RSS Feed

Run the Race

Like all of you, I’ve been running a race my whole life. Before becoming a Christian, I was running the rat race of working to gain more – of anything. I also had many years in my life when alcohol was running my race for me, and it was ugly and dark. In 2013, when I fainted in my kitchen and became paralyzed from the neck down, that was a new and uncertain path in my race. I’d like to share some thoughts with you about my ever fluctuating race over the years.

Run the Race with Perseverance

Hebrews 12: 12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. 

We each have an individual race to run whether we like it or not. Psalm 139:16 says, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

God already knows the decisions we will make, righteous and unrighteous, and the outcome of our lives. In His wisdom, God gives us what we need to grow stronger and to persevere until we take our last breath. It is our choice to live, although imperfectly, godly lives. Our soul and our contentment in life depend upon it.

Run the Race with the True Power

Psalm 19: The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

I was 25 years old when I was introduced to the Bible. My life was completely out of control. I didn’t want my roommate at the time to know how much I was drinking, so I would sit in the parking lot and drink just enough to not appear drunk when I went into my apartment. I remember asking myself, “what are you doing with your life?” I didn’t have an answer because I didn’t know how to fix it. Back then I knew nothing about God and I knew nothing about twelve-step groups.

The women who reached out to me immediately began teaching me about Jesus and the Bible. After all, Jude 1:23 says, we should save others by snatching them from the fire. My life was definitely in flames. It was an abyss of deep depression, anxiety, desperation, and hopelessness.

After a few Bible studies Psalm 19:7 became evident in my life. Reading the Bible relieved me of the belief that my life couldn’t be fixed. It mitigated much of the depression and anxiety. The Word would come alive when I read it, and it truly refreshed my soul, gave joy to my heart, and light in my eyes. My family was completely amazed by how different I was. I had been such a sad, bitter woman, and now I was filled with joy and hope.

Run the Race with Others

Hebrews 3: 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

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

1 Thessalonians 2: 7 Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 

When I fainted in my kitchen, my whole world changed in an instant. Prior to the injury I had been fiercely independent. I was so proud that I could pay my own way without the assistance of anyone. I had just bought a new car and some new furniture, had a closet full of clothes, and so many “extra” things that I thought would make me happy. The truth was I was very lonely.

While I was still lying in an ICU bed with a ventilator, feeding tube, multiple IVs, and a completely lifeless body, a crew of volunteers was being assembled to pack all of my material things to be stored or given away. My car was sold within a week. I would never be able to go back to my job. All the things I had placed my confidence in, were gone. I felt so lost.

My dearest friends and sisters from my church just kept coming to see me in the nursing facility where I lived. The sisters from church did what the Scriptures teach them to do: they encouraged me daily so I would not believe the lies of the devil (Hebrews 3:13); they sharpened me by reading The Word and praying with me (Proverbs 27:17); and they shared their very lives with me (1 Timothy 2:7) by just being present. I’m so thankful we cultivate those kinds of deep relationships in my church group.

Run the Race with Gratitude

Psalm 42: 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.

Psalm 34:  I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.

Two years ago I was hospitalized for six weeks, and three of those weeks I was in the ICU. I had two acute respiratory failures that almost took my life. After the long hospitalization my nursing facility wouldn’t take me back right away because the doctors in the ICU had prescribed a special respiratory apparatus. I had to go live in another facility in a different town for almost four weeks.

It felt like a nightmare at the time. I was away from the facility that had been my home for the last several years and the caregivers and staff members were like family. The new facility was woefully understaffed and the CNAs would rush through my care in the morning and seem to get agitated when I asked him to put me in my wheelchair. My fear was that I would have to stay permanently.

At some point in my stay there, I thought of Psalm 42. Even when my soul is downcast, I should yet praise Him. At the time it was difficult for me to think of reasons for gratitude, so I simply thanked God for the lessons that I would learn from that difficult experience. As I continued to pray more reasons for gratitude came to mind.

During my stay in the ICU I had shared with one of the nurses about my blog. She read it and immediately shared it with another nurse. They came back to my room and told me how much they enjoyed it. One had tears in her eyes. Sharing the good news is a reason to be filled with gratitude.

Psalm 34:1 says, “let the afflicted hear and rejoice.” When we are afflicted, whether by depression, illness, hospitalization, loss of job, or any other challenge that emerges in our life, it is tempting to feel like the victim. I know I’ve done it many times. Running the race in victimhood will simply make us weak and weary.

Run the Race to Finish the Task

There is only one way to run the race with enough spiritual stamina to cross the finish line.

