Since I broke my neck people have commented on my positive spirit. There are plenty of challenges each day that go unseen. With those come discouragement and disappointment. Sharing those challenges with somebody else makes them more real.
So it is with us. Recently we’ve faced so many disappointments that are directly related to my disability: bum shower chair, bum old wheelchair, bum new wheelchair, bum bum. Like a flood surge overwhelms a town, these constant frustrations have overwhelmed us.
This weekend I was DONE. It was a bathroom day –the worst part of our routine. My body didn’t cooperate and D had to help me. It’s so very frustrating for me to sit there as my WIFE coaxes things along. We have a long list of things that have gone so bad lately. This was the last straw.
Dana got me through it and into the bed. Then I lost it. I cried uncontrollably because I felt so helpless.
For several years I was okay with this whole gig. I remember hearing people say, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.” I’ve heard people talk about his miracles. I’ve sung hymns and praise songs, prayed, shared, and sobbed. But this weekend I cried out to God because I’m not strong enough.
It’s not fair. Ask anybody who has known me any amount of time. I am a good guy. Not that anybody deserves this, but not me. If there were some noble purpose in it I might consider it, but no. I hear the word “miracle” bandied about: our pastor talks about the church receiving a financial miracle (i.e., a million-dollar donation); newspeople talk about a medical miracle (i.e., successful treatment against the odds); sports fans talk about a miracle win (i.e., a lucky break).
It left me asking, “Where’s MY miracle?!” People have been praying for me and believing for my miracle for seventeen years. If faith is coming to the end of myself, I’m there. It’s not a headache. It’s not a tumor. It’s not an infection. Short of significant medical breakthrough, there is nothing any man can do to fix it. If God is able to heal my body, or anybody else’s, bring it on.
When people comment about us being inspirational we wince. This is our reality: so much of this sucks. Some days are WONDERFUL; others are bareable; a few are downright heart-breaking. Most days we wrestle through the limitations and hardships that come with having or caring for someone with a disability. It affects everything:
- I’m a job seeker with a disability,
- we get up two hours early because I have a disability,
- we cancel our plans because of my disability,
- we can’t go some place because it is inaccessible,
- we have to get healthcare because of my disability.