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Gratitude and Patience

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It’s been a while since I’ve made a post. Frankly, I didn’t feel like I had anything positive to say so I just kept quiet. I am finally coming around as God has been moving my heart into a more faithful direction.

If you’ve kept up with my blog, you know that many changes have ensued over the last several months. I recently went on Medicaid and so had to move into a shared room at the facility where I’ve lived for just over a year. The room is suffocatingly small and my roommate likes to leave her light on all night and keep the heat on in the dead of summer. The hallway is a little smellier than the last and there’s a lot more moaning and other interesting noises going on.

My first few days down here were filled with hopelessness and weeping. I went through my usual, “why God? Why?” I laid awake at night filled with anger, resentment and sadness. I had terrible insomnia. Since a little over a month has gone by, this has come to mind:

Psalm 42: Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

A friend of mine encouraged me to find a little something to be grateful for each day. In doing so, I found I had a lot to be grateful for each day. It is so easy to forget to praise God in times of trial and testing. There is always something to be grateful for. I know of two other women who are quadriplegic because of freak accidents, like me. And yet, they can’t talk. Their only means of communication is through blinking their eyes. Another woman I know is on a ventilator so she is only able to whisper. All of them are bedridden.

I am so blessed. I can advocate for myself because I have a voice. I have a laptop with a special application that allows me to dictate instead of using my hands to type. I have a high-tech wheelchair that I move with head motions which allows me to move around the halls and get outside. I also have a wheelchair van which was partly paid for by donations from friends and former coworkers.

My life situation is still incredibly difficult at times and many nights I still lay awake baffled at all of this. But I realize all of our life situations have challenges. I am not unique just because I’m a quadriplegic. As an able-bodied person I had plenty of challenges. I always wanted more, more, more… And I was frustrated and never at peace. Regardless of our life circumstances, we are called to practice being still, to trust, and to persevere.

Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God…

Proverbs 3: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Romans 5: Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  

We will never understand God’s timing because we can’t think the way he thinks (Isaiah 55:9). He put some life circumstances in place to build our character and give us hope. The Bible teaches us that if we trust in him we will reap a reward, but it doesn’t give us a timeline. We want what we want when we want it. I know that’s true for me. But I am learning, slowly but surely, God can and will do great things if I will simply be still and be patient. The times of life when God seems silent are times when I should pray like the persistent widow and not give up (Luke 18:1-8).

If God can part the Red Sea, he can give me a purposeful life. If Jesus can heal the sick and bring the dead back to life, he can heal some of my chronic aches and pains and parts of my body, if he so chooses. If God can send manna from heaven to the grumpy Israelites, he can change my anger and resentment to joy and peace. If God can make the walls of Jericho crumble down, he can break down my walls fear and anxiety that keep me awake at night. I need only to be grateful and patient.

Psalm 37: Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

About Terri Nida

In August 2013, I fainted in my kitchen and woke up paralyzed from the shoulders down. I am still trying to make sense of all this, but one thing I know is that God is with me and he loves me.

22 responses »

  1. Dana Lacock Ward

    Teri-you never cease to amaze me! Each and every time I read your blogs, I am humbled and encouraged in every possible way. You are such an awesome example of how WE ALL should lead our lives, through Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to save us from our sins and give us eternal life with him in Heaven. I pray that you will be encouraged that you are making a difference in this world with your undying testimony of faith. Faith that I know others in your place would miserably fail. Know I continue to keep you in thought and prayers that God will continue to bring you comfort, peace and keep you close in his loving arms daily.

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  2. Beautiful, Terri! The woman I met and had pizza with is vibrant, funny, fun, and I’m glad call friend.

    Yesterday I was going into a funk; birthday’s coming up. Another blogger posted an invitation for all readers to share thoughts on mortality. I turned it into a post and put the link into his comments. Point is, that was cathartic. It organized my thoughts, helped me see how much good has been in my life, and calm down.

    Do that memoir, my friend!

