Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Going On To Perfection

I received a new power wheelchair recently. I get a new one every five years and this is my fifth. It made me think about the struggles I’ve had over the years. My first one, back in 1991, felt like an ugly monster truck. Huge, black, and belt driven, it had pneumatic tires that burst at the worst times. I spent many hours in it asleep or pretending to sleep. I didn’t like my self-image and I withdrew.

The second chair was a different model and built by a small vendor just getting started. It had structural problems from the beginning and caused me physical pain and emotional stress. I took my anger out on my family.

My third chair was to be the same model and I anticipated five more years of misery. I pointed out problem areas to the new provider. He listened and soon I had my chair. He walked me through the computer technology setting speed levels from indoor polite to outdoor racing. It was much better and I began to take comfort in my independence. I opened up and began reaching out in our Church and our community.

Five years later, I called him again, “My chair is worn out. Will you build me another just like it?” He delivered a chair that was a clone. It was as if time had stood still, but new friends helped me develop a positive attitude and strong ministry.

This fifth chair took eight month’s from prescription to delivery, and I admit I was getting anxious. The same provider assured me it would be worth the wait. It was. It’s compact. Sleek with clean, fresh, black paint, and more power and technology, it is an extension of my body.

My life, my attitude, and my faith developed slowly but steadily as I experienced each change in my physical surroundings. From depression and anger, to acceptance and genuine surprise at the beauty I see in my wheelchair and myself.

Ephesians 4:13...until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

In Christ Alone,

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New Life

Hospitalized after a serious injury I developed pneumonia. A culture of my secretions grew out MRSA (mer-sa) and the nurses moved me to an isolation room. My doctors said that if I lived I would have brain damage, be bedridden, and ventilator dependent. They told my husband that he was too young to be stuck with an invalid wife and they offered to let me die—comfortably, of course. My husband, remembering his wedding vows, chose life for me, and had me transferred to a rehabilitation hospital in Atlanta, GA.

As spring arrived, I had a birds-eye view of treetops outside my second floor isolation room window. Spring had always been my favorite season and I watched tender red shoots and buds appear on tiny limbs, followed by the smallest pairs of green leaves. Those signs of new life brought me comfort and encouragement.

However, one tree didn’t grow new branches or buds. Each day it was the same ash gray color and I decided that it was dead. I told everyone who came to see me that I wished someone would cut it down so I wouldn’t have to look at it.

Then one sunny morning I saw tiny pairs of green leaves on that dead tree. I began to weep as I realize what I’d been saying about that tree was what the doctors had said about me. I knew then God was with me, telling me my life wasn’t over.

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV).

In Christ Alone,