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celebration, Christian, Emotional Coping, Holidays, hope, inspiration, motivation, perserverence, Prayer

Happy New Year 2021

As you welcome in the new year of 2021 and say goodbye to 2020 remember the lessons you’ve learned, the adventures you’ve enjoyed and the trials you’ve endured, as it is those that will bring into a new year the hope for a better 2021 that is filled with blessings.

The years of 2020 and 2019 were two of the most difficult years for me but by the grace of God I have got through them. I pray for myself and all who suffer with bad health that the new year brings better health and that it brings us all closer to God and that if anyone doesn’t know The Lord as their personal Savior that 2021 will be their year of Salvation.

My personal relationship with Jesus Christ is my most cherished possession and without that I don’t know how I would have made it through the past two years.

Happy New Year and may God Bless you all.

Emotional Coping

Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth

I’m not perfect, never have been, never will be. I’ve made huge mistakes in my life and experienced many deserved consequences as a result. By the grace of God I have been forgiven. My heart was touched by Jesus, I was convicted of my sins, I then confessed my sins to God, I then with a humble heart asked for forgiveness and I pray daily for God to guide me in life and I strive every minute to stay on the path God has chosen for me and to do His will.

When you accept Jesus as your Savior it doesn’t change you to a perfect person, however it does change your heart and make you want to be a person that brings glory and praise to God. I pray that I can spend the rest of my life bringing honor, glory and praise to My Lord. Because I’m not perfect I know I will fail and I pray that when I do that everyone can find it in their heart to forgive me.

If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior please choose this Christmas as your time of Salvation. Seek answers to any questions you have. Reach out to a Christian friend. I’d be so honored to show you in God’s word how to accept Jesus or if you prefer I will put you in contact with a Pastor. Please don’t delay. There is nothing more important than to be certain of your salvation. It gave me a peace in my life that nothing compares to. May this Christmas bring blessings to the lives of all my brothers and sisters in Christ and may this Christmas bring all people closer to Jesus. He is the answer to bring this world peace, good health and happiness. I pray many souls come to Christ this holiday season. Merry Christmas.

Emotional Coping

Don’t Forget Your Blessings

Many of my days seems to not be great ones. This morning I woke up not feeling the greatest. As I stayed in my warm bed cuddled under my blankets I grabbed my iPad and began playing over the videos I’ve made over years. The amazing times with friends and family. Then began going through stored photos of amazing fun times meeting up with friends, attending my 30th year high school reunion, fun times with Terry at the races, fun times with my girls which I treasure. I followed up with looking at photos and watching the videos showing me when I was truly at my lowest at times almost too weak to even speak.

Suddenly today seems so much better and I realized it all has been such a blessing. Those tough times are truly surrounded by so many wonderful moments that it shows me how God gives you so many moments of love, laughter and joy so that’s we have those good memories to hold onto and to gain strength from so we can get through the tough moments in life. Don’t ever forget your blessings in life, especially when you are being beaten down by the bad side of life. You are blessed if you will only see past the present pain.

Emotional Coping

Let Go and Let God…

I had someone recently say to me “I’m so sorry that you’ll never walk again” I replied “ Oh but I will walk again” after a short pause and their face expressed utter confusion I finished with “Whether it’s here on earth which God can do or if He decides it’s to be in heaven…I will walk again” Sometimes you have to resign yourself to accept the inevitable and decide that if it happens, so be it, if not, so be it. We do the best we can to handle a situation in the way we should but sometimes we have to trust that God has a plan and He will take control if we just give it over to Him. There is no problem too big that God can’t fix. There is nothing you can lose that God can’t replace. There is nothing that gets destroyed that God can’t restore. There is nothing that could happen, no matter how bad it seems that God can’t turn around into something good. God can repair, replace and restore in ways you’ve never imagined. So, let it go, trust Him, face it head on, pray continuously, trust Him. Give it to The Lord.

Accessibility, Adaptation, Anger, Anniversary, Bathing, Depression, disability, Dressing, Emotional Coping, Finger contractures, Gastrointestinal, gastroparesis, Grooming, inspiration, Migraine, Mobility, Mood, motivation, Pain, perserverence, Prayer, Priorities, quadlife, quadriplegic, Relationships, Sherry’s Story, Spinal Cord Injury, Support, Symptoms, wheelchair life

I Am Not Strong

I want everyone to understand this so please read this entire post. After sharing my post here and on my social media sites about “My Injur-versary” I’ve had a lot of people call me strong, brave, etc. I am not strong by any stretch of the word and I most certainly am not brave. What I have previously shared is barely even the tip of all I face every day but none of what I’m going to say makes me brave so please read on. Having a spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis is so much more than being paralyzed. People tend to think it just means that you can’t walk. It does mean that but it also means so much more.

