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God’s Perfect Plan

When I think back to August 2013, when I fainted in my kitchen and woke up paralyzed, I remember a flurry of emotions. In the beginning, of course, there was the initial shock and disbelief about the devastation that had occurred in my life. While I was in the ICU at UNC, I didn’t want any visitors and only allowed close family members to visit me. I remember feeling almost ashamed over what it happened to me, as if it was my fault. Also, I kept telling anyone who would listen that I had not been drinking when I passed out. Being an alcoholic for so many years, it was important for me to let people know that I had not relapsed after three strong years of sobriety.

The next feelings I remember were shame and anger. Having different people see me naked, clean me up when my bowels had moved, bathe me each morning, brush my teeth and hair, to name a few, just felt humiliating. Like most people, when I was able-bodied I spent many years focused on the outside—wearing the right clothes and jewelry, putting on makeup every day, using the best smelling body wash and lotion—and here I was unable to do any of that. I remember when I was at Shepherd Center during my rehab phase, seeing a young woman in the hall dressed nice, makeup on, with her hair looking lovely, and I burned with anger. There I sat crumpled in a wheelchair, unable to move, and feeling as if I looked so ugly. I felt worthless.

It took a couple of years for me to start growing close to God again, but I persevered. I began reading the word on a regular basis, and as expected, it changed me.

Psalm 1: 1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. (ESV)

Matthew 5: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

How quickly I had forgotten that reading the word and praying changes the way I think and act, and builds my faith. In Psalm 1 above, I am reminded that the Word of God nourishes me and keeps me hydrated. I prosper when I walk with God. And as Matthew 5 teaches me, I have to hunger and thirst for the right things, or I am unfulfilled, discontent and joyless.

When I think back about all the emotions I’ve experienced over the last five years, and all the trials I’ve endured, I know it was all part of a plan to teach me, to mold me, and to keep me faithful until this life is over. I’m not going to lie—at the time I was experiencing the trials, it was terrible; but when I look back at the hard times now, I am emboldened by knowing that I made it through. That God pulled me through.

1 Peter 1: In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Although I couldn’t see it at the beginning, so much good has come from my injury. Writing this blog has changed the course of and outlook on my life. Where I felt completely worthless in the early days of my injury, I now feel confident and equipped to encourage others.

Hard times are meant to strengthen our faith. I also understand that my beauty comes from within, and not from clothes or jewelry or good smelling lotions! God has taught me to trust in his plan and not look at my circumstances, or compare my situation to others, as a measuring stick of my value. All the hard times were meant for my good, and are useful for sharing with others. His plan for me is perfect.

Psalm 18:  30 As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.

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.

26 responses »

  1. Thank you Terri, you are such an inspiration. As I see you, and read your posts, it continues to give me Hope for my nephew.
    In short, he entered hospital Sept. 26, 2018, three months ago today, for heart surgery which the Doctor said he would be home recuperating from in 8-10 days. Due to a Doctor error in surgery, Ken is still in hospital, not able to walk on his own yet, just beginning to talk again, his nourishment is through a feeding tube. He has also lost a good part of his memory, as in his age, his home address, his Mom’s death and funeral this past July, and more.
    He is not paralyzed, but can do nothing on his own yet. The Doctor still is speaking positively of Ken returning to “almost normal” to his previous lifestyle, and Ken is only 33 years old.
    Hoping rehab will start soon, but he needs to be able to be free of restraints on him first.
    If he has limitations at all, or even not, once he is able to concentrate and understand again, i plan on showing him your blog posts. The positive is, Ken is a Christian, so we have God’s Peace during all this.
    Thank you Terri, for your example. We would appreciate prayers if Holy Spirit leads you.
    God Bless,
    Luv.

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  2. I am a day late, but Merry Christmas, my friend!
    You are definitely equipped to encourage and bless others – you sure do bless and encourage me. I am praying that you have a blessed 2019.

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  3. Five years? Looking back it must seem like an eternity ago. But when we look back on it in eternity it’s going to seem like a blink of an eye. But as you say, during that blink you have helped me and so many others to be strong and persevere.
    I hate that you have had to suffer the way that you have it but I am so grateful for how you have turned your suffering into encouragement, strength, joy and love.
    I personally needed to read your blog at just this very moment.
    Thank you for sharing.
    I hope you know how much Steve and I Love you and respect you.
    Betsy.

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  4. Terri, this was a wonderful thing to read today. I needed the reminder that reading the Word does change you. I’m not going through anything remarkably hard right now, but I do feel a little crushed all the same. Thanks for the reminder to get nourished and hydrated. Merry Christmas.

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  5. Thanks for posting in your journal.  I know Christmas was hard this year without your dad but hopefully you got to spend it with your brother’s family. Some day I will make it back to see you I swear.

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  6. No words can convey how this has touched me. I am continually amazed by the strength we can derive from His love which in my experience is so readily available if we just seek His peace

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  7. Terri,
    Thank you for sharing so vulnerably with us. You have gone through and continue to endure a significant trial. I am inspired how your faith pushed you to persevere and hang on and find that God is our true value and that in Him is our identity and value. Not many people reach this understanding deep in their soul. I am sorry that you have come into this suffering, but I thank God for your example of humility and faith.
    Lory Demshar

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  8. Terri Thank you for sharing so vulnerably in this blog. I am inspired by your perseverance in faith. You have found the Source of your true value and identity. Not many find this at a deep soul level. It is the most essential truth in our life. Thank you for inspiring us! Lory Demshar

    On Wed, Dec 26, 2018 at 1:49 PM Diary of a Quadriplegic wrote:

    > Terri Nida posted: “When I think back to August 2013, when I fainted in my > kitchen and woke up paralyzed, I remember a flurry of emotions. In the > beginning, of course, there was the initial shock and disbelief about the > devastation that had occurred in my life. While I was i” >

    Liked by 3 people

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    • Hi Lory – Happy New Year! As always, thank you for your kind words about my blog. I am thankful God is using my words to reach others. I am also very thankful for your blog. You always inspire and encourage me.

      Like

      Reply
  9. I love this Terri! It is so amazing how God uses pain and suffering for good. We hate it at the time, but looking back we see his faithfulness and love was holding us. Praying for you in this season.

    Liked by 2 people

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  10. Paulette Sheffield

    Terri, Your words always encourage me and seem to come at the right time for me. Life is strange with it’s twists and turns. Way too often I get discouraged about things I can’t control. I often miss the fact that God is always working for our good and the good of others. In the past year I’ve felt days and nights filled with anxiety, sometimes over work, but at other times I don’t know why. Your words help remind me to seek out God in prayer for clarity and relief from that anxiety. Thank you for always sharing your thoughts and scriptures. Every time you share I receive a message from God’s Word through you.

    Thank you for sharing and for always encouraging us!
    Love,
    Paulette

    Liked by 1 person

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  11. Terri, thank you for sharing your journey. I needed to read your blog this morning. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed when things are tough. I need the words of other disciples to remind me that God is always faithful. Thank you and have a blessed New Year.

    Liked by 2 people

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  12. Terri, thank you so much for being a part of my life. As iron sharpens iron you remind me that there is so much more life beyond my circumstances.

    Liked by 3 people

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  13. Ah Terri
    A bag full of gold nuggets here. “I prosper when I walk with God” …this alone could take up shelves of books, testimonies and stories. Thanks

    Liked by 2 people

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  14. I hadn’t read your blog until today and am amazed by your courage, faith and patience. Hope you have a wonderful 2019 and continue to help others!

    Liked by 2 people

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