did even more for us, because we were there, too. Scott was that voiceless man in the hospital bed. Kristi was that distraught wife wondering if she’d ever have her husband back. We were clinging to threads; this experience felt like we’d just grabbed ahold of a lifeline.
Jessica later shared that Scott’s words breathed life back into her because she’d been stuck in a holding pattern. Waiting for God. Wondering if his words so many years ago would ever come true. Scott was on target, because he affirmed exactly that message.
In the waiting, disappointment, and seemingly endless preparation for the next, God used a man who couldn’t even recognize a cup to call out hidden things in her heart.
Like Jessica, we have been waiting, too.
Endless questions keep us company in the waiting. This book is both a story and an answer. The new story God is writing in our lives. It has been filled with bitter tears, lament, and hopelessness. But even more, it has shown us God’s faithfulness to meet us there. He is doing a new thing. And it is our answer to what we have done in the waiting.
What does life look like in between promise and fulfillment? How do you navigate those gray waters? Where do you find life in a land of death? This book isn’t about textbook Sunday School answers that fit nicely on a flannelgraph. It’s about the authentic guts of losing everything and wondering if you’ll ever get it back.
If you are in the waiting, welcome to our story. We pray that, like Jessica’s decision to pick up an extra shift, your small decision to pick up this book will blossom into life-changing hope. Hope that’s battle-tested and strong enough to build a life on.
God has something to say to you. You will find your purpose, even in your pain. We trust God’s faithfulness to us will help you see his fingerprints in your life, too.
All about the love,
— Scott and Kristi
Scott and Kristi Schatzline live to see others walk in the full potential of who they are created to be! They are passionate pursuers of Christ, and they love people unconditionally. They lead a beautiful, multicultural congregation at Daystar Family Church in Northport, Alabama, where experiencing and sharing God's love is the number one priority. Both as pastors and health coaches, they have inspired thousands to live their BEST life and walk in full health: spirit, soul and body!
Scott and Kristi live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and they have 5 beautiful children: Ethan (Alejandra), Noah (Emily), Keithan (Danielle), Isaiah (Kelsie) and Destiny, as well as their grandchildren Nehemiah, Elijah, Xander, Elowyn, and Camila.