I have talked about the frustration of being home, and how I have been learning about patience and coming to love the process. God is so faithful! Frustrations still come and I still find Him in the process. I love reading the Psalms because I can always feel and identify with the emotions behind them. I remember reading over them while I was in jail and noticing that even when the psalmist was feeling so alone or hopeless he would declare who God is and all the things that He has done for him. It struck me then that looking back at the faithfulness of Jesus in my life that i know today will be OK. The Lord reminded me of that revelation and has been showing me even more now. I can look back over my life and see how in every moment God was up to something. In every trial, hard time, victory, and joy that He had a plan and a purpose. He was working in me at every moment then and it helps me have faith the He is working right now. He is faithful and the same yesterday, today and forever. Why would I not believe that there is purpose in everything i face today. He doesn't waste time. He doesn't forget about me or just leave me hanging to later come back and redeem that. He is working now, today. It's up to me to have faith in Him and believe that. It doesn't always give me butterflies or the Holy goosebumps. Faith is the evidence of things hoped for and the substance of things unseen. I don't need to feel or see in the moment exactly what's happening, just believe that even the smallest detail of my life isn't lost.
Since I have been back at home it has been great. It feels so comfortable to be home and freeing. I don't have people coming into my room every 5 min. I loved the staff while I was at St. Luke's but not ever having any time alone was hard. Being able to have a peaceful surrounding has been a breath of fresh air. Coming home I knew there would be a lot of new challenges. While I was in rehab I was always protected and cared for by staff. If I ever needed anything at all, they were on it. Being home I am more on my own. Thank The Lord for my mom who has gone above and beyond anything that I could have asked. At home, I kind of just have to figure things out. I like problem solving so a lot if it I really enjoy. Since I have been home I have had to except some things that aren't easy for me. Things I would like to do quickly and just get done don't seem to be on my schedule. I pray for patience to be okay with things taking longer and not going my way. To be honest it is really difficult. I pray for patience and ask The Lord to work but I've found out that I have some responsibility in that prayer.
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:16-25
In Ephesians it tells us to put on our new nature. When I pray for patience it's up to me to let go and put on my new nature. It says says in Galatians the the acts of the flesh, or some translations say works of the flesh. When we do have our new nature it takes work to live in the flesh and it says the fruit of the spirit. You can't try and make fruit. It just happens. I need to allow the spirit to produce that fruit in my life. I have realized that in the past when asked for patience I haven't gotten out of the way to allow the spirit to produce the fruit. So now when I pray for patience I stand against my flesh, give my frustrations to Him, and let the spirit come. I had a real problem recently with being frustrated and I was holding on to all of it. A close friend of mine called me out and it brought it to light. I was so grateful. It was no longer in the dark and I was able to see it, pray, and allow Him to work. I realized how important it is to have people in my life that are close enough to me to not let me sit in the flesh. Again The Lord is showing me that it isn't all about me and when I try and walk in my own strength I can't do it.
One thing in my life I have always struggled with is pride. Through out a lot of my life things were given to me. Because of who my brothers were, my athletic gifts, social status, and other things I never really had to work for anything. I developed this "inner pride" or "false humility". I would get uncomfortable when ever someone complimented me but in my head I would be like, "duh, I am awesome". It sounds terrible, but that's how I was. I would then proceed to point out some minor flaw of mine to maintain an appearance of humility. But my pride and arrogance where in everything. They were in how I carried myself, how I spoke and how I treated people. I thought humility was pointing out a minor flaw to show that Ithought wasn't perfect. One of the crazy things is I actually thought I was humble and I didn't like prideful people. This didn't just last through my years of "doing my own thing". It also was present in my life seeking after the Lord. I thought I knew the way to pray, hear from the lord, and how He worked. Pride always showed up in my life in the sneakiest ways. When it was finally brought to light, it wrecked me. I was so in shock that I was prideful and how blind I was to it for all these years. The Lord really has shown me two powerful ways to combat this in my life. One is through true humility. Which is agreeing with what God says, and not just pointing out my faults. I need to declare who god says I am over my life and walk in that. That's another blog ha. The other is through true transparency. When I wanted an example of what this looked like lived out, I went to the best source ever, the Bible and Jesus. I found myself reading about when Jesus is in Gathsemane before his crucifiction. a few things stood out to me. He was before the Father pleading that this cup be taken from him, referring to what was to come. He was so torn he was even sweating blood. But in that moment he said that He wanted His Father's will and that's what mattered. No matter what is going on in my life, I need to get on my face and be honest before the Lord. Let him know where I stand and how I feel. But even more I need to have my heart be for His will before any other, including my own. Easier said than done. I believe getting to that place is from just getting to know Him and His will. Then I will taste how good and perfect His will truly is. And when hard circumstances or struggles arrive I can take that step of faith that is needed to trust him. But it takes faith. The other thing that struck me is that, Jesus had people with him. He let them be apart of that moment. That's when it struck me. My heart is to conform to the image of Christ and be like him, so do what he did. So now when I am in my moment of struggle or hurt, I let people in. Jesus asked His disciples to watch and pray. They sort of fell asleep, but that's people. But the invitation was still there. I now invite people to watch and pray with me through things that I am going through. I show people my heart and where I am at so that they can too go before the Lord on my behalf. The Lord has given me wisdom in this and I don't go around broadcasting everything to the world, but he has really shown me the importance of becoming transparent and the power behind it.
