II Corinthians 12:9-10

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities... for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."
II Corinthians 12:9-10

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Happy National Spinal Fusion Awareness Day!

Which is what I officially dubbed today, November 17.

It was four years ago today. Big whoop. So I had back surgery. Lots of people do. It's not like I'm dying of cancer or anything. And it's not even a nice, round number, like 5. Then why am I so excited about today?

Glad you asked.

This wasn't just any surgery for me. I have lived with scoliosis my entire life. I had grown used to my twisted body and the way I felt and looked. Then suddenly it was all about to change.

I was told my volleyball days would be over. That alone was enough to make me rethink my priorities. Many of my plans were either put on hold or completely wiped out.

Then there was the surgery itself-- risks of paralysis (and other things), pain (and lots of it!), and a loooooooo(etc.)ng recovery. I needed help rolling over in bed. I couldn't sit up without extreme pain. Walking, sneezing, coughing, and pretty much moving became unforgetable experiences.

When I realized that my surgery couldn't untwist my body, but only straighten my spine, I struggled a lot emotionally. I was still wearing a brace (which was way to big due to being molded when I was still swollen from surgery), and literally every day I would stand in my closet and cry while trying to find something to wear. In my opinion, no one understood. They never would. And to an extent, it's true. But my focus was completely on myself. And praise God, He got my focus back where it should be-- on Him. Because then my life started turning around. I realized how good God is and what He has done for me. And that produced joy and thankfulness that, in turn, produced a desire to use my circumstances to help and encourage others who are struggling, as well.

Just think. God has allowed you to go through things that I will never experience. What are you doing with those trials and blessings? I challenge you to take the next step and purposefully do something to share it with others. It's one of the most exciting things you could do-- I promise.

Some people probably think I'm making a huge deal out of nothing. Others seem to put me on some sort of pedistal. But really, I'm just an imperfect human being who, despite my failures and weaknesses, is being used by an all-knowing, loving God who works all things together for good to them that love Him.

And that is why 4 years later, I am bursting with excitement as I think about where I was and what God was doing in my life in that hospital bed. God is beyond good!

So in honor of this newly founded "National Spinal Fusion Awareness Day," here are some pictures that will show you (and remind me!) why this day means so much to me.