Thursday, May 6, 2010
On Our Hearts: Journey of Faith
This particular blog post and prayer is going to be a little personal. Here Micki will share with us an event that changed her life forever. Although Micki's circumstances may be a bit different from the rest of ours, I believe that we can all see a little of ourselves in her faith journey.
Ten years ago today, my life changed. At the time, most would have said for the worse given the circumstances, but I will just say it changed. On that day, I suffered many physical injuries as well as a traumatic brain injury. The memories I have are choppy at best. I had many physical injuries to deal with that left me at times unable to care for myself. Of my four limbs, only my left leg was un-injured, this made it hard to get around as you can imagine. The healing process was difficult and long. There were numerous surgeries, months and months of very limited mobility. I don’t have very many clear memories of the time, and have very fuzzy memories of my sisters wedding. I do remember laying flat on my back unable to care for myself and thinking ‘God, did you really need to get my attention that bad? Was I that lost that it really took you putting me here on my back unable to move, to get my attention?’ Now, I am not saying He created the accident to get my attention, but wow, it got my attention and I was in a position to do nothing but listen and seek.
The physical injuries and recovery took well over two years, but that was the easy part of the recovery as I look back. The hardest part was the brain injury. It is easy to describe to someone a broken arm, leg, or knee surgery, but it is hard to describe the mental and cognitive injuries. It is hard for someone to grasp the concept of not being able to read and comprehend what the words mean anymore. When I say my head felt like it was wrapped in cotton balls and I was trying to find my way out, not many can relate. The emotional volatility I experienced was so severe. I was unable to multitask, read and comprehend it, or hold a normal conversation. Often the words that came out of my mouth did not make any sense and I could not ‘find’ the words that I was looking for.
A few years ago someone asked me how I got through it. It sounded so ridiculous to me. Why would I choose to lay there and write my life off? Just because I had challenges didn’t mean that I couldn’t get some sort of life back. I basically had two choices: to lay there and let it get the best of me or try to be myself again. When I say get myself back it was more about accepting who I had become as a result of the accident and in a way grieving the loss of my old self. I had to realize I would not and will not ever be who I was, or have the exact same personality. But I know now that is ok.
During this time, I can only credit my faith for this success. I truly believe without it, I would have not made even one-fourth of the recovery I have made. Why? It was hard work. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. Marine Corps boot camp was easy compared to the rehab and battle I did. It was day in and day out with no or very little progress. Week after week of the same thing wondering if I improved at all, days and days of crying because I couldn’t stop. ‘Brain storms’ where I was so overwhelmed I could not do, think, or function. Through the fuzz, I had to keep holding on to the fact I could ‘get better’. My then boyfriend, now husband was amazing. He accepted me exactly how I was. It was ok not to be the old Micki.
Before the accident I was lost, a bit of a risk taker, I had a career but no real commitments. I only had as many possessions that I could pack up the car and leave. If I felt like moving I could, where I ended up I would. Of course that is not what happened. I have been married for almost 8 years and we have 2 young girls. I am so thankful for my life; for my experiences. I still struggle and am reminded daily of my injuries. Many days with physical pain and every day the cognitive challenges that remain. I have recovered well and adjusted. I have been taught many modifications, but daily I have to work at them.
I am no longer bitter, I am not sorry it happened. I am grateful for my faith. I am grateful for my family. I am thankful for each day and the challenges they present. For the gift of my family and for my husband accepting me for who I am today. I look at the world with a grateful heart and I am grateful to my God for my second chance.
So many of us have our story, our battles we have fought. Today I just want to say thank you for mine. At many times in the past I have not been as forgiving or compassionate as I should have been. I am now ready to give it to you. It has taken years of you working on my heart to lift some bitterness. You are my God. I thank you for standing by me and being my companion during this journey.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6