I hear his story on the radio, on the way to take oldest to school.
His name is Matt and a car accident changed his life. He lost the ability to read.
Every time he sat down to read, he just could not put the words together. “I don’t understand!” he kept crying.
They told him he’d never finish school.
But he decided to try. He submitted himself to a program in which he re-trained his brain to read letters on a page. For over a year, he re-trained.
He had four hundred and eighty something days straight of migraine headaches.
It hurt. He pushed on.
It was hard. He pushed on.
It was agonizingly frustrating, re-learning something a completely different way, when he’d already done it the easy way years earlier.
He pushed on.
He can read now. He graduated with honors. And now he’s pursuing an MBA.
The story comes on a day when I want to give up. I’m oh so tired and the grueling work confuses the mind, sweat stings the eyes.
The story concludes on the radio and the Voice speaks to me: “I told you these days would come,” and I remember nearly a year ago, when He first gave me my prognosis.
I was sitting in the audience, waiting to hear the preacher, thinking the Word would come once the announcements were over. But no, there was one who had something to say and He spoke through that one.
The one had limped down the aisle to the podium, dragging his leg behind him.
His words were just as slow, forced out of a mouth that couldn’t keep up with the mind.
He barely spoke two sentences before he ambled back down the aisle, but in the span of those two sentences our mutual Maker spoke loud and clear, with no faltering and no stuttering. “That’s you,” He told me.
It was so powerful and so out of the ordinary that I told my husband about it that evening. “Yes, I know the young man,” he told me. “He calls himself “Marine 4 Christ.'”
I was so taken by this connection God had made between me and this young injured soldier, that I googled him. “Marine4Christ.” I found the connection in listening to his testimony.
Like Brandon, I am a wounded warrior. Years of abuse and spiritual bondage left me wounded and paralyzed, in a coma of sorts… Dead weight to those who cared for me.
“You are awake now,” He said to me that day as I watched Brandon’s story. “Like Brandon, I’ve redeemed your life too.”
“Now. If you are to get well, you too will have to relearn everything.“
I knew it would take hard, agonizing work. Grueling days, hours, moments. Impossible odds. Days when I’d say, “I can’t do this anymore.” It would take a team of people around me who pushed me to do what I felt simply and absolutely impossible.
But if I was to get well, if I wanted to live again, I would have to re-learn the ways of Grace. I’d have to learn how to eat again, how to work again, how to stand up and walk.
I’m still in the classroom. Today as I wondered if I’ve made any progress at all, God showed me that I have at least learned what the 3 R’s are in His classroom, and I’m giddy with the knowledge:
1. Receive- The way to eat is to receive. Receive all of God’s goodness and grace and to do that, one must open up, let go, do the opposite of what comes naturally when one has lived on life support. “Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.”
Open up, take in, swallow down. Receive.
2. Rest– The work of God’s classroom is to rest, the cessation of self striving and self effort. To move the spiritual body means letting Him be the one to both give and fill the prescription. He is in me both to will and to work.
Resting in God’s Kingdom classroom is not passive! “Labor to enter into that rest…” (Heb 4:11) Entering rest is perhaps the most difficult work of all.
3. tRust– The walk of the godly is to trust. The just shall live by faith. Just as each step is an act of free falling, so walking by faith is learning to free fall through my days, letting God-legs catch and sustain.
This is what it means to re-gain the ability to walk.
On a day like today, I wonder if I’ve made any progress at all. I wonder if I can pick up and just. do. today’s. part. Then I hear Matt’s story and I remember Brandon’s story and I know that like them, I can do it too. My life is redeemed and my Physician won’t forsake me.
And He’s placed me in just the right environment for me to re-learn, with people in my life (especially the 4 children!) who will push me and force me to new limits. I just need submit to His plan and keep practicing.
One day, I’ll be eating on my own. I’ll have full range of movement again. I’ll be walking.
And today? Well today I’ve moved one day closer.
Have a great weekend, dear friend, you who have happened upon this place today…