God really was listening. So many times as I cried in the night from pain or stared out into the forest aching to hike its trails again, all I heard were my cries echo back- proving, I feared, that there was no one listening. I believe in God; I really do. I believe totally in His supernatural power, but honestly these moments tested it and my faith was often found lacking; or worse, seemed to demonstrate that He just didn’t care about me or my suffering.
Have you ever hurt so badly that you couldn’t even pray for fear of collapsing and never getting up again?.. of being left, just the sound of sighs and a heap of smoldering flesh on the floor? Sounds dramatic, but that’s the intensity I felt.
But the truth was that God was actually busily working everything for good like He had promised and He could already see the delight on my face. He had plans and felt the joy of their certainty. He saw the day that I would get off the plane in Kona with a used one way ticket and push across the sunny tarmac towards a brand new season- this time not to vacation for a couple of weeks, but to enjoy day after day after sunny day in a place that I could swim and kayak the open oceans any day of the year; go to bed without spending an hour warming my feet first; go outside without wrapping layers around me and feeling the extra neuropathic burning that the cold incites; swim in my own backyard or the ocean every day if I wanted to without it being boring and laborious and taking 3 hours like it does at the gym. He could see me living in my one story house where I will see the sunset every evening out my front window; zip around on the hard floors with no thresholds and ahhh… feel that warm breeze that calms me like a lullaby and be mesmerized by the exotic blues of the layers of ocean. And I know that, unlike the forest that has been taunting me ever since my injury as I face it daily from my big pictures windows in my house in the Northwest – the ocean that I will see from my living room in Kona will be calling and welcoming me to experience its adventures. And I can say “Yes! Here I come magical waters! Hawaii, here I come!”
We just sold our house that we have lived in for 19 years. It’s an A- frame mountain cabin that my husband has made into a beautiful and totally accessible home for me since my accident and although I will miss it’s beautiful wood ceilings and trims, and the forest views- the frustration of not being able to walk in that forest and the cold and rain is too hard to live with.
Every time we have visited Hawaii since my injury, my adventurous spirit returns and I feel like my old active self again, snorkeling and kayaking and enjoying the sun and the sea. Last spring we bought a lot overlooking the ocean in Kona where he will build me an even more accessible home with a pool I can exercise in and big open windows where we can watch the sunset every night.
My tears flow already for missing my kids and grandkids and dear friends, but our hope is that they will call our home their vacation home and we will definitely visit Oregon at least yearly. With my unique challenges with spinal cord injury, living in Hawaii won’t take away my pain completely or alleviate all the problems with my disfunctioning body, but it will help some of it and make my life much easier and for that I am so grateful!
WHEN GOD ANSWERS
How often I don’t believe until I see.
How easily I fill Your silence with negative explanations like
… I am not loved
…my God doesn’t care
…there is no hope of joy;
While You’re faithfully working
…on my behalf
…for my best
And when finally I see it;
how many times I fail to credit you for the blessing
and think I made it happen or that the world owed it to me
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