I finally got my new wheelchair. My friends got together and raised $28,000 to make the purchase. I felt so inspired! I had so much hope that this new wheelchair would alleviate the neck pain that has been dogging me for a few years. Everyone that donated was so excited and couldn’t wait for me to post pictures on Facebook… Unfortunately, not all prayers are answered in the way we think they should be answered.
BTW – for those who donated towards my wheelchair and are now concerned, I am confident these tweaks will be made and I’ll be comfortable in the near future. The company is working with me as much as I need.
1 Kings 19: 3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
In the previous chapter Elijah had a great victory. God used him to prove that he was the only God, and to put the worshipers of Baal to shame. Elijah then slaughtered all the prophets of Baal to further establish God’s power and his sovereignty. Even after these great victories, Elijah got scared of what might happen to him. He stopped believing that God had his best interest at heart. So what did he do? He asked God to take his life and then took a nap.
I’ve felt that way, too, over the last month or so. I feel myself asking, what’s the point? The neck pain is actually worse than it was in my old wheelchair, and there’s so many other things about the wheelchair that I just don’t like and that I don’t believe are good for my body. So even as I write this blog, I feel like I’m at a standstill. The following scriptures have refocused my heart and mind.
Psalm 42: 5 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.
Habakkuk 3: 17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Although I am confident that tweaks will be made and the problems will be corrected, what I’m called to do during the weight is to praise God. What I can do now is be joyful in my Savior. Choosing to praise God and be joyful is a decision, not a feeling. I think of all the things that God has done in the last five years, and I praise him.
God allowed me to come off the ventilator when no one believed I would ever breathe on my own. I have incredibly supportive friends and family that help me do things that I could never do on my – like going to a movie, going to church every Sunday, and so much more.
God has given me a new opportunity to be a mentor to other spinal cord injury patients. This is an honor and an answered prayer. It will be as rewarding to me as it might be to the newly injured people I work with that need a compassionate and understanding ear.
As a result of this injury, my relationship with God has more depth and meaning. Looking back to my able-bodied days, it seems like my relationship with God was superficial. In many ways, I believe this injury has not only made be a better person, but has saved my life. For that, I am grateful.
We all have life experiences that knock us down – death of loved ones, lost jobs, or just experience an incredible dry spell in our relationship with God. We feel we just can’t make a connection. It’s at that time we need to make a decision to give God glory for what he’s already done for us, and what he will do in the future.
I believe the issues with my wheelchair will get corrected, I just wish it would happen immediately! This is a time when my character is being built up and strengthened. I know if I get through this, it will simply build my spiritual muscles for future difficult life circumstances. When I remember all that I have gone through and how God has delivered me every time, I am able to praise him.
Jeremiah 29: 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.