It has paralyzed my bowels, my bladder and even the vagus nerve in my stomach which has slowed and some days completely halted digestion of all food. I have days where I can’t keep anything down and other days only liquids. On good tummy days I must be very limited in food choices and eat six or more very small snacks instead of meals.

I am forced to use a catheter to go to the bathroom and have a (Mitrofanoff) to provide me with a permanent stoma in my belly button to catheterize through from my abdomen to my bladder. I suffer with spasticity so harsh at times that the muscle spasms almost toss me out of my wheelchair.

I experience nerve pain so severe that it causes my heart to go into afib. My spinal cord is severed and signals are cut off between my brain and below my level of injury so if I’m injured like a cut, a burn, broken bone or something as simple as a folded seam in my shorts or a need to use the restroom causes a condition known as autonomic dysreflexia.

This condition (A.D.) can make me very ill, have massive migraines, cause my BP to soar and if untreated can be life threatening. My center core balance is almost nonexistent and makes the simplest action of sitting up very difficult. I have a tipping point and if I lean any direction past that point I lose all control and literally roll up and tumble right over into the floor if not caught.

My fingers do not work properly and that makes feeding myself, brushing my teeth, brushing my hair and all things involving finger dexterity and wrist action is almost an impossible task. Now you know why I only wear makeup for very special events, lol. I’ll stop there with the details but there is so much more I could share. I’m not telling you this to gain more pity or praise. I am sharing this to explain that there is no way I can honestly be happy wappy all the time. I am human and don’t anyone ever think that I’m brave and face this with a huge joyful smile all the time because you’d be wrong.

I won’t lie and say I don’t have times where I get depressed because I do. I also have times where I get fed up, angry and am at the end of my rope. I have times where I want to be left alone to cry. I have times where I am grouchy. So how is it I appear to cope so well?

The difference is that when I experience all these things I have learned who to run to and who to hold on to. I honestly do imagine myself crawling up in the arms of Jesus and crying my heart out. I use that time to pour my heart out to Him and He always wraps His arms around me and I seriously do feel a peace and comfort feeling come over me.

So the person to praise is most definitely not me. God is the one that deserves all praise and honor. I have seen God do amazing things in my life and I never deserved any of them. I have made huge mistakes in my life and yet God sees fit to give me comfort when I beg for it, to give me love when I feel unloved and to give me peace when I can’t imagine living another day. It is all God, never me. All I do is run to Him and He does the rest.

I would never choose this path I am on. So what choice do I have but to somehow find a way through it? What good will it do me to just wallow in my pain. What kind of life would that be for me and for Terry. So who better to give this to then Jesus. God has used this to help me be a better person. I have learned to be more understanding and compassionate towards others. I’ve learned to appreciate the little blessings we get in life.

So when you read this and think wow she’s so amazing, rethink that because it is actually God that is the amazing and awesome person. What makes me seem different then others is that I gave my situation to Jesus and I got up, left it with Him and I rolled away. He is there for you too. You just have to go to him and give him your situation and leave it there. Then you must take His hand and hold onto Him and accept in your heart and mind the gift of peace and comfort that He will give you. Then move forward in a positive direction to enjoy life. Make a conscious effort to look at the good more than the bad and the happy more than the sad. It can be done, I promise, we just have to make the choice to focus on Jesus instead of the pain. Focus on our blessings more than our problems.

Adaptation, Anger, Anniversary, celebration, Christian, Depression, Diagnosis, disability, Emotional Coping, hope, inspiration, Mobility, Mood, motivation, perserverence, Prayer, quadlife, quadriplegic, Relationships, Sherry’s Story, Spinal Cord Injury, Symptoms, wheelchair life, Wheelchairs

My Injur-versary

June 16 2020 marked 1 year since I have walked a step or even stood unassisted on my own feet. Yes on June 16, 2019 I took my final steps on this earth and short of a miracle by God I have been told that it is likely the last steps I will take this side of heaven. It is now August 15, 2020 so why am I just now writing this anniversary post? The honest answer is that I couldn’t bring myself to acknowledge an anniversary of this magnitude, not now, not yet and I wasn’t sure if I would ever be ready. I couldn’t get it off my mind though. I knew I had to share this part of my story and so I waited for peace about it. Today was the day. I believe this is when God’s timing was right and He gave me peace about it. So here we go.

