I tried to pick up the brick. My fingers wouldn’t curl around it. I had to pick the brick up with my palms. Weird. They were fine just a minute ago. My brain is telling my fingers to grasp but I’m watching them and they remain motionless. “They’ll be fine in a minute.”, I thought. They weren’t.
My family had just moved into the house my dad had built and, as one of the kids, I got to help with the final clean up around the yard. My dad and I then headed to the barn to feed our horses. The barn was located a short distance behind our house with a gate and fence separating it from our yard. It was my job to open the gate was well. The functioning of my fingers had not improved like I thought they would. I couldn’t get my fingers to grasp the latch or my thumb to pull back the pin either. Dad finally had to get out of the truck and open it for me. When we arrived back home, mom had lunch ready. She had to feed me since my fingers were refusing to obey my brain’s command. They knew something was seriously wrong. I walked back to my bedroom to lay down on my bed while her and my dad readied things to take me to the emergency room. On the way to my room, the weakness in my fingers began invading my legs as well, causing my gait to be unsteady. I laid down on my bed. When it was time to leave for the emergency room, my dad had to carry me to the car because I had become completely paralyzed from the chest down. That day the climb up the mountain began. I was 12 years old.
Before the foundation of the world, God knew that my life as I knew it would be gone that day. It would be just a few minutes after my dad carried me to the car, that I too knew that my life as I knew it was gone that day. Before the foundation of the world, God planned to prosper me and not to harm me to give me a future and a hope. It would be many years before I would know that.
I was admitted to a hospital in a larger town near by, as our small hospital did not have the specialists I needed. The hospital stay lasted a month, during which I was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis, a blood clot in the spinal cord. Treatment options were limited to steroids and physical therapy. It never occurred to me I would the hospital in any shape other than “back to normal”. I left the hospital with only minimal improvement. I could then wiggle my right big toe and pull my right knee up a little bit.
After I came home from the hospital, my mother became my nurse. She did everything for me except chew my food. My mom could care for me physically, but she couldn’t care for my heart.
Since I could not walk, my father pushed me where I needed to go in a wheelchair. If the terrain wouldn’t allow wheelchair access, he would carry me. There were, however, places to which he could not carry me. He could not carry me to the place of acceptance, to the place of perseverance, or the place of joy.
My parents did everything humanly possible for me. But I needed to be cared for in was that was only divinely possible.
Questions jolted into my mind as I reckoned these physical limitations were not transient.
Will I always be completely dependent on another person?
Would I ever recover completely?
What kind of life will I have ahead?
None of my doctors had any answers.
Would hopeless always hang over me?
As weeks and years went by, the only one who had the answers to all my questions, answered them. God answered them, not with words, but with an infusion of hope and the presentation of opportunities.
Many years later, I came to understand that El Shaddiah (the God from which all power and comfort comes) had been the source of comfort in my despair and hope for an abundant life.
With physical therapy my hands and legs began to experience some return of movement. After many months, I could walk with assistance and a brace on my left ankle. My gait, however, never turned to normal. I eventually was able to attend college, and graduate school, lived in Sweden as an exchange student for a semester, was married, and gave birth to three sons.
He showed Himself faithful as my Wonderful Counselor.
I would love to hear how God has showed Himself faithful as your Wonderful Counselor.
I would love to offer some personal words of encouragement to you who need a Wonderful Counselor. Leave a comment or send me an email.