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The Path of Life

As the New Year is unfolding, I’ve been thinking about how grateful I am to have a relationship with God, and how grateful I am to be in this wheelchair. Nothing about my former way of life is appealing to me. I put together this comparison of what it was like then and what it’s like now.

Then.

I never felt whole. I always felt something was missing. I acted the victim to get attention. I got into dysfunctional relationships just to feel loved. I had some secrets that I would take to the grave because I felt so ashamed.

I had very few close friends. Most of my friends had to be able to drink and party like me, or I wouldn’t have anything to do with them. I couldn’t stop abusing alcohol and drugs. I held onto the hope that situational changes would make me happy: the perfect job, the perfect man, the perfect body… Worst of all, I had no peace. I had nowhere to turn except to substances that would numb my mind of the emptiness. I knew there was a God but I didn’t know how to reach him.

Colossians 1: 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

1 Peter 2:  9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 

Now.

I finally have peace. My life seems to make sense. Most people would see my life in this wheelchair as a depressing existence; I see it as an opportunity. Not every day is perfect and I’m certainly not giddy-happy 24/7. I have times when I experience deep depression because my circumstances seem too much to bear, but I don’t question God and his purpose for me. I believe my life is exactly as it should be. I learn so much from hard times.

Because of this injury, I have reconnected with childhood friends who have stuck close to me during this arduous journey, have been generous towards me financially, and continue to show me support. A handful of these friends are so dear to me and are now like family.

John 15: 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends

Because of this injury, I have made some dear friends who are my caregivers, or that I’ve met in support groups, or that read my blog. I feel so close to some in my blogging community. Most I’ve never met – and yet we share with each other our most intimate life struggles through our blog posts. We encourage and challenge one another with what we write.

Proverbs 27: 17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

Because of this injury, I have reestablished friendships with other Christians. I am part of a fellowship of believers that I can say anything to, and not be judged. I have people to hold me accountable but not act preachy. I am part of the congregation that is so incredibly diverse – some of the Christians I never would have interacted with or met were it not for our beliefs.

Psalm 16: How excellent are the Lord’s faithful people! My greatest pleasure is to be with them.

My family has made great sacrifices for me because of this injury. When I have a need they respond immediately with dogged determination. They have stuck by me through thick and thin. They’ve shown up to the ER or the ICU in the middle of the night. At least three times they were told I was barely hanging on for life. They experienced suffering and sadness when I experienced suffering and sadness. We are closer now than we’ve ever been. They have protected me and persevered with me on this journey.

1 Corinthians 13: 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 

I wouldn’t change anything about my life. It is perfect.

Psalm 16: 11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

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.

19 responses »

  1. It’s so good to hear from you, Terri! Your comparison between your life then and now is such a powerful testimony … what words of hope! Thank you for staying the course, for encouraging others, and using your gifts of writing to help us see Jesus … the Only One who is able to bring light to our darkness! Thank you, again!

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  2. Thank you Terri for your testimony . God has a reason for the people and places he has put us in for his good works . You are a tool for God to use and he is using you well . You are able to reach out and touch souls that most of us are unable to . All I can say is thank you Cuz . Be Blessed and Be A Blessing .

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  3. Thank you so much for this stirring testimony, Terri. It has put many things in perspective for me. May the Lord continue to richly bless you!

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  4. I thank God that there are still people out there willing to share their heart as you do Terri. Your words of wisdom, courage, and hope exemplify the life all of us have been called to live. You are a living testimony of how God can redeem our situations, as tragic as they may be, and turn them into a witness of His great love for all.

    I would love to see you write a book my friend. The world needs to hear your story of endurance and overcoming faith!

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  5. We are truly among the blessed. A friend of mine always says we get to live two lives in one lifetime. I can relate to the than and now. I celebrated 14 years clean on December 1st. Learning to accept Abba’s outlandish love and incomparable grace has given me a life I never dreamt of. I’m still poor (by our culture’s standards), I live with a chronic illness (a consequence of my drug use), and I’m not what many would define as successful. My wife struggles with chronic pain and limited mobility. Yet, neither of use would trade the life we live today for anything in the past.

    This last year, I’ve come to trust Abba even deeper. I’ve learned from so many (yourself included) just how faithful He is. I still have days (believe me!) when fear and depression creep in. Still, I know God is faithful and I have much to be grateful for. The peace and serenity God’s brought to me is immeasurable. Thank you Terri for your writing. It’s truly a blessing to me. You’re in our prayers as always. Have a blessed New Year!

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  6. My dear sister, such a pleasure to hear from you! You are always in our prayers. Thank you for this uplifting post, to which I would only add this:
    “Because of this injury, I have a God given platform to speak hope into others. I am broken for a purpose with great eternal value.”
    May God lead us all thru this new year. ❤

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  7. Dear Terri, I am so blessed to see your post today. You continue to be a bright light and a witness from our Lord of His presence and power with us during the most difficult times. Did you get my emails with the PDF copy? Praying the Lord’s gracious blessings for you this year.

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  8. Love and admire you deeply, Terri.

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  9. Paulette Sheffield

    Terri, I am always encourage and humbled when reading your posts. The scriptures you include always resonate with me at a time I need them most. I’m praying this year is a year of true spiritual growth for me. And for you, I will pray your faith sustains you and that it will be a year of miracles and great joy for you. xoxoxo

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  10. Terri,
    So well written.
    It reminds me of the scripture God gave Bill and I to stand on — Romans 8:28
    “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
    Praying for you.

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  11. As you know, I am “seeking divine perspective.” I think I found some today. ❤ Thanks for sharing.

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  12. I see your growth and peace Terri. It is so encouraging to actually see God answering your prayers so we can understand true spirituality!
    Love you!
    Gayle Knutson

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  13. Terri, I love your deep thoughts and big heart.
    Your honesty gives such impact to your words.
    Thank you so much for sharing.
    Only in the next life will we realize how much good has been accomplished from your fall.
    We love you so much ❣️Steve and Betsy

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  14. Hello my dear! You are so amazing! Thank you for being that beacon of light for so many people! You are truly a blessing! XOXOXO

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  15. Thanking God for you being such a bright light to so many of us, Terri. And like another commenter said, I so hope you do write a book and/or a devotional at a time when you’re not quite so busy. Happy New Year to you and may God bless you abundantly 🙂

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  16. God bless you for your inspirational posts.

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  17. Amen, Terri! You are such an inspiration to me, Terri. I’m so thankful for you. Mary and I are praying for you.

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