We first thought it was multiple sclerosis which I had been diagnosed with in the mid 1980’s and the physicians, neurologists and other specialists thought that it was MS causing all the problems I was suddenly having with walking, standing and even maintaining enough balance to remain upright. MS had been relatively quiet since a short time after my diagnosis but the tests, scans, etc then did show active lesions on my brain and spine, so MS had been awakened, but what had triggered it? Well it could have just happened on its own but I was progressing so rapidly and have continued to do so but some of the symptoms I was having seemed beyond the scope of MS. That is when they looked closer and found that a clamping device from a surgery had broken and wedged into my spinal column and sadly it had at that point severed 90% of my spinal cord and the remaining 10% was mangled and unlikely to provide any function or sensation. The MS was active but the doctors feel it was triggered by the spinal cord injury. I’ve went into more detail on this period of my life in my story, other blog posts and videos on my YouTube channel so I won’t rehash it all here.

I am now classified as a “Functional Complete C6/C7 Quadriplegic” and my MS diagnosis of ‘Relapsing and Remitting’ has now been changed to ‘Secondary Progressive MS’. I have spent the last year of my life paralyzed with no movement or sensation from my mid chest down due to my spinal cord injury. I have spent this last year transferring back and forth from my bed to my wheelchair. If I’m perfectly honest I can’t speak to how I am coping with that. I can’t say how I really feel? It changes from day to day and on some days from hour to hour. In one breath I feel proud that I made it through it all and feel very blessed to be alive. Then in another breath I feel cheated, frightened, anxious, resilient, angry and a lot of those days I feel numb. That numbness is not a play of words due to my paralysis but a true statement emotionally. I am simply numb, not knowing how I will face a tomorrow, but I do… I must…God has a plan and I do trust Him.

Every day I experience a huge range of emotions but I know that I have definitely been blessed by God to still be here. To be alive, even as a quadriplegic is amazing and I am so thankful. If my injury had been just one small level up I could have been dependent on a ventilator to breath. so many things could have went so tragically different. Even with all that went so very wrong, by the grace of God there was so much that went right. At times, this year has felt like it’s been a whole lifetime. I remember walking and yes it sometimes hurts to remember walking, to see videos or photos of me walking but I hope I never forget what that felt like. I’ve lost so much but I pray that I never lose the memory of the amazing miraculous feeling of walking. I hope I never forget those steps I took along the beach shoreline or the ones chasing after my sons. I hope I never lose the memory of my steps down the isle toward a life with Terry. There are so many things from my life that I have lost and that I miss so very much. I pray to God that I never forget any of them.

This anniversary also marks a year of strength, love, support, friendship and awesome relationships that I may have never experienced without my injury. I’ve met some amazing people and have learned so much about life and the joy of people truly loving and supporting me. Situations like this bring home realities about those closest to you, who you matter to, who matters to you. Those realities can be painful at times but the surprises from those that step up to show their love and support can blow your mind in the most magnificent way. I owe a world of gratitude to my husband who has been my rock. I know I haven’t said it often enough but I couldn’t have asked for anyone better then my husband to love me, care for me and yes hold me when I needed it.

While my circumstances would seem to make it easy for me to slip into depression I have a choice to make. I can cope or I can hide away and let life pass me by. God gave me this gift of continued life and I shouldn’t take that for granted. I must live it to the fullest. I have so many opportunities ahead of me to enjoy. My life may be different in a way I never imagined and most certainly never wanted but I’ve been given so many gifts and all that has happened in my life up to this point has shaped me into who I am. I’m far from perfect but I am who God made me and He never makes mistakes. God has a plan and it is my responsibility to live according to His will for my life. I have been given so many gifts that sustain me every day, the love of Terry, the support of great friends and family who have proven their love for me. Most of all the gift of my salvation and having Jesus in my heart. To know that I know that my name is in the lamb’s book of life gives me a peace that is beyond all understanding. No matter what I face I know that the end result no matter what happens will be for me to be with my Lord and Savior. I know that I know that every promise God has ever made will be kept and that one day either here or in heaven I will be healed and walk again. My next steps will be on those beautiful streets of gold. That knowledge gives me the strength to face another tomorrow. God is good and thanks to Him, Life is good even as a quadriplegic.

