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Living in the Plenty

I have been thinking so much about how to live a life of contentment. In general anymore, I don’t envy people who do the things I used to do – exercise, work a full-time job, travel, and all the other things I used to love. I realize I am on the journey I’m on for a purpose. Yet day-to-day contentment and peace can be such a challenge at times.

I have been studying Philippians over the past several weeks and I believe that Paul reveals the secret of overcoming that feeling of discontentment. Imprisoned at the time he wrote the letters, he was full of gratitude.

Philippians 4: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4: 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

I am called to give thanks in all circumstances and at all times. And I have so many reasons to be grateful.

The level of my spinal cord injury really should have kept me on a ventilator for the rest of my life. Even one of the nurses at the rehabilitation center told me the medical team working with me was convinced that I would never breathe on my own. What a different life that would’ve been. I admire those that live on a ventilator day in and day out.

I was unable to speak the first month after my injury because of all breathing apparatus attached to me. It was so humbling and I feared I would not be able to speak going forward, but God had a purpose for my voice. My voice is the way I dictate to my laptop to write these blogs, to read books, to share my life and faith with others. I am grateful to breathe on my own and speak out loud.

The reality is, I was never satisfied as an able-bodied person. I’ve written this in so many of my blogs and sometimes I have to repeat it even to myself. I stayed in debt, never looked perfect enough, and for much of my adult life, drank my sorrows away. I laid in bed many nights asking myself what was the purpose of my life. I had a big empty hole inside that I couldn’t seem to fill.

I have so much gratitude for the women who introduced me to the real Jesus in the Bible. I always assumed Christians were uptight and had no fun. I assumed the Bible was not relevant in this day and age. I assumed all of these things without ever cracking it open and reading it. Reading the words on those pages changed my life. I became a confident woman and was able to let go of the past. My empty hole was finally full.

Without my relationship with God, I would never be able to endure all of the things that I have gone through over the last four years. Sometimes I reflect back and it’s really been a lot! I don’t say that to feel sorry for myself, I say it because it reminds me of God’s incredible power that works inside of me. I know there are more hard times ahead, but  this wheelchair has taught me that I can do everything through him who gives me strength. I know what it is to live in need and I know what it is to have plenty – but I can be content in all situations.

Amen.

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.

9 responses »

  1. Though I am 20 years older than you, dear Teri, I have learned so much from you. I can’t begin to tell you just how much. You help me understand how you get thru each day. I, too, have always been amazed that you are not on a ventilator, though I never asked why – I could never understand that until you told us in this email. I am so thankful between visits that we can communicate via computers. Love you bunches and can’t wait for our next visit. Big hugs, Gretchen

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  2. One of the things that I am most thankful for this week is your blog. The beautiful and clear entries help me focus on what is important. Thanks Terri!

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  3. Amen!
    Happy Thanksgiving, Teri.

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  4. Wow, I was delayed with my comment and people already spoke my heart! So glad to receive your post. Therr are areas in my heart thst need maturing.- that contentment & gratitude need deeper roots. Exhorting & refreshing the brethren is a beautiful ministry. Thinking of you & praying for you and ‘Living in The Plenty” too…🌱

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  5. What an great reminder, to all of us, that He can indeed lead us to a life filled with contentment – no matter the circumstance. THANK YOU, Teri!

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  6. Thanks for always being willing to share your heart. It always blesses me. I hope you are doing ok. Genna will be home on Tuesday. My whole fam is going out to dinner for the holiday and then back to our house for a movie. Hope it goes well. Not something we always do, but I’m trying to go with the flow more! I hope you enjoy your day with your family as well. Hope your dad feels good enough to enjoy too. Love you Terri, Deb

    >

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  7. Dear Teri!!
    It has been great spending time with you this year! I hope you and your dad have a great Thanksgiving! Ann

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  8. Teri, I thank our Lord for your voice, your mind and heart molded by his careful hands, and your obedience to share the wisdom God has given to you.

    Your sister,
    Angela Graham

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  9. Dear Teri,
    My best friend from the womb.. our mothers were pregnant at the same time….😊
    Linda Shahzad, ‘introduced’ me to you.. when she told me about your story and your blogs.. I asked her how I could be added.. I lived near Linda’s and my home town.. and knew I wouldn’t be able to read your blogs on her computer.. I knew how you had touched Linda’s soul, and how you would also touch mine.. I also thank you, for your voice and heart.. as you may know Linda is going though a really tough journey herself, and she receives strength through your faith also.. Thank you again Teri, and the next time I’m with Linda and Deb in their area, I’ll ck to see if I can have the honor of meeting you in person.. God Bless, Carole Swim

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