A Little Girl Lost

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God sent

berta-obitIn 1984, God sent a wonderful man into my life. Earl, a hospital chaplain, introduced me to Jesus. Earl and I married in 1985 and took custody of my daughter. Our first pastorate moved us to a small church in Western Kentucky.

On January 1, 1991, an automobile accident injured my spinal cord at C-4 paralyzing me from my shoulders down. My doctors offered Earl the choice of life or death for me. He recalled his wedding vows and his promise to God and me, “in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, keeping thee only unto her, so long as you both shall live.” He chose life.

Through rehabilitation, God blessed me with the ability to use my arms and I learned how to do many things for myself. Returning home, I succumbed to anger and depression and spent many years shutting out the world with veiled eyes.

Earl gave me a laptop computer in 1993 and encouraged me to journal. I handed out the first copy of my testimony in 1997.

I’m so thankful for a Father who cares and will never hurt me. One who lavishes me with His love and blesses me with His goodness. He who has not only forgiven my sins, and remembers them no more, but has healed my wounds and carved my name in the palm of His hand.

I have filled many positions in local, district and conference levels of the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church. I blog at SnapShots: Devotions From Life. I’m currently writing a memoir about this life God has granted my family. I love to tell what Jesus has done for me.

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ” (Phil 1:6 NIV).

In Christ,
Berta

 

P.S. Chapter 1 of Berta’s book is available HERE. Is this a project that needs to be completed?

Yes. You. Can.

When I came home from rehab five months after my spinal cord injury, I couldn’t hold my head up. I couldn’t speak above a whisper. And I couldn’t stay alone. I spent all my days reclined in my power wheel chair with my eyes closed.

Surgery to fuse my broken neck vertebra nine months later helped and I slowly gained strength in my neck, shoulders and arms. Though I became more able, I didn’t participate in my daily life. I expected Earl to take care of business.

“Berta, I want you to make your own appointments.”

My heart raced, “No.”

“Yes. Start by keeping up with your doctor’s appointments and your prescription medicines.”

Overwhelmed at the thought of exposing myself to people and how they might react to my disability; I refused.

He insisted.

I cried. “I can’t.”

He said, “Yes, you can!”

I got started. I created a list of my doctors and their telephone numbers. I set up a file of my medicines, including all the information I needed to order them. I discovered a calendar program on my computer and filled it in.

“Berta, when’s your next doctor’s appointment?”

“I don’t know.”

“Check your calendar.”

“Did you order your medicine?”

“No. I forgot.”

“Do it now.”

In our seventh year, he approached my Sunday school teacher, “Ask Berta to teach your class one Sunday a month.” I hesitated for a moment before agreeing.

“Berta, would you lead a Bible study for young women?” I did. “…write for the church newsletter…?” I did.

Earl continued to encourage me. Sometimes it was more forceful than I wanted. Today I’m thankful. I would not be who I am if he had not used tough love to bring me back to the living.

While talking to a new friend about his pushing me to do things for myself, Earl overheard me and commented, “I don’t know how she does all that she does today!”

It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn Your statutes. –Ps 119:71 ESV

In Christ Alone,
Berta

Strive For Perfection

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10, (NIV)

Recently a friend and I were sharing our phobias. She spoke of certain fears in her youth and how they were crippling her as a young adult. I could relate to that. Childhood fears were well founded in my dysfunctional family. I either isolated myself—playing alone under the stairwell—or became a people-pleaser toward the adults in my life.

As I grew into an adult, my fears were transformed into self-consciousness and perfectionism. If I couldn’t do it right I simply wouldn’t do it. I feared both people I knew and strangers as I performed everyday tasks, afraid someone might tell me I was doing them wrong.

When I became a Christian, my insecurities multiplied. I was so afraid of judgment over my sinful past and lack of biblical knowledge that I rarely attended Sunday school or Bible studies,

Then, on a Walk to Emmaus, I heard about Jesus mercy, grace, love and forgiveness, He told me He died for me, a sinner. He took away my fears and forgave me of my sins. He redeemed my soul and gave me life everlasting. He led me to His word and began teaching me His ways. He is growing me into the person He desires and I am His willing servant.

Strive for perfection and don’t let the fear of man separate you from God.

In Christ Alone,
Berta

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