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Soldier of the Cross

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As expected, I’ve had another traumatic hospital experience that’s prompted me to write this blog post. I wish that I wrote my best blog posts during times when I’m on the upswing in my faith and filled with overwhelming hope and good news; but if I’ve learned anything over the last four years as a quadriplegic, the hardest times have been the most fruitful times in terms of my spiritual growth.

Romans 5: Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

So as not to bore you with all the gory details of what happened last month, I will tell you I went for a major surgery that required several days of recovery time in the hospital. Over the next three weeks, I was in and out of the hospital a total of 15 days. The last five days, I was so sick with an infection, I was unable to speak. The doctors around me were asking if I knew my name, the month, the year, where I was, etc., and all I could do was shake my head no. I absolutely could not formulate any answers in my mind to those simple questions. It was completely terrifying not being able to communicate with anyone.

I returned from the hospital very discouraged and very low on faith. I found myself, as I often do when things like this happen, questioning God’s plan for my life. I was in such a deep funk. I prayed very little and read the Word even less often. I thought about reading, I thought about praying, I even thought about writing a blog post, but I kept telling myself, I’ll do it when I feel better.

Something I realize about myself after all this time of being a follower of Christ, is that I want to feel good emotionally and spiritually before I move forward from a difficult life situation. I want to wake up in the morning, filled with a renewed sense of faith and motivation, and teach everyone about the great things I’ve learned. Many times, that great feeling of renewal never comes.

Philemon 1: 1-2 From: Paul, in jail for preaching the Good News about Jesus Christ, and from Brother Timothy. To: Philemon, our much-loved fellow worker, and to the church that meets in your home, and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus who, like myself, is a soldier of the cross. (TLB)

Soldiers don’t have the luxury of waiting until they feel motivated before going to the battlefield. I’m sure that Paul was not enjoying his time in jail, and yet it became clear throughout the whole prison guard, that he was in chains for Christ. Not only did he share his faith with anyone that would listen, he shepherded the churches that had been scattered throughout the regions. Paul was a soldier of the cross and not enslaved by his feelings.

I realized this morning, the only way to work myself out of this feeling of being in the miry depths, was to fight through my feelings and do what is right for God. I didn’t feel inspired and I didn’t feel an incredible sense of renewal when I woke up this morning, but I knew I would continue to sit in the pit of despair if I didn’t do something. Anything.

A true soldier of the cross does not live by their feelings. A true soldier fights when they feel weak and when they feel strong. A true soldier runs the race marked out for them, despite the bumps and bruises they get along the way. A true soldier goes into strict training and adheres to that training, knowing it will create a harvest of righteousness.

Don’t get me wrong – I know we need the Spirit to do any of these things and to do them well. But sometimes it’s just a decision to stay in step with the Spirit and to fan it into flame. I hope you will join me in the good fight.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all quoted Scriptures are taken from the New International Version (NIV) Bible, copyright 2011.

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.

24 responses »

  1. Thanks for your words when words are hard to come by. When we’re in a bad place it is good to remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness. I take encouragement from your post today. Thanking God for your perseverance.

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  2. Thank you for being honest about your struggles. We can all identify with you to come extent. Praying for better days ahead and in the meantime, “May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and give you peace.”

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  3. I send you Light and energy for moving forward. My mother was a quadraplegic and I a caregiver. So I understand somewhat how things can be.

    Continue to blog. I truly appreciate your words.

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    • You are a “true soldier,” Teri. Thanks for sharing your highs and lows with us. Sending you love and light! So glad you can speak again and that you continue to inspire us with your gift of writing!

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  4. By miraculousgifsbug on

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  5. Hi Terri, So glad I found your blog, very encouraging and inspiring. You are a true kingdom builder, strengthening the Body of Christ. Particularly marked the paragraph, “A true soldier of the cross does not live by….” Great definition to live out. Thanks too for visiting my blog, The Burning Lamp. My other one, Crushed By God, (www.crushedbygod.com) was born out of a time of intense trial as God allowed my life to pummeled and unraveled. I could not tell all though, as the person(s) who harmed my life are forgiven and would not like their sins revealed.

