Thursday, February 18, 2010
PROUD OF CHRIS
You know, I am very, very thankful right now. I'm thankful for so many wonderful things in my life. Caleb and Alethia are a joyful burst in my life everyday. No day goes by without them causing me to smile and giggle....not ONE day. Chris, oh Chris, he is such a gift to me. He makes me feel loved and precious and cherished. He makes me feel indispensible. He's so wonderful as a husband!
Right now I'm thankful for the past 2 1/2 months. Since Thanksgiving Chris has been struggling more physically in his health. It's been one thing after another - a cold, a stomach virus, an infection, another cold, another infection, IV antibiotics, pressure sores, autonomic dysreflexia (a condition in folks with quadriplegia which is complicated and miserable to live through) and PAIN, PAIN, PAIN......muscle pain, nerve pain, burning pain.....PAIN.
We learned at the beginning of January that Chris had kidney stones in both kidneys. He met with a urologist and they scheduled a surgery Feb 12th to clean out the bladder - stones, scar tissue, and anything else that shouldn't be there. But what they found was incredible: a gravel driveway! Chris' bladder was completely filled with stones. You couldn't even see the bottom of the bladder because of the stones! Can you believe it!! So THAT'S WHY he's had more pain than usual!!! And THAT'S WHY his infections have returned over and over and over (apparently when stones are in the bladder, bacteria adhere to the stones and aren't killed with antibiotics).
So last Friday they cleaned out his bladder of all stones. The overwhelming pain is gone - THANK YOU GOD!! What a gift from God!!! How amazing is it that the hospital is one block away and so even in Dallas' 12" snow storm when the entire city was completely shut down, Chris was able to drive to the hospital in his wheelchair and the doctor and nurses were able to get in to do the procedure! What a wonderful gift!
But, for those of you who are quads, you know this story all too well.....the surgery was a success yet he got a pressure sore as a result of the surgery table......so he had to be in bed all weekend and has tried to stay off his sore as much as he can with classes, reading, and taking care of the kids this week. Yesterday he got a sinus cold and today he got on an airplane to fly to Virginia to speak at 3 schools tomorrow and one school Friday before returning home late Friday night.
He had EVERY reason to cancel, EVERY excuse, no one would even blame him.
BUT there's another reason to NOT cancel. What if the students, faculty, and community members that were planning to come to his speech NEED to be reminded of TRUTH?? What if one of those teenagers is struggling with life's purpose?? What if one of those teenagers is engulfed in drugs and alcohol and even though he/she hears a small voice in his/her head saying to stop, the desire and pressure is too much to listen?? What if that person just needs ONE other person who's lived through it to instill HOPE and renew the vision of their FUTURE?? What if one of those faculty members feels alone and has lost the will to dream?? What if one of those parents has become numb to their child's rebellion and feels that they are powerless to stop it?? What if they NEED to hear the perspective of a person who lives with disappointment, who lives a life with very little ability to control circumstances, who lives in a body that seems to hold him captive YET
HE HAS HOPE
HE HAS JOY
HE HAS DETERMINATION
HE HAS FIGHT
HE WON'T LIE DOWN
HE WON'T GIVE UP
Maybe, just maybe his perspective would give them all the hope to pursue life, to pursue a GOOD life, to dream a dream, to pursue a dream. And what if it caused one person to look upward to their Father in Heaven? What if one person fell to their knees and changed the course of their life for ETERNITY?
THAT would make it worth it. That would make it worth the pain of the flight, the exhaustion of travel and speaking, the pressure of not keeping up with classwork back in Dallas, etc, etc, etc.
THAT would make it worth it. And THAT is why my husband boarded a plane and headed for Virgina. He sees things differently than most people. He KNOWS that life is short and can be stripped from you in a moment. And so he drives forward and he gives and gives and gives to share everything that he's learned. Life is too short to wonder if he could've done more for other people. He does it now. He seizes the opportunity.
So why am I thankful for the pain of the past 2 1/2 months?? Because the circumstances have caused me to slow down, to NEED my God, to NEED to be on my knees before my God, to have a greater compassion, love, and appreciation for my husband, and to focus on the very present daily gifts that God has given me. He has given me a husband to love, follow, and cherish. He has given me a son to love, nurture, and teach. He has given me a daughter to love, nurture, and teach. And the past 2 1/2 months my heart has been solely focused on these three persons and my God. I have felt stripped of life's "extras" and built up and strengthened in life's "essentials". And I would choose this lesson and this perspective any day. Hopefully it won't require such extreme circumstances to keep this perspective!
Thank you Lord! Thank you for showing me my helplessness and replacing it with your strength, power, and hope. What joy there is in You!