When I came home from rehab five months after my spinal cord injury, I couldn’t hold my head up. I couldn’t speak above a whisper. And I couldn’t stay alone. I spent all my days reclined in my power wheel chair with my eyes closed.
Surgery to fuse my broken neck vertebra nine months later helped and I slowly gained strength in my neck, shoulders and arms. Though I became more able, I didn’t participate in my daily life. I expected Earl to take care of business.
“Berta, I want you to make your own appointments.”
My heart raced, “No.”
“Yes. Start by keeping up with your doctor’s appointments and your prescription medicines.”
Overwhelmed at the thought of exposing myself to people and how they might react to my disability; I refused.
I cried. “I can’t.”
He said, “Yes, you can!”
I got started. I created a list of my doctors and their telephone numbers. I set up a file of my medicines, including all the information I needed to order them. I discovered a calendar program on my computer and filled it in.
“Berta, when’s your next doctor’s appointment?”
“I don’t know.”
“Check your calendar.”
“Did you order your medicine?”
“No. I forgot.”
“Do it now.”
In our seventh year, he approached my Sunday school teacher, “Ask Berta to teach your class one Sunday a month.” I hesitated for a moment before agreeing.
“Berta, would you lead a Bible study for young women?” I did. “…write for the church newsletter…?” I did.
Earl continued to encourage me. Sometimes it was more forceful than I wanted. Today I’m thankful. I would not be who I am if he had not used tough love to bring me back to the living.
While talking to a new friend about his pushing me to do things for myself, Earl overheard me and commented, “I don’t know how she does all that she does today!”
It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn Your statutes. --Ps 119:71 ESV
In Christ Alone,