One Year Ago Today

July 2nd is one of those milestone days for us. It was one year ago today that Dave came home from the hospital with spinal cord damage caused by chemo. He was very weak and immobile, and he required round-the-clock care. The learning curve we found ourselves on was steep. He couldn’t move his legs, he wasn’t able to move his body in the bed, and he didn’t have enough strength to sit unassisted. There was constant pain, nausea, and spasms. I think one of the hardest parts was having no idea if there would be any improvement. In fact, when we ordered the wheelchair in the hospital, they told us it would take six weeks before it would be ready for him. I remember counting those weeks out on my fingers, not knowing if he would still be alive to use this specially designed wheelchair when it was ready. It was all so scary and overwhelming. It was a new low in our long journey with leukemia.

A lot has changed in one year and Dave is still alive!! It’s an amazing miracle.

Today Dave is able to transfer in and out of the wheelchair, the bed, the car, and even the sofa… unassisted! Today he is able to drive with hand controls. Today he is able to teach three services (about once a month) on a Sunday with strength and energy. He is diligently working at Project Walk in Claremont to regain as much strength and mobility as possible. Even though he can’t really feel his legs and feet, he has been able to stand unassisted, and we are hopeful that he will be able to walk again. It will take a lot of diligence and progress will probably be slow, but we are hopeful.

I will be honest, there are still days that I find myself in that bleak tunnel of the unknown where there is heaviness, sadness, and exhaustion. I think you would need to be super-human to be immune to the weight of it all. In fact, I know that the great men and women of the Bible who are amazing examples to us also found themselves in that dark place at times. That is in part what makes them such great examples. Their lives weren’t perfect and there were times of struggle, but they persevered in faith because they knew that God was always with them, giving them the strength and perspective they needed.

Today I wanted to reach out to you if you are struggling in the scary and overwhelming unknown. It could be your health, your children, your marriage, your future. You’re doing your best to keep afloat of your circumstances and emotions, but it’s just so heavy and you don’t know how long you can maintain. Inner strength and a positive “can do” attitude are necessary, but they are not enough. Eventually they will deplete. We weren’t meant to do this alone. We weren’t meant to live the tough stuff only on a positive attitude and human fortitude. God created you, He loves you beyond your comprehension, and you were made to partner daily with Him in everything. In everything.

Sometimes we can’t see God at work “one minute ago” or “one day ago.” But if we look “one year ago” or sometimes even “ten years ago,” we can see God at work in huge ways. Your story is not complete and God is still working, if you are partnering with Him. I encourage you today to remember the God perspective in your circumstances. He is bringing something good out of your circumstances. It may not feel like that today, but He is. One year ago today looked very different for us than today. Thank you, God, for that reminder.

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” Deuteronomy 7:9

Running into the arms of God’s grace and hope today,

Carol Stoecklein