In a moment of being absolutely truthful, this weekend I found myself to be quite discouraged. If you are reading my blog for the first time, I crushed my ankles exactly a year ago while competing in a pro boardercross tour while representing http://www.love146.org to bring awareness to stop human trafficking.
Surgery, 3 months in a wheelchair, sponge baths, and a specialized crane lowered me in a swimming pool to learn how to walk again; I received cortisone injections , and discovered one ankle was still fractured nearly ten months after the accident.
In less than six weeks I will be on stage with some of the best bodybuilders from around the world at The Arnold Classic in Columbus. Although my purpose is not to think I can go in there and win, my heart is to do with what what I’ve been given with this past year. The year that seemed like hell is truly a gift from God in my eyes and I hope to be used to express his heart of healing and love through it, and bring awareness to stop human trafficking.
This past Saturday I found much discouragement trying to walk and the pain was so severe, I couldn’t help but let a few tears roll while nobody was around to witness, wanting the pain to finally go away. That very day would be exactly one year after my parents came for me with my legs bound in casts and would have to take care of me for five months. I continued to drive to the gym for my workout, parked, and realized I couldn’t get out of my car. I turned the car around and went home.
I found myself crying out to God again, and went to the 6:00 service at Vineyard Church of Columbus. Strangely, the pain subsided when I put my boots on to head out the door. Interesting, perhaps comfort to push me to be exactly where I needed to be… in worship and in the presence of God.
I went by myself like I typically do, and sat near the front. Tears streaming, and my discouragement was replaced by an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness. Last year at this time I remember being at Western Reserve in Macedonia, still in a wheelchair and couldn’t physically stand out of my wheelchair to worship for months. But here I am now. I am on my two feet. I remember the moment last year when I stood for the first time to worship, it was painful, but I was till standing, and I was still worshipping.
When I opened my eyes to see how blessed I really was to be standing, a woman was in a wheelchair herself unable to stand, and a young man next to her had a mental disability where he rocked back and forth uncontrollably. I am so thankful, for my injuries could have been much worse with a spinal injury for as many collisions at high speeds that take place. Life was put into further perspective as I realized the death of the amazing freestyle skier, Sarah Burke, died exactly one year from the day of my crash. I have a lot to be thankful for.
Thank you Lord for I can stand, I can walk, and I can freely worship you. Thank you Lord for turning my discouragement into utmost humility and overwhelming of thankfulness. And I will continue to be thankful, as I will stand on stage among the best at The Arnold Classic, for I am an overcomer. For I will stand for what you have given me.