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  3. Your last 2 sentences are so true for everyone of us. “If God can make the walls of Jericho crumble down, he can break down my walls fear and anxiety that keep me awake at night. I need only to be patient.” For who has never been afraid or filled with anxiety at some point in life? God is bigger than all of it – just BE PATIENT. Beautiful words to live by!

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  4. Elizabeth Gooch

    It brought me so much happiness and relief to read your post just now. I am so Thankful to God for answering our prayers and working in your heart and mind! I know He will continue and complete the work that He has begun in you.In the meantime please know that GOD IS USING YOU IN LARGE AND SMALL WAYS! Your life has meaning and purpose and you are loved by so many.
    There is no limit to the ways that we can take note of the big and the tiny things that God puts all around us each day. And there is also the HUGE world of thanks that we can learn to be grateful for even the HARD things. That kind of thanksgiving is transformative.
    I am reading Ann Voskamp’s book, 1,000 gifts, again for the 3rd time and learning so much.
    I love you dearly. I am proud of you. I am thankful to be your friend and your sister.
    Betsy

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  5. Terri, your words always inspire me and humble me. Your postings always seem to come At a Time when I need to be reminded of my own purpose in this world….to love and serve the Lord. I am grateful to have you in my life and share your friendship. Sending hugs, Megan

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  6. Marshele Carter

    Terri, Thank you for writing!!! Thank you for inspiring me to find something to be grateful for each day. When I do this, I feel my entire paradigm and perspective shift, almost instantly. Suddenly, the heaviness of my circumstances is somehow lighter and I sense hope rising. I love you so much. I love your heart for God. Thank you for being my friend. Keep writing!!! We NEED your insights and your voice in our lives. I love you.

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  7. Kimberly Eastman Zirkle

    Hi Terri: Once again, you inspire and move me with your thoughts, situation, faith and wisdom. Speaking of gratitude and insomnia, I use this little technique as I am falling asleep at night. I start with “A” and (start working through the alphabet naming a few things that begin with that letter for which I am thankful. Eg: A – I might think to myself – Air, apples, adventure; then I move on to “B” (butterflies, boys (my sons), baths…It leaves me in a great mindset as I fall off into la-la-land and as Marshele implied – it is a shift in such a positive way. May you continue to find gratitude in many things and not have to get to the end of the alphabet before you fall asleep :)! Love and blessings to you!!

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  8. Terri, thank you for your honesty and willingness to be so vulnerable. I will definitely pray that you are able to have a good night sleep. I am also thankful for your blogging ministry and how God is using you with your voice and words… Keep the words flowing.

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    • Hi Cora! I am so very thankful that we have reconnected. I am also thankful for our blogging community! One gentleman I met through my blog came to visit me this past weekend. He drove several hours! What a pleasure it was to meet him and have a meal with them. I look forward to reading your next post.

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  9. Terri, you’re amazing! I wish I could come visit you.

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  10. I’m not ashamed to admit this brought tears to my eyes. I really needed to read this today. Thank you.

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  11. Pingback: When Self-Pity Becomes Toxic | JoyfulSurrender.com

    • Wow – thank you, Joy. It’s just a privilege and delight to have met you. I appreciate your friendship and look forward to continued discussions and reading your meaningful blog posts.

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  12. What an encouragement. Praise God, as He is using you in a powerful way. God bless you, Terri.

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  13. Hi, Terri! You haven’t heard from me in awhile but I want you to know that I think about you and share about you all the time. I got an opportunity to share your story with some of the sisters in Africa when we were there in June. They were very eager to have the link to your blog. Sometimes I feel I don’t know what to share with them – my American life is so different from theirs. But I told them how inspired I am by reading your blogs because they are so real, honest and come from a soul trying desperately to cling to God, no matter what. You have a voice, dear sister, and God is using you in ways you don’t even know. Keep fighting the good fight. I want to come for a visit soon!! Much love, Lynn

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  14. I really needed some encouragement this morning. Praise God I found your post!!! Thank you for sharing your gift.

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