I thought I would share with everyone about my accident and the weekend it happened. I had been invited to the Freeman's cabin, amazing friends that are more like family from Tacoma. The cabin was in Orville WA. I invited some friends to come along for the weekend to enjoy the snow, snowmobiling, hot tub, and great vacation time. We were all so excited to go and as we started the trip our excitement grew. The drive was beautiful! My brother and I marveled at the bigness and beauty of our God who created this amazing place we live in. It was close to a 5 hour trip and because we were so far "out there" we lost service for a majority of the drive, in turn loosing out navigation. It was fun and came back before we really needed it. We arrived at the cabin Friday December 28th. It was great to seeing friends and meeting new ones. We were excited to get on the mountain so we didn't waste time. A group of us got on the snowmobiles, took a quick crash course on driving, and were off. The beauty of this place was unlike any I had ever seen before. We made it to the top, where we witnessed a sight that made me start to yell with excitement. We were above the cloud line and with mountain peaks surrounding us, we watched the sun set. The setting sun created what seemed to be a fire in the sky reflecting off clouds below. All I could say or yell really was "HOLY CRAP GOD, YOU ARE SOOO GOOD AND SOOO BIG"!!!! I was in awe of the grandiosity of what God had created and in that moment I felt him say, "it was all for you". My heart melted and I began to just praise him. We made out way down the mountain back to the cabin to enjoy some great food, friends, games and the HOT TUB! I have to give it up to Dan and Milt who worked tirelessly to fix the hot tub for us, thank you! The night was amazing! As we all enjoyed the night, friendships seemed to turn into more like family. We shared our stories, hearts, dreams, and boasted on Jesus. When it was time to go to bed, I laid there marveling at where I was and who I was with. I felt so at home and looking back I know God was making supernatural bonds between all of us who were at the cabin. The next day when I woke up I felt pretty close to the same as when I went to bed. We ate a great breakfast and read some morning devotionals and relaxed. I have to say again thank you to Val and Sheryl for the hard work and amazing food!! We went out on a morning drive on the snowmobiles and loved every minute of it. I had brought a snowboard a long so that I could do a little riding. I had gotten to go behind a snowmobile a little but what I really had wanted to do was build a jump somewhere. I always loved doing that in the past. I love the snow and the outdoors and the scenery in back country is my favorite. I had looked around a little the day before for a place that looked good and found one. So in the late morning my brother, friend Daniel, and I got dropped off to build the jump and hang out. It was great. We had a blast laughing and joking together and would stop every so often to soak in God's creation. The place where I had decided to build the jump was over a snowmobile road. It wasn't too far, it had like a 35 foot gap. Something in my younger years I would consider small. It had been awhile since I had ridden hard at all but I figured this was just right in where my skill set probably was. After I made the jump I tried it and didn't quite get far enough. It didn't hurt too bad but the jump needed to be a little bigger and the runway a little longer. So we made the modifications and got ready for round 2. I went off the jump again and this time everything went wrong. I am pretty sure that half of the jump collapsed when I went off it, based on the pictures I saw after. We aren't exactly too sure what happened but what seemed to have happened is I didn't make the gap and I turned a little in the air. When I landed on the hard compact snow I was leaning forward and it my head hit the transition for road to hill knocking me out. The momentum flung my body forward over the road and onto the hill. When I came to and my back hurt and I couldn't feel my legs I was pretty sure I knew exactly what had happened. From growing up snowboarding and landing on flat hard ground before I knew the risks. I knew that I had probably broken by back and I had a good hunch that my legs were paralyzed. I was filled with fear immediately. I don't remember every detail but I remember just asking people to pray and saying Jesus over and over and over. We were waiting for the paramedics to arrive and most everyone was gathered around me praying. Friends were holding my hands to comfort me, while others laid hands on me and were crying out for The Lord. I remember looking into the eyes of my friend who was holding my hand trying comfort me and all of a sudden my friends started worshiping. At that moment Jesus showed up and changed everything about how I was feeling, who I was before, who I was at that time, and I who I will forever be. I felt this peace fall on me. A peace that truly surpasses all understanding. I knew in that moment everything was going to be ok because God has me. Since that moment I have never known more that I am in His hands. God did a rapid maturing in my heart and mind in that short time. I experienced freedom from things that I had been struggling with and cleared everything that had been in the way of our relationship. His mercy still blows me away. I was on that hill side for close to 3 hours waiting, just because we were so far out there and it wasn't very accessible. I sledded down to the ambulance and was taken to the nearest hospital. There they realized they couldn't do much for me there and I needed to go to Sacred Heart in Spokane. They couldn't air lift me so I was going to have to make the drive. After that news, people started praying and the funniest thing happened. The weather lifted for just enough time for me to get on an airplane and get to Spokane, and it don't last a minute longer. Thank you Jesus! Sacred Heart doctors told me that I had severely broken by back and damaged my spinal cord. I had surgery the next day and after my follow ups with my surgeon I found out that I would never walk again. But my God is the ultimate physician. He is going to heal me. I will walk. He has said it and what he says is truth that surpasses any facts. I don't know when that day will be but with all the great things he has done and is doing in this situation, I trust that whenever that day comes it will be just the perfect time!