    Thank you for your costly obedience, your service to the saints matters for all eternity. Your sister in Christ,
    Lisa Beth

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  6. P.S. Okay to re-blog a post?

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    • Hi Lisa Beth – thank you again for reading my blog and providing such valuable feedback and encouragement. I’m really looking forward to checking out your other blog, Crushed by God. Sounds right up my alley! Thank you for making me aware of it. I draw so much courage and inspiration from others like you. And yes, I would be absolutely honored for you to repost my blog! Blessings to you.

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  7. Reblogged this on Crushed By God and commented:
    I would encourage anyone to visit Diary of a Quadriplegic for inspiration and godly truths to live by. I particularly noted the paragraph, “A true soldier of the cross does not…” May the Lord bless you and speak to your heart.

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  8. Hi Terri, You inspired me this morning with your perseverance. Thank you for remaining the soldier that your are, and for putting on each day the Armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-20.

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    • Hi Steve – I appreciate your encouraging words. You reminded me to put on the full armor of God today. Sometimes I go into battle without any armor and it doesn’t turn out very well. I appreciate the Scripture and Ephesians.

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  9. Terri, thank you for sharing so honestly and vulnerably. You leave me without excuse, but with great hope in joining you on your journey to be a soldier of the cross. Thank you for sharing your faith through the challenging path you are on. Thank you for being bold and honest and showing us how to glorify God no matter what curves life throws our way. You may feel many emotions about your life, but I promise you, your life and your honesty make a difference in the lives of those who read your story.

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    • Lori – thank you so much for the encouraging words. I think my best blog posts are created after a very difficult life situation. I am so thankful we are in this fight together.

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  10. Thank you Terri for being so honest and transparent!!! It is so refreshing to hear that we are not alone when it comes to the struggle of our emotions and feelings over what we should be doing. And knowing that that struggle is real and we live it every single day!! It’s so easy to say what we should be doing but it is actually doing it that is the challenge!!! I am so sorry that you have gone thru that awful experience of not being able to communicate with anyone. I can’t imagine how that must have been for you!! I pray that you have recovered fully now and I am gratefully that you were humble enough to share what that experience was like. To be honest, I don’t think we share enough of the hard times, so that people can understand that life can be a challenge sometimes, but that is ok because God is right there to help us through it. I know at the time we may not think its OK, but looking back we know there was no way we could have gotten through it without Him!! So, thank you again for keeping it real and letting us know that sometimes we just need to make a decision to do the right thing even if we don’t feel like it and eventually our heart will follow our mind!!! Love ya, Sis!!! YSIC, Yolanda

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    • Yolanda – thank you so much for the encouraging words. Wow! I’m so thankful for your friendship and how you and John make time to encourage and serve me. You two are such a great example of what leaders should be. Thank you for all that you do. Love to you both, Terri

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  11. Well said, Terri. Thank you so much for sharing your journey and your lessons!

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  12. I am so sorry you have had to endure so much Terri. You are the strongest and most courageous soldier I know.

    Sending prayers and love,
    Crystal

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  13. A really powerful post, Terri! This has fanned the flames of my faith. Praying for you.

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  14. Just coming across your blog. Wow! What a compelling story. The subject of this post is something I’ve been mulling around in my thinking the past several days. Yes, Why does it seem that any spiritual growth or advancement only happens during the “dark” times?

    I heard a minister say during one of my Bible school classes that “Emotions are ignorant. Emotions have no intelligence”. That is true. Emotions can and will cause heartburn. Keep up the great work here. David

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  15. Hi Terri!
    I am so grateful for your blog. It is so perfectly timed. I can so relate to the emotional pain that you describe and how challenging it is to push through emotions to help myself be spiritually well. Some days the cross is just so heavy. But God is always faithful. Meeting us at our place of deepest pain so that we can keep going and ultimately be just where we want to be-with Him forever.

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