Anger, Depression, Diagnosis, Emotional Coping, Forgiveness, Mood, Sherry’s Story, Spinal Cord Injury, Support

In Hind Sight

Since my diagnosis I have learned that every time a new symptom presents itself it is still like you are being plunged into unsteady waters and are on the road to a new journey. A trip you are not too sure you wish to travel. I will never know what the future holds but I would not have known that even if I had not been diagnosed with MS or never experienced a spinal cord injury. I have to live my life for today with multiple sclerosis and now also with a spinal cord injury and choose to turn this journey into one that will be fruitful, and hopefully help others. All I can do is work as hard as I can to create a quality of life that is worth living. I will have confidence in myself because I have met two of life’s toughest challenges and I am succeeding.

I know now what drove me to depression in the early days and what frightened me about my situation in the beginning. I felt helpless. I felt like I had no control over my own life, my own future, my own health. I couldn’t fix my life. I didn’t have any of the answers I so desperately sought after. I have now learned to educate myself and to accept that there are some things about my situation and my future that I won’t have answers for. I must accept that I won’t know what MS and my SCI will do to me but I also need to realize that by the same token I don’t know what it won’t do to me either. This affects each person differently and that fact helps me cope one day at a time.

When I was first diagnosed with MS and again when I first had my spinal cord injury I had this desperate feeling that someone needed to save me. I was seeking information to find a way to stop it all from changing my mobility and my life. I WAS NOT trying to find a way to live with it. What I needed was not to be rescued but to be supported. I had been so obsessed with rescuing myself and trying to find a way to make it all go away that I hadn’t allowed my husband, friends and others to support me. I had a life line thrown at me by so many but I had just left it dangling in those unsteady waters instead of grabbing it and pulling myself up to safety.

Now, looking back in hind sight I realize that before I could receive the kind of support I needed, I had to accept my own limitations, understand my fears, and respect my feelings. I think that gathering information is a constructive way of coping, but when you carry it to the extreme, as I did, it is a way of running away from your feelings. I wasn’t educating myself so I could live with my situation, I wanted to read, find someone or locate a article that told me that this would all simply go away. I was trying to find an escape. Unfortunately it wasn’t there and still isn’t there today. There is no escape. This is my reality and before I can move forward I must accept my reality.

That has all changed for me now. I love to learn more about MS, SCI and other associated disorders and use that knowledge as my tool to survival. I’ve learned better ways to handle my emotions since then too. I talk to my husband and close friends who offer me a listening ear. I have local support groups. I have an online internet world of support. I have changed a lot and I couldn’t do this without my husband, a select few supportive family members and friends. Now I feel better about myself, and that has had an impact on who I have become and on how I have dealt with my life

It is true. There is a bit of temporary comfort in denial. Perhaps if you ignore it, it will just go away. But when it doesn’t and some symptom(s) leave you no choice but to face it, often you cannot handle it. You just shut down. Family members and friends should encourage you by letting you know they’ll be there for you no matter what. I have had to face more things in my life than any human should ever have to face. Keeping a smile on my face is not an easy task. I have days where I feel down and I cry and at times I get in an angry rage. In the end, nothing has changed, all the crying and screaming and being depressed didn’t make any of the symptoms go away. Neither did ignoring it. You have no choice, unfortunately, but to face this and make the best out of it. In the end it truly isn’t as bad as you’ve made it out in your mind to be. It won’t be easy by any stretch but it can be done.

We cannot get rid of it and you need to accept this and then learn a better way to live with it. For me to tell you how MS, SCI or any condition will affect you, I would have to be GOD because He only knows why or how these situations will manifest.. The most educated professionals couldn’t answer that question for you. I could tell you how horrible it’s been for me but that in no way means you will suffer from any or all of the same ailments associated with MS and/or SCI that I have.

The best advice I can give is just rely on the support you receive and try to face the fact that you have a debilitating condition and that you cannot change that fact. This doesn’t mean you should give up. We are hopeful that with patients coming out and talking about MS and spinal cord injury that public support will start flooding in. With that, research will get booming and I truly hope that someday there will be a cure. In the mean time we can work together to be that beacon of light for one another.

