A Little Girl Lost

Archive for the ‘Disabled’ Category

Ashamed of the Pain

I talk about my injury with people everywhere I go, and I hear this often: “You’re easy to talk to, but I don’t know what to say to most people in wheelchairs. They seem angry. How do you do so well?”

Honestly, I only do well sometimes. I have to face my enemies every day.

I had just accepted the unconditional love and forgiveness Jesus offers eight months before I drove through an intersection and under a logging truck.

After coming home from rehabilitation at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA, I felt worthless. I refused help from everyone but my family. I sat day after day, and year after year, with my eyes closed. Sometimes I was asleep, but mostly I was hiding.

I was ashamed of the pain I caused my family and friends. I prayed God would take me home. I can’t describe the depth of my pain, guilt, depression, and frustration of facing life dependent on other people.

Today I can tell you, “God is good!” He uses people like you every day of my life to bless and minister to me. A Sunday school teacher invited me to teach once a month. The church secretary asked me to write for the newsletter. Friends asked questions and I began telling what God was doing in my life.

Do I believe Gods will for me is healing? Yes. Does that mean complete healing of my earthly body? I don’t know. I do know I’ll have a glorified body in heaven. Today I have continuous healing of my mind, body, soul, and spirit. I no longer live in guilt but in the joy of my Lord and Savior.

Through Jesus life, death and resurrection I have been made whole.

I pray my testimony blesses you. Though we may never meet here on earth, we are all sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus and heirs of the Kingdom of God.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-6 NIV.)

In Christ,
Berta  

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Photo, A Dry and Barren Land, courtesy of iStock

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God’s Timing

Do you ever feel like God has forgotten you? Or forgotten a promise He made to you? I have. A few months before my injury I attended a spiritual gifts workshop. We filled out surveys then broke into small groups. My group determined my gift was “healing,” a repeated theme in my spiritual walk that I had ignored because everyone knew I was a nurse. That day I believed it and it scared me.

I talked to a friend who listened and prayed with me. When he got up to leave he said, “You have to be healed before you can heal.”

I didn’t understand. I wasn’t sick.

After my injury, I believed God would heal me instantly—so I could begin my healing ministry.
God’s timing is not our timing. It requires us to persevere in our trusting God. This may mean years of patience and longsuffering. What gives us strength to wait upon the Lord? We must focus on His promises and the fulfillment of them. We must be careful not to go before Him as Abraham and Sarah did (Genesis 16 NIV).
God will do His part but we are responsible to do ours. We must move in great faith, being ready to answer His call. Remember that acting in faith builds faith. God starts us with small things, and if He finds us trustworthy, He will give us authority over many things (Matthew 25:23).
There will be battles. Satan will try to steal our destinies. Trials and travail bring us to new levels in our walk with Christ. We must recognize our need for help, humble ourselves and ask for prayer, counsel, and encouragement.
Stand together with your brothers and sisters in Christ knowing He is with you carrying you when needed. He promises that He will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
His timing may surprise you today.
“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings (1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV).
In Christian Love,
Berta
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He Loves Me

Before I met Jesus, I met Earl and I wasn’t happy to find out he was a Christian and a chaplain. As our relationship grew, some of my old ways fell away by thoughts of pleasing him. He never pushed religion; he just loved me. When he proposed, I would’ve married him that day. I made a profession of faith and was baptized before we married—because I thought a preacher’s wife should be baptized—but I brought a truckload of baggage into our marriage.

More than four difficult years later, I talked to Jesus about my sinful past. He healed my broken heart and I accepted His forgiveness. My life changed—for a few months. I prayed again and again for deliverance from sins and guilt I’d held on to. Then one day Earl said, “Berta, you’re in ICU. You had a wreck, and you’re paralyzed from your neck down.”

Though unable to do anything for myself, I continued to desire those now unattainable sins. As my body healed and my strength increased, I began to study and even teach God’s word. I learned many things:

  • He didn’t cause my injury
  • He didn’t rejoice in my injury
  • He allowed my injury
  • He sent His Son to redeem me
  • He had a plan for my life
  • He disciplines those He loves
  • He loves me!

I pray for God’s strength and leading every day as He uses my physical disability to bring me through to the spiritual life he desires for me.

“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word…It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees” (Psalm 119:67, 71).


In Christian Love,
Berta

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My Hiding Place

I talk about my injury with people everywhere I go, and I hear this often: “You’re easy to talk to, but I don’t know what to say to most people in wheelchairs. They seem angry. How do you do so well?”

Honestly, I only do well sometimes. I have to face my enemies every day. I had just accepted the unconditional love and forgiveness Jesus offers eight months before I drove through an intersection and under a logging truck.

After coming home from rehabilitation at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA, I felt worthless. I refused help from everyone but my family. I sat day after day, and year after year, with my eyes closed. Sometimes I was asleep, but mostly I was hiding. I was ashamed of being an invalid and prayed God would take me home. I can’t describe the depth of my pain, guilt, depression, and frustration of facing life as a quadriplegic.

