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The Journey to Healing

This wheelchair has made me a better person. I’m surprised to be saying this out loud because a year ago the thought of it would have made me mad. It’s taken a lot of work on God’s part to get me prepared for this way of life. And I’ve had to make choices to be obedient, to believe God has good in store for me, and to pray my way out of rebellion and bitterness. Most of the time, I haven’t wanted to make the right decisions to be righteous, but prayer makes a world of difference. Prayer is the true testament of the power of God in our lives. God can change our hearts and our minds if we ask.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:   … a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep, and a time to laugh…

Sometimes our lives have to be torn down before they can be built up again. At the time of my injury, it felt like everything that was important to me (mostly material) was taken away. Looking back now, I’ve learned my happiness never came from “stuff”, or highlights in my hair, or a fit physique. I’ve gained so much wisdom about true happiness and it all has to do with how much I love God and how much I understand He loves me.

Sometimes we have to weep before we can find a reason to laugh again. The first year of my injury I cried often. The sheer magnitude of what had happened to me was enough to make anyone cry, but on top of that, the facility where I lived was absolutely terrible. For one thing, the staff was disrespectful towards the patients. I won’t go into all the other problems I faced in that place. Looking back now, I know it simply made me stronger as a person and in my walk with God. Smiling and laughter come much easier to me these days because I’ve worked hard to forgive those who intentionally hurt me.

Acts 20: 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

My goal in life is not to accumulate more stuff. My goal in life is not to find the perfect husband. My goal in life is not to climb the corporate ladder and pad my bank account with increasing salary amounts. If I do get all of these things, Amen! In the meantime, I need to complete the task that we’ve all been given — to share the good news of God’s grace. There are so many people that don’t know about God’s grace and the joy and fulfillment they can gain in their lives. And I’ve been given much grace, even in my position, why would I hold back in telling others about it?

Romans 8: 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

The fact is, I’ve been called according to God’s purpose, which makes me eligible for all his good works.

1 Corinthians 1:Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

I recently read a book titled Cartwheels in the Rain: Finding Faith in the Wake of the Unthinkable, by Joe Dubowski (https://www.amazon.com/Cartwheels-Rain-Finding-Faith-Unthinkable/dp/1577822587). His daughter was one of six students fatally shot by an armed gunmen at Northern Illinois University in 2008. Although this is a journey Mr. Dubowski would never have chosen, he is now a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist. He experienced God’s comfort at an unthinkable and devastatingly low point in his life, and now is able to comfort others experiencing deep loss and grief. He absolutely inspired me with his courage and will to go on living in a way that honored his daughter, Gayle. I highly recommend the book.

I look back on the last 4 1/2 years of my life and realize now that everything had a purpose and led to the healing of my hurt and empty soul. Although I do not believe that God caused me to be angry or in denial or sad at the beginning of my journey as a quadriplegic, I know now that he’s using those very emotions for the good. Everything in our lives can be of use to God. Even the times when we are at our weakest point.

2 Corinthians 12:7 Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

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.

35 responses »

  1. Terri, it’s great to read that you continue to walk along the path of faith and that you are finding inspirational literature to encourage you. You are an inspiration to me and many.

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  2. “Sometimes we have to weep before we can find a reason to laugh again.”
    I love this whole post, Terri, but this line is so profound.
    Your posts are always so encouraging.

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  3. Thank you, Terri, for helping us to see.

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  4. Terri, can I have your email address? I want to talk to you about a friend in northern California who recently became a quadriplegic.

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  5. What a powerful post! Thank you, Terri, for your willingness to teach us through your life.

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  6. I’ve been reading your posts for awhile now, Terri. I appreciate your vulnerability and the honesty with which you share. I’m encouraged by the growth in your faith and inspired to imitate your obedience to and love for God. Thank you for writing this blog!

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  7. “ Everything in our lives can be of use to God. Even the times when we are at our weakest point.” This meant so much to me tonight. Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Terri. I love you and admire you very much.

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  8. Terri, it’s so good to hear from you! Very encouraging post, thank you for sharing yourself and your walk with the Lord. “Refreshing the hearts of the Lord’s people” is a precious ministry for Him, thank you sister. 🌹

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  9. Beautiful words. Your journey extraordinary…Inspirational.

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  10. Melissa Fabian

    AMEN! What a blessing and encouragement you are to me. I thank God for you and pray that you will be encouraged and strengthened. God bless you, Terri!

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  11. Great post Terri. The words of a seasoned pastor were these: “If you can remain thankful in your darkest hour, you cannot be defeated”. How true. God does not need a perfect situation to work, only a willing situation to work His perfection.

    It seems Lord has to both take some things out and bring some things into our lives to get us when He wants us to be – “in the secret place of the Most High, under the shadow of the Almighty.” (Ps 91:1)

    What a place to be, but oh boy how much it hurts getting and staying there. It’s worth it. One day by God’s grace we will understand it all. Blessings – David

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  12. Thank you for a wonderful post, Terri! You are an inspiration sharing a testimony that has been tried in every direction. May the Holy Spirit continue to help you fulfill God’s plans and purposes for you.

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  13. Thank you Terri. Your positive attitude, and focus on our Lord Jesus, is always encouraging and uplifting.

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  14. Kimberly Eastman Zirkle

    “Looking back,I realize my happiness never came from stuff…” How true… It is people, relationships, love and faith that are far more valuable and powerful in life. Thank you for the entire diary, Terri, and for the gentle reminders of what matters most. Happy Nee Year to you!

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  15. Terri, your perseverance and victory through prayer is evident. I appreciate your example so much. You have overcome the world through Him.

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  16. Teresa Johnson Troup

    I am so proud of you, Terri. Keep believing! Thank you for continuing to share your journey.

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  17. I read that book Cartwheels in the rain and it touched my heart deeply just like your blog does also. I knew Joe Dubowski from my college days. You are so brave Terri. I admire your faith.

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    • Thank you, Diane. I’ve actually been in touch with Joe by email and he seems like such a peaceful and deeply faithful man. I am glad to know him, and I am glad to know you! Where do you live? I live in North Carolina and it’s 14° here today! I hope you’re staying warm.

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      • I just moved to Medford, Oregon from Bend, Oregon. We have a small church in the Ashland/Medford area. I lived in Orange County California for 24 years.

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  18. Such a raw, honest, and uplifting post. If we could all maintain that kind of faith on a daily basis…..Love you Terri!

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  19. Such a raw, honest, and uplifting post. If we could all maintain that kind of faith on a daily basis…..Love you Terri!

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  20. Priscilla Baxter

    Thank you Terri for always keeping it Real. Thanks for the encouragement to Pray to God to change areas in our lives that we can not. I love you.

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  21. We just returned from a visit with my family in Sarasota. I had shared your story with my dad (as I often do with many people). I printed off your entries in your blog from beginning to present and gave it to him. He was so thankful and I can’t help but believe that it will work in his heart as it does in mine.
    I’ll keep YOU posted 😊.
    We love you! Betsy (and Steve)

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  22. Hi Terri, I came here from Jeanie’s e-mail and your words help me. I’ve been struggling with something as small as a persistent infection, but it feels like a mountain. The 1 Corinthians passage was particularly helpful. I’m inspired by your courage.

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