My life hasn’t been a bed of roses but it could be a lot worse. I can always find someone else that has a life much worse than mine. I have to admit I am scared. I’m not ready to live in a wheelchair for the remainder of my life but I am in one now 24/7 and if that is my future for the rest of my life then I’m going to make the best of it. I accept that I have a very serious, debilitating condition and the odds are I will live a life different then I would have if I had never been diagnosed with any illness or had never suffered my spinal cord injury. But I am convinced that fighting this will be more successful then if I choose to surrender.

I’m simply not ready to let this beat me. If anyone can beat this thing, it Is me. I can fight harder to live with this, smile and enjoy my life then this situation can fight to change me to a sad and discouraged person. I will keep my head high and be proud of the strength and courage I have found deep within my soul. What I have dealt with has played a huge role in shaping me into the person I am today. I am happy with who I am. I choose to use that power to keep my attitude positive and always remember to rely on God first and foremost but also rely on other people’s love and support to get me through the toughest times. There is support out there for you if you don’t have it at home. All you need to do is ask and there are people out there who do truly care.

I have probably added years to my life by remaining steadfast in my fight. I plan to add many more. Please don’t let depression get you so down that your condition has the chance to take over your body. I know all too well how hard it is to stay positive but if it helps your overall well being, isn’t it worth the effort? I devote my life to increasing public awareness on Multiple Sclerosis and Spinal Cord Injury Recovery and Research. My life depends on the success of research. Please take this issue seriously and lend support for research, gather personal knowledge on medication and treatments, and educate the public.

Fortunately, my husband made me see a reason I had to get through this. While I was adapting to the new life and my husband was coming to terms, we were rebuilding our life by accepting love from one another. I finally came to terms with the revelation that beforehand I had actually confused support with pity. I felt if I allowed Terry to help me or to be there for me emotionally, then I was allowing him to pity me. I even had dismissed his love at times thinking it too was pity. When I realized the difference it was easier to accept his help and his love. Now it is easier. I know he feels as helpless as I do at times, but at least we share our feelings. It breaks the isolation and has brought us closer. We are as close now as any couple could be. That isn’t to say that we don’t still struggle on really bad days.

Some couples pull together when illness invades their lives. They build upon the foundation they had already erected. On the other hand, some couples cannot withstand by themselves the pounding seas brought on by this catastrophic illness or a tragic injury. Few couples go through an experience of this magnitude without encountering emotional turmoil. Although the spouses may not share the physical aspects of the disease, they do share the emotional pain. That pain is as much a focus as the condition itself. Understand that your loved ones are equally affected by your situation, yes in a different manner but affected all the same.

Live your life to the fullest that you are capable of. I’m not saying this is easy but even on my worst days I can still find something to enjoy about my day and especially about my life. The joys are there, we must look past the pain for them.

Anger, Bible Study, Christian, Depression, Mood, Prayer, Priorities, Relationships

Jesus Is My Refuge

I may seem like a happy wappy chipper gal because I try not to share my suffering online very often (I need to do better in that area and open up more). Let me tell you I’ve had heart breaks, devastating setbacks and challenges, especially health challenges that would make the strongest person think about giving up. On top of that I’ve also made horrible mistakes in my life and suffered serious consequences as a result.

I’ve allowed heartaches to make me turn and wallow in despair over the years but guess what? When I turned around and needed to be loved and needed someone to guide me in the right direction my Father in Heaven was there and at that moment I realized the full scope of the love that My God, My Father, my Lord and Savior has for me. I ran to Him and it’s the best feeling ever.

God has turned my life around and blessed me beyond my comprehension. I never imagined and certainly didn’t deserve what He has given me and I’m not talking about any material possessions. His gifts to my life are far greater than anything material or monetary. Is my life perfect? Not by any stretch of the imagination but it is exactly what God has used to plan my life for me and I am at peace.

What are you waiting for? This is real life people, it’s no game and there are no do overs in this life, what’s done is done but there is forgiveness and it comes from The One and Only True God because Jesus died and paid the price for all of our sins. No matter what you’ve experienced, no matter what you’ve done and no matter what you’ve faced if you turn to our God He will be there to welcome you home like a Father would. Come home!

Time is short on this earth. If you are hurting there is no greater comfort then to be in a close relationship with Jesus Christ. God bless you today and always. I pray you seek out God in every corner of your life.

Diagnosis, Emotional Coping, fatigue, Gastrointestinal, gastroparesis, Symptoms, Treatment

Gastroparesis Awareness: Overview? Causes? Symptoms? Treatment?

What is Gastroparesis?

