Once my health stabilized after my injury all I wanted was to go home. Rehab seemed as another world. I felt I needed my church and friends. Even though my body was extremely weak, my doctor agreed to let me go with a promise: “You won’t quit.” I promised.
Going home wasn’t as good as it sounded. At Shepherd, most of my friends used wheelchairs. At home, I was alone. At Shepherd, we all faced hurdles together. At home, I was embarrassed for being a messy eater, needing someone to give me a drink and needing to have my urinary leg bag drained.
No longer tall and independent. No longer able to do it my way. I quit.
Earl made sure I attended every church service at our church and many others. I spent each one lying back in my wheelchair with my eyes closed—trying my best to block out God. I fluctuated between blaming Him and blaming myself.
Still God’s Word penetrated my wall of despair. Scripture filled my mind with God’s desire for my life—however broken and weak. His people loved me when I felt ugly and wretched. They wouldn’t let me quit.
Today I wanted to quit. I wanted to stay in bed and skip church. I didn’t. I cried as we sang the closing hymn, “Just a Closer Walk with Thee”. Yes, close, as in yoked together. Jesus’ yoke is “well fitting” to share my burden. He sculpted it just for me.
I can only survive this physical life by God’s grace and wisdom and the loving Christian women who wiped away my tears and held my sorrow in their arms.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV).