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Life to the Full

One of my greatest challenges since becoming a quadriplegic has been feeling like I’m making a difference in this world. I was always one of those people that thrived on feeling needed. I enjoyed working and was always a very productive employee. If you praised me, I worked all the more diligently. I thought life was all about doing and not so much about being. Now that I am sitting still, living a full life has taken on an entirely new meaning.

John 10: 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

I used to think that life to the full was about being a giddy type of happy and being very busy. Even in my early days as a Christian, I would wear myself out trying to convince people to visit my church or to study the Bible. Don’t get me wrong, I think these things are fine, but I was trying to shake up the world with my own strength and power. And I thought God’s love for me was based on my success in these areas. I found I was disappointed in myself quite often and thought God felt the same. After several years of living this way, I finally burned out and returned to my former way of life – a very destructive, dark and empty existence. I lost connection with God and his grace.

Now that I’m unable to move and am restricted to my facility most days, I still find I can get disappointed in myself. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy… And many days, my heart gets stopped all over and my mind tells me I’m useless because I’m not doing something – like taking several classes, like writing a blog post every day, writing an autobiography in a month, and showing this world that, even though I’m in this wheelchair, I am the most faithful, exuberant example of someone who is overcoming hardship beautifully. This is the true definition of stealing, killing, and destroying my faith.

After three years of sitting in this wheelchair, I am just now learning that having life to the full is being filled up with God, friendships and family. It’s not all about being filled up with activities. I believe it’s about a spiritual and emotional connection and contentment with God that can’t be shaken. I am finally beginning to believe that God loves me when I sit still as much as he loved me when I was busy.

Ephesians 3:17 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Nothing can separate me from the love of God. Not busyness and not sitting still. Not how I feel about myself or how I think God feels about me. Not my accomplishments or my defeats. God’s love surpasses knowledge – that means it’s greater than I’ll ever understand. And it is his love that fills me to the measure of all the fullness of God. And this is what creates my connection with friends and family and contentment with who I am. Nothing else will do. That sure takes a lot of pressure off of me. For that, I am grateful.

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.

16 responses »

  1. Great Post! Thanks for the reminder of ‘life not being all about activities’! I sometimes forget this and struggle with it a lot …when it come to my blogging, writing, and other projects. I , too, am learning that having life to full is being filled with God, family, and friends! And, there is absolutely nothing that can separate me from his love and trying to be content with who I am in him. Thanks again! Blessings!

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  2. Terri,

    I love this post!! Since I’ve gotten “sick” I have realized that busy isn’t always good. I always loved to serve others and loved the feeling I got from it. Now that I can’t do as much, I am trying to listen to God’s voice more. I used to “hear” things and think I needed to respond, but I was too busy. Too busy to listen to that prompting in my head and heart. I’m learning to listen more and respond better. Helping others doesn’t always have to be physical work, the smallest of gestures (a note, a card, a prayer, an ear to listen, etc.) is just as powerful as cleaning a house, or cooking a meal. Encouraging others can help in more ways than we think.

    Your blogs inspire me to listen more to God’s voice. Your blogs make me more aware of the busy lives we can have and yet still overlook what is truly important – time with family, time with friends, time in prayer, time to encourage others and time to “be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10).

    Love you!!!

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  3. paulettesheffield

    Terri,

    I love this post!! Since I’ve gotten “sick” I have realized that busy isn’t always good. I always loved to serve others and loved the feeling I got from it. Now that I can’t do as much, I am trying to listen to God’s voice more. I used to “hear” things and think I needed to respond, but I was too busy. Too busy to listen to that prompting in my head and heart. I’m learning to listen more and respond better. Helping others doesn’t always have to be physical work, the smallest of gestures (a note, a card, a prayer, an ear to listen, etc.) is just as powerful as cleaning a house, or cooking a meal. Encouraging others can help in more ways than we think.

    Your blogs inspire me to listen more to God’s voice. Your blogs make me more aware of the busy lives we can have and yet still overlook what is truly important – time with family, time with friends, time in prayer, time to encourage others and time to “be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10).

    Love you!!!

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  4. Terri you are making a difference in many people’s lives. keep up the good work.

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  5. Thank you, Terri, for this post. I am, once again reminded of what having a full life really means. All the activities can become a distraction from being with Jesus…… do you find it amusing that my parents named me Mary Martha?
    Love you,
    Mary Sjogren

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  6. Elizabeth Gooch

    Wow! Terri, that’s so FULL of insight and God. Perhaps the best that you’ve written so far. I have always struggled with the way that verse was used. A few years back I noted that when Job died his life was said to be FULL. I LOVE YOU??????

    Betsy Gooch

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  7. Terri,

    Beautiful words and sentiment. You always manage to inspire me!

    Aa I read your piece, I also thought of the verse: Be still and know that I am God. That verse has come to me a lot lately.

    Your insights are powerful. I heard the group from the old GSK days came by a few weeks ago. Hope y’all had a nice time catching up and talking about our good times with the company. Alas, I hear it is completely different there now. But when we were all there I found it to be very rewarding and I’m thankful to have worked with our nice team…especially you, who turned GNOSSIS around! I can’t believe I remembered the name. But then again they created such headaches before you arrived that “hoe could I possibly forget?!”

    Take care and let me hear from you. Mike

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  8. Thank you so much Terri. I really needed to hear these words. Love you ❤️❤️

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  9. Great post as usual Terri. Good to be reminded of that. We are after all human beings, not human doings.

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  10. Kimberly Eastman Zirkle

    How could God not love you in any state of being Terri! You are priceless. Thanks for the reminder that busyness is not necessarily Godliness.
    Bless you!

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  11. Wonderful, Terri. You always share from the heart and from God’s Word. You can’t go wrong there! I’m trying to be more like you. Thank you for faithfully searching for God’s will in our lives. Love you!!

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  12. Terri, you continue to be an inspiration as you cause reflection and thinking in others.
    “The best things in life are free” has been said for many years. Our opportunity to have a relationship with God, and be filled by Him, and with Him is the best thing in life, and it is free to us, it is free to us because Jesus Christ, God’s Son, paid the entire price with His death on the cross, so we may have resurrection and life, eternal life with the Triune God forever.
    Thank you Terri, God Bless you.
    George.

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  13. Thank you Terri – that is such an encouragement. God bless you dear sister – we have the same Father 🙂

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  14. Teresa Johnson Troup

    I am reminded of when children are wiggly as adults are trying to help them get dressed, and children are directed to “Be still so I can…” Likewise, our Father says to “be still.” You nailed it, Terri!

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  15. Wow Terri! Well said. You know after getting to know God, and the incredible being that he is, it is hard at timetimes to believe that someone so pure, so right and holy would choose to love someone like me (a flawed and helpless sinner), but he does! He still chose me. He still chose the cross for me! How magnificent a God is he that we can call him Father and we be considered his children. Thank you for your continued love and spreading these truths about Him. There truly isn’t anything we can do to earn a His love. Just accept it and learn to live a changed life as a result of what he has already done. Cheers to you sister!!☀️

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