Gastroparesis is a condition where the patient suffers “Paresis” or partial paralysis of the stomach. This results in delayed stomach emptying of food into the small intestines. Food typically is fully digested, broken down by the stomach and passed into the small intestines within a four hour period of time. The vagus nerve causes contractions and push the food down into the small intestines. With Gastroparesis the vagus nerve is somehow damaged and paralyzed and the result is that the emptying of the stomach is slowed and for some even stopped. Then food sits for extended amounts of time in the stomach and in some cases for many hours and even days longer then normal. The patient can suffer from mild to extremely severe symptoms and the condition although rather rare can be very serious and even life threatening if left untreated. The goal is to diagnose patients in the early stages and that is why Gastroparesis awareness month is so important. Lack of proper nutrition intake can result in a very serious health crisis so early diagnosis and treatment is urgent.

What Causes it?

As stated above with Gastroparesis the vagus nerve is somehow damaged and paralyzed and the result is that the emptying of the stomach is slowed and in some cases even stopped. There is no known exact cause of Gastroparesis but there have been several reported cases of it with patients who suffer with certain conditions.

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Mismanaged diabetes
  • Botched gastric surgery
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Consumption of narcotic pain-relievers
  • Occasional underlying result from paraplegia or quadriplegia
  • Underlying conditions such as scleroderma, Lupus and/or amyloidosis

What are some symptoms?

Here is a list of some of the symptoms that patients may experience. Keep in mind that each person is affected differently and at different levels of severity.

  • Sudden weight loss
  • Reduced appetite
  • Bloating
  • Feeling full after a few morsels of food
  • Excruciating abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Frequent Vomiting

Misconceptions:

Gastroparesis is not an eating disorder.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

To gain proper diagnosis they often perform duodenal manometry, abdominal scans, and gastric emptying scan. Once diagnosed they often prescribe antiemetics medication to treat nausea and vomiting. They may prescribe motility aids such as metoclopramide or erythromycin. You will often be referred to a dietitian to be taught more about food management and a proper gastroparesis diet. For some patients diet alone resolves many of their symptoms.

Information:

Bible Study, Christian, Emotional Coping, Mood, Writing

The Shaping Of My Life- Then and Now

(My GrandParents Aaron and Victoria Leonard)

I was thinking this morning during my devotion time how in such a short span of time how my granddaddy Leonard shaped me as a person and my future. He instilled in me my love of reading, love for books and in turn for writing. He had suffered strokes which led him to be paralyzed and he lived out his final years in a wheelchair and mostly in a bed. I remember daily for most of my first almost eleven years of life sitting close by his side using my own hands to substitute for his paralyzed side and I would hold one side of the book and turn pages as he held the other side and we would read together. I usually read the words myself and it seemed to bring him great joy to listen as he watched the pages come alive for me. He told me several times how in books I could have experiences and visit places that I may never have a chance to in my life. I have repeated that remark through my life as I try to encourage children and others to love reading and to enjoy the great adventures a book may take them on. .

I still have a little New Testament that is old, worn and well used with his name signed inside in his writing. He carried it, I was told by my mother and after he became ill my momma carried it in her purse. Upon her death being her only daughter I have her purse and it’s contents. I cherish that New Testament book and it is now in my backpack that goes on my wheelchair wherever I go. Little did I know that he was shaping my life. Not only did he shape my life by passing to me an inspiration but he taught me to love books, reading and in turn a love for writing. He also gave me my first insight into living with paralysis although we never in our wildest thoughts ever fathomed that I would one day need to fall back on the strength in that area of which he displayed.

(LtoR: Aunt Margaret, Granddaddy, My Mom and Me in front)

I remember him being fiercely independent even though we took it then more so as stubbornness 😂😂😂 but now I can so very much relate. It takes a Fierce need for independence to drive me to get up every morning and face my day pushing to rely on my strengths and my determination. With that also comes frustration and aggravation mostly with myself because I want so very badly to accomplish everything I can for myself and yet hitting many brick walls as I try. Memories flood my mind as I recall the times that with such ease I performed simple tasks for my life, yet now those have become so difficult and sometimes virtually impossible. I think about my granddaddy very often when facing another day in a wheelchair.

