Sometimes when I experience pain, loss, and suffering in my life, clear thoughts are fleeting. Thus, I decided to share a blog my sister sent me, which has been very helpful and meaningful during this stage of my healing journey.
This excerpt/synopsis was taken from www.epperlyadventures.blogspot.com September 25th, 2018 and was written by a local doctor in a small town in Iowa that my sister Linda works with.
My Dad, my son, and I just finished a grueling hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. This was an incredible challenge for us. For normal individuals, this hike is daunting at best, but for my father and son, it was miraculous.
You see, my father was struck by an out of control driver while changing his tire on the side of a highway. Both femurs were obliterated and he was left for dead. He was not expected to live, let alone walk again. However, through strong faith, perseverance, and months of rehab, he began to walk again and at age 67, has logged thousands of miles. He has even trekked up and down the Grand Canyon four times.
My son, Beau, was diagnosed with Schizencephaly when he was 1 year old, and we thought he would never walk, run, ride a bike. Yet, at the age of 10, he had persevered through multiple braces, hours of PT/OT, and chronic pain. Most people do not realize that he has been plagued by this disease. And, Beau trained hours for this trip.
I tell you these stories to applaud the grace of our God, and the power of faith and reliance on him. They could have wallowed in self-pity, but instead they chose to "look to him who gives strength"(Isaiah 40:31), and day by day, put one foot in front of the other.
Paul says it best in James 1:2-4: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
In Romans 5:3-4, Paul says "We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."
Beau and my Dad would have never succeeded if it wasn't for their hours of hard work and training. I'm so proud of their physical accomplishments, but I'm even more proud of the spiritual insights, growth, and maturity they gained through this arduous process.
Prayer: As the author's Dad said, "Life's goal is character, not comfort. If one could go down and back up the Grand Canyon on an escalator, it would not have the same impact on our mind, body, or soul. The beauty would be seen, but we would fail to be molded by the experience. The barriers are the blessing!"
Father God, guide me with your grace, your Word, and your infinite Love, to be molded by the barriers I am facing so as to become stronger, wiser, and more like you. I want to work hard with your guidance, to heal and grow from this experience. Thank you always for your unconditional love and direction.