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What I’ve Learned

 

August 18, 2018 marks five years since my injury. I posted what I’ve learned on Facebook (in italics below) and wanted to share some of the lessons in a blog post and add some meat to it with Scriptures and additional thoughts.

Today marks five years since my injury occurred. I’ve learned so many things that I would like to share with you. I’ve learned that losing all my possessions was not such a bad thing, because I gained so much more in return by sitting in this wheelchair. It made it worthwhile.

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 believe there is a huge difference between happiness and contentment. I believe happiness is fleeting and contentment is a deep acceptance of where you’re at in life – whether you’re suffering physically or emotionally, or everything is going great. Philippians was written while Paul was imprisoned. Conditions were very poor and yet he was still content with that stage of his life.

Over the last couple of months I let my contentment slip away. I stopped reading the Scriptures and praying on a regular basis. Instead of having my daily quiet time, I found myself reading the news and doing lots of crossword puzzles. I kept thinking, I will get to my quiet time later. And later never came. I certainly had nothing to write about in a blog post because I felt so numb. I have a prescribed narcotic for pain, but I found myself taking it when I had no pain. It seemed to soften the sharp edges of my life.

When I don’t put on the full armor of God, I am fresh meat for the enemy. This drifting off course started very gradually and became something ominous in the blink of an eye. That’s just the way the devil works. He wants us to feel that certain behaviors are harmless, when they are building blocks to turning our back on God. Paul said he could do everything through him who gives him strength… I am an example of NOT being able to do anything without his strength.

Ephesians 6: 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 

I’ve learned humility creates more respect from others, and trying to be right or better than, drives people away.

Proverbs 18: 12 Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.

Proverbs 18:2 Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions.

My pride has always made me defensive, quick to correct others, and desperate to prove to people that I’m smart. It was only recently that my CNA pointed this out to me and I’m so grateful she had the courage to do it. I now pray about it regularly, ask God to fill me with the fruits in the spirit, and think of this quote below by Bernard Meltzer:

“Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid.”

I’ve learned my value comes from God, and not from boyfriends or bosses or any other external thing.

1 Samuel 16: Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

It is good to be set free of the things that this world values, and to hold on to what’s really important: friendship, love for o thers, love for God… I can’t even name everything without this post going on forever. But you get my point.

Matthew 12: 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.

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.

18 responses »

  1. Very insightful commentary Terri and thank you again for sharing your journey with us. I can not tell you how many times I’ve visited your blog and have been spiritually suffering or in a state of confusion and have been redirected back to God because of your words and because of the revelation that God has given you. You are a true light for God and you have helped illuminate many a Scripture and a spiritual revelation in my life and in many others. Thank you.

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  2. Priscilla Baxter

    Terri,
    Thanks for sharing this on your blog..and the reminder that we must stay in God’s word because his word is the truth. God doesn’t lie and is faithful to his promises. Love you

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  3. Lessons that I have learned from Terri . Not that I have completely put them into practice but just thinking about her sets me straight for the moment.
    Don’t feel sorry for yourself.
    I can Be open and honest about what I’m feeling because I am loved unconditionally.
    Be a woman of prayer because that is where real power lies!
    I can focus on others even when I’m not feeling well. Give people love and attention and small ways. It has a big impact.
    Count my blessings. And there are many!
    Focus on heaven and all of the glorious things that we will experience there!
    These are just a few of the life-changing lessons you have taught me, Terri. And there are so many more.
    I love you!

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  4. Very well said and insightful. You have found the secret of contentment…abide in Him. Thanks for sharing your trials and your victories.

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  5. Terri, I thank you for your honest and heartfelt sharing. You touch my heart with what you have learned and inspire me to want to live life more by the Spirit. Much love to you, Cindy

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  6. Sharing “What I’ve Learned” will surely speak to others as it has spoken to my heart. Thank
    you for pointing to the value of contentment, what a rare commodity in our culture. I am convicted about words that I speak, even if they are true, what is in my heart launching them? Thank you dear sister, for opening your heart with this post. So good to hear from you! 🌹

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  7. Hi Terri, it’s good to see you back and I rejoice that you’ve put your focus back on God first. It’s so easy to get distracted, isn’t it? I’m going to take your lesson and apply it to me. Hugs.

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  8. We are there with you ALWAYS. We thank God for. Never give up. It’s so Gracious of God to give us time to grow! I pray your moments with Our Lord’s Love, you will feel and know today,that God is Especially Fond of you!

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  9. Powerful truths. Praying for much fruit from your writings!

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  10. Thank you Terri – as always! You do enrich life

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  11. Terri,

    Your point that being defensive, quick to correct others, and being desperate to prove to people that you are smart is being prideful, is very descriptive and helpful. We do this in many different ways, and everyone seems to do it without much thought. But it destroys relationships and it means you are not putting God as your number one relationship the way you described. You have helped me think about how many times we wonder if we are close to God, and yet do not look at how we are being with others. The first and second commands reveal your heart, your priorities, your attitude, etc. It takes work like you have done to truly understand the contentment of being one with God no matter what has happened in your life or what you think you need in your life. I am striving not to let the world’s expectations take my spiritual life. It’s amazing how time is not the enemy, but the powers that keep you from focusing on Jesus as LORD.

    Thank you Terri for your openness, vulnerability, and desire to keep repenting as you walk with Jesus.The life of a disciple is walking down the narrow road.

    Love you,
    Gayle

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  12. Hi beautiful,, I love your insight and wisdom Terri I may not be in a wheelchair but I am alone in this world having never met my husband I so prayed for,, I got away from my daily prayer and time with. God as you spoke about and I today am getting back on track so thanks for Sharing this Christian walk is not always easy and sometimes I want to give up but then god sends me someone like you and I see the light so bless you Terri you r on my prayer list🙏🙏

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