Knowing that I’ve not been robbed of every one of my abilities is so beneficial in providing me the will to find happiness and contentment when I focus on what I can do more than what I can’t do. My granddaddy could be difficult for my mom to care for at times as I’m sure I can be now for my sweet Terry. That too has gave me a window to watch as I learn to have compassion for others who may be caring for my needs. Just as my mom was so devoted to her dad my Terry only wants the best care possible for me. This too helped me in the years I as a caregiver took care of my own brother Ed before he passed. I owe my mother’s loving example a lot for that. As you can see this man, my grandfather played a huge role in my life both as an example himself as well as teaching me through his own trials. I was taught during those formative years about life and tribulations in ways that me and others didn’t realize. Books, reading and writing is today a huge part of who I am. I owe a lot of that to my granddaddy who in the short almost eleven years I had with him on this earth truly played one of the largest roles in shaping my future. However THE MOST important moment of my life to happen shortly following his passing can also be linked directly to my Granddaddy Leonard.

Through the life, death and the preaching of my grandfather’s funeral it lead to the greatest miracle my life has ever seen. My cousin and missionary preacher Charles Leonard preached our grandfather’s funeral and the pastor at the church then invited him to return the next spring in April to preach a revival. I was saved at that revival. I surrendered my heart and my life to my Lord and Savior the third night of that event. Nothing else in my life could ever compare to that moment even if my youth kept me from realizing just how important it was at that time. Sometimes we wonder about children who get saved young. I can remember the leading up to me going up to the altar that night. I remember a conversation with my cousin Danny because being kids we always whispered during sermons but not that night. God had my attention and I have a Bible I used then and I wrote a note in the back note pages telling him “Shhhhhh, I want to hear this and the lady behind us is getting mad at us for talking” My heart had been pricked, I was under conviction and I’m so thankful that I acted upon that conviction and surrendered to God. I’m equally thankful that my cousin Danny years later gave his own heart to Jesus and is now in heaven with our Lord and I know I will see him again.

I firmly believe that God knew all that I had already faced and all that I was yet to face in my life and He knew how much I needed Jesus in my heart to guide me in dealing with the past and coping with the future. With Jesus in my heart I had the opportunity to use what I faced in life for his glory and to look at it through the heart and eyes of Jesus. It is hard to say where I’d be today without Jesus. How would I have survived the trials I have faced, would I have survived? Looking at life in hindsight I never traced it all back to this one man in my life for a short eleven years until now. I owe a lot to my granddaddy but most importantly I owe it all to Jesus. Thank you granddaddy for giving me so much guidance in such a short time and thank you Jesus for giving your life to save the souls of all who will come to Him. I will see my granddaddy again one day and I am so anxious to tell him how he made such a difference in my life. I Love You Granddaddy and Jesus oh how I love you.

Emotional Coping

Have You Been Stabbed In The Back? How To Respond.

How many of us have ever had someone stab us in the back? A family member? A friend? A coworker? A stranger? Perhaps a Fellow Christian? And how did we feel when they did so?

Our first reaction was likely shock and anger, followed by a sense of hurt, resentment & disillusionment. In our younger day, we might’ve thought of *revenge tactics* to get back at them. But in our older day, we slowly come to realize that two wrongs don’t make a right and also that there’s usually something going on with a person psychologically or emotionally if they hurt someone like that.

But you got to realize something. Nine times out of ten, it’s NOT ABOUT you. It’s really about them and their character. Many people who feel insecure in their own lives will go about trying to put down other people trying to make themselves feel better. But that doesn’t mean you have to partake in their drama. No. You can be better than that. On the other hand, we should never TOLERATE repeated bad behavior from others. There’s a difference between forgiving someone and getting out of a bad situation. We must take the necessary steps to block their access to continue harming us. We also must respond according to God’s Word.

When Jesus Christ died on the cross for forgiveness of mankind’s sins, he KNEW how humans would be like after that. He knew the future that would encapsulate the “culture” surrounding the passage of Matthew 24:12-13: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Just like he KNEW that many people, in the End of Days, would stab each other in the back and constantly try to “one up” one another (either for the pure revenge of it or just for the mere “fun” of it).

And though there is the popular saying “don’t get mad, get EVEN”, Jesus Christ would likely say to each of us something along the lines of: “I understand if you’re mad/hurt about this but don’t let your anger get the best of you and do NOT get even”. The Lord God said in the bible in Romans 12:19 (KJV) “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord”

In other words, if we HATE someone that hurt us, or go out of our way to try to hurt THEM, the only person we’re hurting is ourselves. It takes SO much time and mental energy to HATE someone. But it takes very little time and energy to try to forgive someone. Afterall, we’re all human, we ALL make mistakes. And besides, that person might not have realized they’ve hurt us. And if they hurt us *intentionally*, well, then it’s really themselves that they’re hurting. Cause no true person in their RIGHT MIND would have to go to such great lengths to hurt someone unless they themselves were hurting from within.