Isaiah 40: 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

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.

29 responses »

  1. I pray for you from afar Terri.
    I pray for a Christ filled Christmas now and in 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. I am now familiar with your story, Terri, and you are one of the most persevering sojourners in Christ I have met on any Christian blog, considering the path you have had to run such a distance. Your stubborn persistence in holding the Savior close through it all is an inspiration of your pure wisdom to complete the course Christ has for you!
    A very Merry Christmas to you, and the Lord’s richest blessings for you!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    • I’m also inspired by your blog but especially admire you for working with addicts. It’s hard work to rewire the thinking of those who think their life is not worth redeeming. It takes patience, prayer, and the mighty power of our God.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  3. Thank you Terri, for always sharing from your heart, and pointing to Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord, Who is our Strength and Life.
    I shared your post on fb hoping a number of friends will read, draw encouragement, and look to Jesus as the Source Of Life, and surrender to Him.

    God Bless you Terri, and Merry Christmas,(as I hit send, it is two minutes before midnight Dec. 25. I just made it.

    Have a God Blessing 2021 also.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Thank you so very much for your message of hope and peace, which can only come from the Lord. You are such an encouragement to anyone who reads this blog. I love the passages that you included in this entry. Thank you so very much, and may God continue to bless you and help us to praise Him in all things. Love to you in Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  5. You are so right! We should never accept “victim” status. Once we do that, we’re truly stuck in the proverbial mud, and we’ll only get tired and weak. I’m so glad you have risen above all that and have taken on the ministry of writing and impacting so many lives. God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. Silvia Lia Leigh, MD

    Dear Sister Terri, I appreciate your words; because they come from deep within. These are the only words that touch and refresh my spirit. “My husband of 47 years went to be with the Lord this July; with covid. My world collapsed but the everlasting arms of God help me tight. The love of Christ constrained me. Both of us were a team for so many years. We are both medical doctors and colleagues. Twenty years ago we started a church in Warri, Nigeria were we live. I am now the senior pastor alone. But not really alone, with The Lord Jesus Christ! The Holy Spirit gave me ‘an injection’ of power from on high. This power was given because of the ministry and not for my own ‘entertainment’. I am strong and happy. I preach the Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected! Sinners are saved and the saved get closer to God. My pain was swallowed by His ever sufficient Grace! I am a living miracle. As God blessed me daily with His compassion and true Comfort, may God bless you the same! To God be all the glory!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    • I love hearing your story, Silvia, because you are a living miracle! You do the work of God and he blesses you your spirit and meets your needs.

      Like

      Reply
    • Thank you so very much for sharing your story, Silvia, for it is also an inspiration to me. I often wonder how I would “survive” w/o my husband if the Lord takes him first. Your testimony is such a testimony of how God carries us through when we are too weak to stand by ourselves. I love the fact that you are still a doctor in Nigeria, carrying on that important work alone, but not alone. That reminded me of a song by Joni Erikson Tada by that same title. May God continue to bless you with His strength and and in your work, both medically and in glorifying Him.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  7. Thank you, Terri, and may the Lord continue to be with you in every step of your race!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  8. Terri, thank you again for sharing your life through this blog. You Provide to me and I know many others with great encouragement and gratitude by how You are running this race! We love you dearly!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  9. Dear Terri, I am so blessed to hear from you. You are in my prayers daily. Praise the Lord for His continued presence and witness in your life to others. Love and blessings for a new year of His grace. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  10. My dear friend and sister. As you know today was coming into the light with my thoughts. All your scriptures where sent by the Spirit . I love you dearly. Just what I needed. Merry Christmas and looking forward to 2021 God willing.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  11. Terri you faith in the Lord is so encouraging. Thank you for sharing God’s faithfulness in your life story. There is no God like our God and His promises are yes and amen in Christ. He has never abandon you even in your deepest moments of despair.
    Love in the Lord .

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  12. Thank you Terri and a Merry Christmas to you. We pray blessings for you regularly and hope the New Year brings you much joy!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  13. I enjoy your blog so much. It touches my soul and heart in a way that I really need. Since my open heart surgery on July 23rd I have not felt good at all. Reading your blog helps me to see how much worse that I could be. I pray for you every night.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  14. Once again, I am incredibly moved by your words and the words of our Lord that you share so passionately. You are a true and faithful warrior. Your spirit of gratitude is so refreshing. If anyone has a reason to focus on the negative, it’s you. What a beautiful reminder that the good is there if we look deep enough. Thank you, dear sister. I love you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: