24 Years Later!


Today marks 24 years since I was paralyzed from the shoulders down in a car accident. Two dozen years of not being able to move my body, walk, play the piano, or hold someone's hand. Yet, in that amount of time, I have been able to do so much.

I want to keep this brief, but I can't pass a milestone like this without first being so grateful for the advantages and opportunities and people that are in my life. I am grateful to God every single day for my beautiful gift of a life, for the wonderful people in my life who serve me every day, for my amazing friends who tirelessly support me, and for my unique mind and spirit which have propelled me forward even in the midst of struggle and hardship.

Me with some of my nephews and nieces. Just some of the exemplary people in my life!

For the first 23 years post-injury, I skipped past grieving for my loss in any real way, instead jumping straight forward to positivity and "progress." Though this eventually caught up to me, and I was forced to come to an acceptance of my own frailty and humanness, I wouldn't redo it differently. However, in the last year, I have been able to sustainably work through these dark feelings of sadness and anxiety, especially when it comes to my own physical condition.

It's hard when reality is that I don't look the way I want to look, sound the way I want to sound, or be the way I want to be. And there is nothing I can do to change this. This is sad, and it will always be sad. But my life is FAR from sad. Most of the time, I am happy and well. I owe so much of this inner peace to my Savior.

One of the hardest things that I've had to deal with is not being able to be a mother. It has been a righteous desire of my heart to become a mother ever since I can remember. The schism between what I want versus what is possible has caused my heart to break, beyond what I thought was possible to repair. Add onto that the constant anxiety of feeling "less than" and "not enough" because of this fracture, and I was a mess. I didn't know what to do besides turn my heart over to Christ, and when I did that, He took it and healed it completely. I know that my righteous desire is enough. Though I will not bear children, it doesn't mean that I am giving up motherhood. I have been able to uplift, nurture, and "mother" many in the way that I can. It has been a blessing in my life to be able to do so.

Me, mothering the next generation in the way that I can (with niece, Meadow)

Another struggle that I have been able to overcome is anxiety. Though I am still struggling, I know that the worst is behind me. Once again, this has been made possible through the merits of Jesus Christ, who has saved me and continues to save me. Through my anxiety, I have been wrestling with the concept of "humility," because I do want to become more humble. Recently, I invited Christ into my life in a more meaningful way through my prayers. I thought that when I would feel His presence next to me, that I might feel disapproval because of my pride. Instead, I felt nothing but His overwhelming love for me despite my shortfalls and limitations.

In this blog, I sort of hesitate to bear my testimony of Jesus Christ because I don't want it to alienate anyone who believes differently from me. So when I bear testimony of Him in my life, please understand that I am cognizant of the many different beliefs of my readership. I don't want to you to feel excluded, but I can't tiptoe around my testimony. I know that God lives. I know that He loves His children, and I know that includes you. I know that He wants nothing but your own happiness and health as you go through this life. And I know that if you include Him, He will show you the same love and compassion that He has shown me.

In Isaiah 52:7 it says, "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!"

My feet do not work, and I consider them one of the ugliest features of my physical body. Maybe because they have failed their purpose (standing and walking) for the majority of my life. However, it is reassuring that even my feet can be beautiful as I publish peace, as I continue to bring good tidings, and as I boldly bear my testimony of Jesus Christ. I am constantly lifted by the testimony and examples of others around me, even those who believe differently, yet still exemplify Christ through their actions and words. I pray that I can be like them as I go forward. 

I'm looking forward to the next 24 years!