Though some people that LIKE to “one up” people seem to feel pretty good about themselves from the onset. But lets face it. No truly CONFIDENT person would have to hurt someone in order to prove their worth. For if they were TRULY confident in themselves, they wouldn’t HAVE to prove anything, see? Because they’d technically already KNOW their self-worth, without having to prove or justify it.

Proverbs 20:22 says: “Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee”

Plus the Lord’s Prayer states the following: “Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, As it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, The power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen”

“So what does THAT mean?”, you may ask yourselves.

It means that if WE want to be forgiven by Jesus Christ for all the wrong things that WE ourselves have ever said or done throughout our lifetime, that WE must forgive OTHERS that have said or done wrong/hurtful things towards US.

And I know that’s easier said than done. But the good thing about the Lord Jesus Christ is that he will ALWAYS answer a sincere prayer. If there’s someone in your life who has majorly hurt you or you’re loved one and you’re having trouble forgiving that person, then take it to Jesus. Pray to him “Lord, I’m still very hurt and angry over this person who has hurt me. Please help me with forgiving this person as I am still struggling with that. I don’t WANT to hate this person or be mad at them anymore. Please help me Lord. Amen” and the Lord will help you forgive that person. And once you truly forgive a person and are able to move on with your life, it is the most peaceful, happiest feeling in the world. It’s like the Lord Jesus Christ has set your soul free from the *sinful bondage* of hate/resentment/anger.

Note: EVEN IF somebody has already passed on or you’ve lost contact with that person, you can STILL forgive that person or those people and be released from the sinful bond of anger/resentment/hatred. Just pray: “Lord, I know it’s too late at this point to have an Earthly reconciliation with this person, but please cleanse my heart and mind and allow me to fully forgive this person. Thank-you, Lord. Amen”.

And if it’s a case where you just can’t seem to forgive this person, no matter WHAT you do, (be they dead/lost contact with or alive), pray the following prayer : “Lord, this person has done SO much to hurt me, I’m STILL angry, hurt, disillusioned, scared. I don’t know if I can ever forgive this person or not, on my own. Please heal me and cleanse me from within so that I can someday forgive this person with no sinful burden of anger in my heart. I don’t WANT to hate anymore! Please help me get rid of the hate in my heart so that I can forgive this person. Amen”. And pray and believe the prayer with ALL your heart, ALL your soul and ALL your mind and the Lord Jesus WILL cleanse you and help you forgive that person/people! MARK MY WORDS!

See, cause if you CONTINUE to hate someone for hurting you without forgiving them the hate and resentment will just eat AWAY at you, night and day. Sooner or later, you will start to hate everything and EVERYONE. You will become extremely pessimistic and bitter and find no joy in ANYTHING. Your life will hardly seem worth living.

But if you can learn to forgive someone for hurting you (with the Lord Jesus’s divine help, of course), then your soul will be SET FREE from all that *negative energy* trying to weigh you down. You will feel relaxed, as if a HUGE weight has been lifted off your shoulders. You will feel content and free and joyous in the Lord and joyous in your life. Your spirit will feel *spiritually revived*.

Sometimes people are depressed and got problems in their life. So they subconsciously try to hurt or lie to others to try to make themselves feel better. Yet, others are sometimes jealous of what we have and what they feel they do NOT have. Those things are not necessarily material but are often the happiness, peace and love that you have that they most resent. Many people who have deep seated self issues choose to be a constant critic of others in a hope to make them look like a bigger person to themselves. But regardless the reason, NEVER let it get to you! Not only does Jesus Christ say we must FORGIVE the people that hurt us in our lifetime but we must also PRAY for them. We must pray that Satan will lose his grip on their souls and that the Lord will open up their eyes and make them see what they are doing and why it is wrong.

But no matter the situation, one thing is clear. Jesus Christ hears ALL the prayers of his saved and faithful. The sooner you forgive people in your life, and the sooner you become restored to Jesus Christ again, the better. I pray for all the souls that read this and pray that each soul that reads this is helped in some way. I pray that anyone hurting is brought closer to Jesus Christ. I pray that if anyone unsaved is reading this that they come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ before it’s too late. Amen

Emotional Coping

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