I haven’t updated my blog in pushing 9 months and I’m well over due. I’ll update y’all soon but I have a special story today…
Does the Lord really work in mysterious ways or are we too self centered to see the obvious? Personally I think it’s a little of both.
This may end up being a bit long winded, so I hope you’ll stick with me a minute or 10.
Yesterday I went to a motorcycle blessing at Low Country HD – alone. Despite how out going I “can” be, most would be surprised to learn that I have to really motivate myself to go into a crowd of folks all alone. I smile a lot and give generic hellos. My resting B. B. Girl and now Sportster are great ice breakers because most folks think they are adorable and approach the dog(s), not me. Inevitably I always end up talking to folks once I relax.
I met a man yesterday that is totally funny and easy to talk to. He’s a biker, he’s a surfer, a widower of a woman who by cracky should’ve been a supermodel, and he’s a lover of furry babies. Come to find out he’s a preacher. I was so tickled to have this fun conversation with a man that did NOT fit a stereotype.
Preacher Rivers and I were on FB phone call last night and he told me about Salem Baptist Church and invited me to 11 AM service where he delivers the Good Word.
I was also on FB PM with the main surgeon responsible for saving my life the day of my crash (and subsequent surgeries); he needed to speak to me and he was asking to schedule a call. I figured he was just checking on me and my new prosthetic; not that most surgeons would do that personally themselves but Peter A. Cole, MD is NO stereotype.
This morning I had that call with my surgeon (remember this is a highly educated man, a professor and educator to the medical world, a missionary providing medical care in foreign nations impoverished and unable to get medical attention), in short one might say he’s a far better and smarter person than I. But… I believe it takes all kinds to make the world go around.
Dr. Cole proceeded to explain a philanthropic vision and mission that occurs annually at Regions Hospital, St. Paul MN. The man made me cry as he detailed some of the points in my life he has seen on FB and how he sees something in me that is a “gift”. At one point he said something like, “The day I met you (I know you don’t remember), you laid there with your red curls and I knew you were a different kind of patient. (In and of itself that’s a wicked cool ego booster and great honor!) Without massive detail the short of his call was to tell me he’d been using my orthopedic trauma case and loss of limb in presentations as of late and more forthcoming. He asked me if I would share my story in September to a crowd that might well be 1500+. Little ole me has a story that this world famous man and his distinguished colleagues respect. Honored and grateful seem like simple words compared to how full my heart feels.
Feeling like my Sunday started off on the best foot, I dressed for church with a smile in my heart bigger than all get out.
You might or might not realize that preachers, priests, ministers, rabbis, etc actually have to do homework to prepare for their services; there’s not a manual that tells them to say THIS today and they don’t just wake up and wing it.
Well today’s first scripture was 1 Timothy 2:1-6. It’s a nice piece of course but when I opened my Hope for the Highway Bible, I realized he was following up to my all time favorite scripture 1 Timothy 1:15-17. Seriously?!?!? As he expounded on the scripture in story form relating it to our troubled 21st century world and added humor all through out, he had the church giggling here and there; it felt like the story of my life. Drama and Stuff were words he repeated. I wanted so much to stand up and give my testimony to add my human exclamation points and human experience to what he was saying. Most folks know I can talk your ear off if it’s something I truly believe in; if not – I just sit back and watch, listen, and absorb. But shy and not yet knowing this congregation, I sat respectfully reflecting on how bizarre it was that I met THIS man and how it aligned with such a powerful call earlier with my beloved surgeon.
All my life I have struggled to believe that there’s a higher power that loves me, that all things have purpose, that bad things can create blessings. I have had to learn the hard way how to accept help, ask for help, and simply say thank you gracefully.
As weird as it sounds, over the past few years I have come to believe that my path was mapped for me long long ago. I believe that the bad people and the bad circumstances in my life were given to me on purpose to make me stronger and more able to understand humans and their suffering. I never set out to be anybody’s inspiration and for a long while I cringed when people used that word towards me. I call it the “I” word because it simply didn’t fit me; I didn’t feel entitled. Goodness knows I have always sought inspiration for myself; something to make me feel like I could BE SOMEBODY.
There are folks I know very intimately that have been exceptional means of support and there are folks that I have never met in person that have likewise lifted me up in some of my darkest days.
For the past several years I have truly tried hard to make the best of the worst. With every passing challenge and set back, I get a wee bit stronger. I acknowledge and appreciate my blessings and I think I’m finally starting to see the map of my journey. I still fight depression and PTSD but I recognize now that this too shall pass. I have amazing people that will talk me off the ledge and now days I’m a lot better at asking for that help than I ever have been. Although if you ask my Joe, he will tell you I’m still a stubborn fool and I won’t ask until asking is the last resort. But that’s ok.
No… I have not become a Bible thumper, Holy roller, and I’m not going to quote scripture every time you tell me you have a challenge. But I have come to respect and better understand the basic foundation of being a Christian; of being a good human. Lord knows good and well I have done a great many things I wish I could take back… although if I took them back, I’d likely not be as strong or motivated to improve.
I set out to share with you today the simple point to never give up and to always search for the best in a bad situation. Yet personally today holds far more for me. I got huge blessings that came from two very unsuspecting men.
Stereotypes typically come from recurring facts but they are not predefined qualifications for your existence. Me … I enjoy being abnormal … I love not being a stereotype … I strive to make people think twice. Since the time I chose to give up most worldly possessions and live by motorcycle and laptop, I have been HAPPY. Not without struggles as I said, but over all HAPPY.
I feel as if I have an army behind me from all walks of life. Y’all never let me stay down for long. Y’all enjoy my journey and smiles and y’all kick me in the tail when it’s time to get over the momentary self pity.
I am truly blessed and thankful for all I’ve been given and even for all that has been taken. I can now say I’m even accepting of the bad people and bad situations that have affected my life.
So thank you. Thank you very much to each and every person that has helped me get to this happy place in my life. And thanks in advance because I’ll need y’all again – of that I’m sure.
Wishing you all Peace, Hugs, and whatever makes your soul rumble.