Sunday, August 31, 2014

Attempt New Skills



For the first three months after my injury, I had no control over any part of my body. In rehabilitation, my upper arms were the first to recover. The muscle spasms usually drew my forearms up, effectively causing severe cramping.

My occupational therapist told me my biceps and deltoids were the only two muscle groups in my arms that still received signals from my brain. My triceps, the groups that assist in straightening the arms and pushing forward, had none.

In therapy, we focused on strengthening those muscles that worked. As I grew in basic strength, my therapist encouraged me to attempt new skills.

Since I was right handed, we worked on fine motor skills of feeding myself, brushing my teeth, and handwriting using splints. My left arm developed more gross motor skills: pushing, lifting and carrying items I needed during each day.

In God’s providence, my muscles adapted to my different abilities. Next, I had to accept my new life as a quad. Just as God causes new blood vessels to grow around a clogged coronary artery, God allowed new skills to develop around my paralyzed body.

Sunday school, Bible study, sermons, and talking with other Christians all taught me about God. The more I learned of His desire for His people, the more I knew His desire for me—for my life. He called me to make a difference for Him.

Through leading and teaching small groups, counseling, listening to the one who was hurting and telling people what God has done for me I have, and will continue to make a difference.

We may be weak, worn and weary yet God still calls us. He may seem distant but He’s right here. He has provided all you need to fulfill His call in your life. No matter what you have to offer, God will use it.

Be strong and attempt new skills in your daily life for Christ.

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” Philippians 2:13 NIV).

In Christ,
Berta

Friends, Remember to share with your friends. People are being blessed around the world for God. I am so thankful to be a broken vessel in the hands of a loving God.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Most Magnificent Messenger


One morning as I read my Sunday school lesson, it referred to Joni Eareckson Tada calling her accident and subsequent spinal cord injury “A Glorious Intruder.”

I thought, “What would I call my accident and subsequent injury? 

After a few moments of thought, I knew. “My Magnificent Messenger.” The message it brought was a reminder of an unaccepted promise of God.

God would forgive my sins and use me for His glory if I'd only let Him. I confessed sins of my past I’d been too embarrassed to speak about and God began using me to plant seeds of faith in strangers and to encourage faith in believers.

I began this month in tears over unrelenting pain from an infection in a pressure wound. Earl has often taken my hand and encouraged me to pray.

Father God, I ask for strength for us this day. I pray healing from pain and infection, and that we will lean on you as we have in days past. Lord, give us your peace that passes all understanding to sustain us in these days. In Jesus Name, Amen.

For Earl and me, this month has continued as it began, with physical pain and emotional trials.

What would I call my injury today?  “A Most Magnificent Messenger!”

In our Father’s mercy, Earl and I've had a month to pray together in each other’s daily strengths and weaknesses. Answered daily prayers for God’s strength and peace, and our love for each other have held us firm in our faith.

We’ve had many opportunities to share our faith with friends and strangers. We've been blessed through frequent Facebook posts of love, encouragement and prayers. Friends have sent me cards and emails filled with these same sentiments.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace” (Ephesians 1:7 NIV).

In Christ.
Berta

Friends, Remember to share with your friends. People are being blessed around the world for God. I am so thankful to be a broken vessel in the hands of a loving God.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Trauma and God’s Patience


Paul on the Damascus Road by Joseph Richardson

Before my injury, I couldn’t see through all my nursing degrees, certificates and clinical experiences to see God’s new calling in my life. I had a desire for more of Him and His word but couldn’t believe He could love me enough to care about me.

God allowed the accident in 1991 that took away my ability to be a nurse. I became a focused minister to His people. I ate more and more at His table.

Personal Bible reading often left me with more questions than answers. I took my questions to small group Bible studies and learned more about the Truth.

Making the transition from physically active RN to quadriplegic minister was wrought through trauma in my life, and God’s patience.

Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee of Pharisees, knew the Hebrew Bible. Every time he persecuted a Christian, he thought he was fighting the enemy of God.

One day, on the Damascus road, The Christ, the One whom Saul had persecuted, blinded him. Jesus said, “Saul, Saul, why do you kick against the goads?” (Acts 26:14)

Trauma. And God’s patience.

I’ve learned that like Paul, my pre-trauma focus wasn’t what I truly wanted to be doing. Though I hurt no one physically as I cared for sick and injured patients, I didn’t share the hope of the Great Physician.

“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.” (Philippians 3:8 NIV).

In Christ,
Berta

Friends, Remember to share with your friends. People are being blessed around the world for God. I am so thankful to be a broken vessel in the hands of a loving God.