I can tell you, “God is good!” He uses people like you every day of my life to bless and minister to me. A Sunday school teacher invited me to teach once a month. The church secretary asked me to write for the newsletter. Friends asked questions and I began telling what God was doing in my life.

Do I believe Gods will for me is healing? Yes. Does that mean complete healing of my earthly body? I know I’ll have a glorified body in heaven, but today I have healing of my mind, my soul, and my spirit. I’m no longer “in-valid.” I’m a person—a wife, mother, sister, and friend—with a disability.

I pray my testimony blesses you. Though we may never meet here on earth, we are all sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus and heirs of the Kingdom of God.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-6 NIV.)

In Christian Love,
  Berta
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Going On To Perfection

I received a new power wheelchair recently. I get a new one every five years and this is my fifth. It made me think about the struggles I’ve had over the years. My first one, back in 1991, felt like an ugly monster truck. Huge, black, and belt driven, it had pneumatic tires that burst at the worst times. I spent many hours in it asleep or pretending to sleep. I didn’t like my self-image and I withdrew.

The second chair was a different model and built by a small vendor just getting started. It had structural problems from the beginning and caused me physical pain and emotional stress. I took my anger out on my family.

My third chair was to be the same model and I anticipated five more years of misery. I pointed out problem areas to the new provider. He listened and soon I had my chair. He walked me through the computer technology setting speed levels from indoor polite to outdoor racing. It was much better and I began to take comfort in my independence. I opened up and began reaching out in our Church and our community.

Five years later, I called him again, “My chair is worn out. Will you build me another just like it?” He delivered a chair that was a clone. It was as if time had stood still, but new friends helped me develop a positive attitude and strong ministry.

This fifth chair took eight month’s from prescription to delivery, and I admit I was getting anxious. The same provider assured me it would be worth the wait. It was. It’s compact. Sleek with clean, fresh, black paint, and more power and technology, it is an extension of my body.

My life, my attitude, and my faith developed slowly but steadily as I experienced each change in my physical surroundings. From depression and anger, to acceptance and genuine surprise at the beauty I see in my wheelchair and myself.

Ephesians 4:13…until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

In Christ Alone,

Berta

New Life

Hospitalized after a serious injury I developed pneumonia. A culture of my secretions grew out MRSA (mer-sa) and the nurses moved me to an isolation room. My doctors said that if I lived I would have brain damage, be bedridden, and ventilator dependent. They told my husband that he was too young to be stuck with an invalid wife and they offered to let me die—comfortably, of course. My husband, remembering his wedding vows, chose life for me, and had me transferred to a rehabilitation hospital in Atlanta, GA.

As spring arrived, I had a birds-eye view of treetops outside my second floor isolation room window. Spring had always been my favorite season and I watched tender red shoots and buds appear on tiny limbs, followed by the smallest pairs of green leaves. Those signs of new life brought me comfort and encouragement.

However, one tree didn’t grow new branches or buds. Each day it was the same ash gray color and I decided that it was dead. I told everyone who came to see me that I wished someone would cut it down so I wouldn’t have to look at it.

Then one sunny morning I saw tiny pairs of green leaves on that dead tree. I began to weep as I realize what I’d been saying about that tree was what the doctors had said about me. I knew then God was with me, telling me my life wasn’t over.

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV).

In Christ Alone,
Berta

A Crown of Thorns

After my accident in 1991, I remember:

When I looked up, all I could see was a black metal circle and two screws sticking out of my forehead. There were two more screws behind my ears. We called it my “crown of thorns.” Four bars connected the circle to a leather vest. It had kept my neck still for three months so the broken bones could fuse.

One day, a doctor I’d never seen before came into my room and said, “I’m going to remove your halo screws today. The x-rays they took yesterday show the bones in your neck are fused. When was your vest taken off and the cervical collar put on?”

“Yesterday, after the x-rays,” I whispered through my tracheostomy.

“Good,” she said. Showing me a wrench she’d brought in she continued, “Now this won’t hurt.”

At first, all I felt was pressure as each screw was turned, but it must have looked awful because my sister, Bobbi, was sitting on the floor in front of me holding my hand and crying.

“Ouch!” It was hurting.

Nobody was paying attention to me. Finally, Bobbi felt me move my hand, looked up and saw my distress.

“My hair!” I mouthed.

Some hair had twisted around the screw and the doctor didn’t know what to do. “I can’t screw it back in.”

“Cut it!” I cried.

A few minutes later, “Well the last screw is out. How does that feel?”

The pain and muscle spasms in my neck were unbelievable. I had to lean back and let the headrest on my wheelchair support me. Frustrated, I couldn’t understand why this was happening to me.

As I sat in tears, God reminded me it was Good Friday. Traditionally, it was the day Jesus’ Crown of Thorns was placed on His head. – Today mine was removed.

Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5 NIV)

My crown of thorns was insignificant. His Crown of Thorns was my healing.

In Christ Alone,
Berta

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