Had I written this post two and a half weeks ago, it would have been nothing like what you’ll read today. My world was changed simply by one tiny misstep. I remember my exact thoughts the moment before I stepped on the broken concrete, and I’ve recounted them many times since. When we plan and our thoughts run through our mind like the current of a strong river, we rarely pause to consider that our very next move could completely alter the course of our days and bring with it a host of complications for which no one would wish. Although my accident and struggles following are nothing in light of what some face daily, this time of injury and subsequent pain and healing is teaching me lessons. I’m going to share some of those here. You’ll find these posts titled:
FROM MY POINT OF VIEW
I know mylife has drastically changed when something as small as getting the wheelchair from the kitchen to the hardwood floor in the living room gives a huge sense of freedom. There’s something empowering about being able to get quickly from one end of that room to the other in a relatively short amount of time - comparatively speaking, of course! The trek by walker from my bed to my bathroom seems like an eternity, even though the two rooms are adjacent to one another.
When I began to mentally plan my summer, I didn’t account for the time it would take to get from one room to another. I didn’t figure in the fact that I wouldn’t be able to drive, wear my right shoe, ride my bike, or take a shower with all of me actually in the shower. I certainly didn’t plan to be using my grandmother’s wheelchair or my great-grandfather’s walker! But that’s how life is - unpredictable at best.
As I write, my mind goes back to the emergency room in
As the medics, the student observers, the doctor, and the nurses came in and discussed my situation, my responses must have been positive. Within a few minutes, a lady that was with a patient next door came over and said, “Boy, if I were in your situation, I don’t know that I could be as optimistic as you are.” She caught me off guard because I didn’t know that anyone else had been listening to my conversations, but I felt compelled to share with her that my optimism wasn’t a result of my own feelings or circumstances. I had hope for my future – however different it would be from what I had planned – because I have a Source of strength that is far greater that anything humanly possible. I began to cry as I responded to her something like this, “Oh, how could I complain? God has been so good to me!” We shared a few more words, and she seemed a little uncomfortable as she went back to her loved one. I don’t know what all she was going through, but I do know that in the days previous to my injury God had been doing a work in my heart. He was helping me to develop an inward attitude of praise and thanksgiving that was different than anything previous. I was grateful for the opportunity to celebrate another birthday, and I was savoring every moment like the gift from God that it was. Honestly, I think that’s what helped me hold it together that day.
I'm thinking now about a little chorus we used to sing in Good News Club that goes something like this, “With Christ in the vessel, I’ll smile at the storm…” Although I wasn’t thrilled about my circumstances, the overarching knowledge that God is in control and that He is good gave me the assurance that I could face the uncertainty of my condition and the abrupt change of all of my best laid plans.
Within a couple of hours of talking with that lady, I encountered the most painful moments of my life. It sounds crazy, but I didn’t know pain could hurt like that and I begged God for relief. Did the God that I had been praising just a short time before reach down and remove the suffering? No, He allowed me to endure it even though I thought I couldn’t bear it another moment. There were lessons in that, as well. But for now...
From my point of view, we are best prepared to face the crises moments when we have
developed an attitude of praise that totally permeates our spirit and splashes onto
those who are eavesdropping on our lives.