Monday, January 30, 2012

Finding my voice

It's been 2 weeks since I've had my t-tube reinserted and my voice is still just a whisper. My throat doesn't hurt anymore, but my voice is just barely existent. It is very frustrating but I'm thankful for breathing well and sleeping well. Yesterday, I was able to go to church for the first time in weeks which was a blessing. I'm looking forward to being more active, voice or not, and seeing what the Lord has for me.

As hard as it is to not think on a day-to-day basis due to my condition, I'm venturing to find an abode of my own outside of Beth Abe. I imagine it will be quite a process so I figured I'd start to hopefully move in favorable weather. Quads and cold don't mix!

I've spent many months in physical and spiritual trials, sick with UTIs, going through major bladder surgery, and then contending with trach problems. I can't tell which was worse. Before that, I was gearing up to go back to school and had a new interest in grant writing and non-profit management. What do I do now? Where do I belong? How will I be a productive member of society? I want to be useful. I don't want spend the rest of my days not making a mark as I've always imagined. I grew up in the middle of rallies against drugs, corrupt landlords and school inequality. My family was active in the church feeding the homeless and donating clothes. I imagined myself as a public servant in some capacity which I think everyone should be. I have to reassess goals and take things slow.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I stand at the door and knock

I enjoyed the testimony of Corrie Ten Boom so much, that I got her book, "I stand at the door and knock" in audio format from It's a compilation of her radio broadcasts in the 60's with Trans World Radio. She repeats the importance of being born again and attaining holiness through the power of the Holy Spirit. Her focus is solely on the Lord and the work he does in the believer. She says, "we don't need great faith, just faith in a great God." It was very encouraging to hear her nuggets of wisdom regarding surrender and that, even the Lord does!

I was surprised to learn that Corrie also struggled with worry and anxiety like myself. Who knew that would be case for a woman who risked her life to save Jews? It wasn't until after her imprisonment that she understood her experience was to be used to further the Gospel. Not only did she lead many to Christ inside the concentration camps, but she traveled to 61 countries to share the love and salvation of Christ! Paul makes a similar realization in his epistle to the Philipians: "But I want you to know, brethren, that the things [which happened] to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear."--Philipians 1:12-14

The body of Christ is exploding in places of heavy persecution like China, North Korea, Iran and Egypt. In places where imprisonment is inevitable, people are coming to Jesus through visions, dreams and divine appointments. Missionaries are risking their lives to bring the Word of God to areas where it is forbidden. Aid goes to families of prisoners and martyrs. Medical needs are provided for. If the Lord is moving you to support persecuted Christians, a great organization is Voice of the Martyrs. Pray for our brethren as we are one body. Intercession is important and often our best defense.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

I just devoured another book, an ebook on my new nook color. It's quad friendly, making page turrning a breeze! I read "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom. I highly recommend it for everyone. Going through quadriplegia makes me thirsty for tales of survival, particularly from other believers. Corrie Ten Boom and her family were led to protect Jews during German occupation in Holland. For 2 years, they hid Jews in their homes until they were caught and sent to Nazi concentration camps in Holland and Germany. Corrie describes their experience and how they were able to endure by the Grace of God. It was primarily through her sister Betsie that she learned that God had them there for a reason and that they could find joy in their circumstance. Focusing on opportunities to minister to even their persecuters, Betsie saw the work that God would lay out for Corrie as a result of their suffering. Joni Eareckson Tada shares a similar realization from her own suffering and it's no surprise that she writes the forward. I, too, share this testimony; that through my ordeal becoming paralyzed, I could minister to others and learn to depend on Jesus for his Grace. I am not strong in any of this. Often I'm scared, anxious, and feeble. Quite honestly, I didn't think I'd live this long. Between my raging UTI's and trach problems, I've felt at the edge of another great height, bracing for a long fall before being lifted up on eagle's wings. Still, I'm here, and am convinced He has more to show me before taking me home.