A Month On Easter

Wow…I cannot believe it has already been almost a month since I have been in a wheelchair. Life is moving so rapidly I do not know where the time has gone! I feel like I have been in a very challenging course in school or something. I think the key word for this time period is “rediscovery”. There have been so many things that I have had to learn to do a “new” way and some things that I am still trying to learn and many, many other things that I want to try to learn someday. Rome wasn’t conquered in a day I guess.
How appropriate that my 1 month anniversary should fall on Resurrection Sunday. What a day to think about how I could have never gotten through all of this without my very real and alive Saviour. I thank God that I do not love and serve a dead god. I know He lives because I feel His presence in my life every day. I see His hand working, leading, guiding and preparing me for every step of my journey.
I feel like every role in my life – wife, mother, teacher, pastor’s wife, homemaker – has had to be approached from a completely different angle. Who would have thought that you would ever have to rediscover how to sweep your floors (hard to wheel yourself around a room and hold a broom let alone get the dirt in the dustpan) or vacuum (can’t reach the plug) or do the dishes (can’t even reach the faucet to turn it on) or even make your bed? These are things that you do because they need to get done but you never really think about them and if you do think about them, it is normally that you wish you didn’t have to do them. Now, when I finally get my floors swept and vaccumed I feel like I have just won the Olympics or something. It is a great feeling of accomplishment even though it may take me an hour to do 2 rooms. It’s amazing how your perspective on life changes. I really feel like I can either sit around and mope and pout about it all or I can hit it head on as a challenge and see what can be done.
There are times I get very frustrated and I just have to stop and make myself rethink something and calm down and then start over. That always helps because the more frustrated I get the more difficult it makes it for all of us. It is really the littlest things that can annoy me – trying to get through a doorway and banging the wall 5 times in a row or something like that starts to bring out the “growling” sounds!:) I am convinced that my house is going to have to be entirely repainted and maybe all of the drywall replaced by the time I learn to drive this chair!! I really think they should require a special driver’s license or something!!:)
Speaking of driver’s license…it made me think of a perk with all of this – handicap parking! Now if you want to get my hubby to start growling, it is when we go somewhere and all of the handicap spots are taken up. You can’t just park in any spot because you have to have plenty of room to get the doors open good and wide to get the wheelchair to my door so I can get in and out of it. So, the handicap spaces are wider so that you have room to do that (I told you this was like a college course!). If there are no handicap spots left then you can’t just go find another close spot because a car would park too close to you. So, you have to go all the way out in the parking lot where no one wants to park so that you have room to maneuver. This upsets him way more than it does me (unless it is raining) and really gets me quite tickled because I hear the same speech from him every single time. “We better go in this store and see a lot of people in wheelchairs because if I don’t, I am really going to be mad!!” If you know Jimmy, just hearing him say that he is going to be mad about something is so strange that this always sets me off on a laughing spell because he gets so worked up about it. I am not able to get in and out of our van by myself (yet!) and so he always has to take me so we have this conversation/laughing spell quite often because in this county I think you can get a handicap parking permit if you are a drunk (that is a disability you know) so you can hardly ever find a spot. I don’t know why this tickles me so much but I am even chuckling about it while I am typing this!!
Laughter truly has been a great medicine for me and I thank the Lord for creating it. I am thankful that His grace has been so abundant that I am able to laugh and find joy even in these circumstances. Please, don’t misunderstand me, there are times that my mind starts to dwell on things that are not healthy. Like, it’s my legs now, but where will this be in 1, 5 or 10 years. Or, even if it stays like this for the rest of my life, I am only 31, I could be in this chair for the next 50 years!! Or, planning a roller skating party for the kids in our church and knowing I will not be able to skate with my children. These are thoughts that want to take over sometimes, but if I allow them to go there, it will either lead to self-pity or to fear and that is not where God wants our minds to be. So, the Lord helps me to think on things that “are of good report” and keep my mind on Him. I have to take one day at a time, and live my life to the fullest because I never know what tomorrow could bring.
Are there blessings out of all of this? Oh my, I cannot even begin to tell you all of them. I will try to name a few:
1. The unity of our church and how they have come together in a common bond. I am such a people person and I love our people dearly, that I have always made it a practice to go around the room at our services and hug each of our ladies, tell them hello and that I loved them. I worried how I would do this now because our church has slanted floors and it is not easy getting around. I was afraid I would be a little lonely at the services while everyone congregated to talk and I may not be able to get to them to join in. This has truly been a ridiculous fear!! I not only get many hugs myself, but I also get many kisses from my abundance of “mommas” in our church. I am surrounded by people waiting to talk to me before and after the services and jokes are being made about the “bottleneck” in the church during the fellowship chorus while people are hugging me and saying hi. I feel so very loved and the Lord has proved to me once again how silly it is to worry over these trivial things.
2. The love of my distant friends and family. I have received so many visits, cards, flowers, phone calls, and e-mails from everyone letting me know that they love me and are praying for me. If that doesn’t boost your morale, I don’t know what will.
3. Physically, I am now almost 100% pain free except for my hands which are receiving a work out they have never had before so I don’t if that is why they hurt or if it is the MS, but either way, it is very bearable compared to the terrible pain I have had in my legs all year. I feel like a new person not being in pain all the time and I am ready to conquer the world again (although differently!)
4. Spiritually, I have never felt so close to the Lord. Maybe I should say that I have never felt Him so close to me. I know without a doubt that He has been a very present help in time of trouble. I know that when I get scared or confused or frustrated or grumpy that He is there and He understands and He is waiting to help me if I will just call out to Him. I have many times and He is right there ready to comfort me. I love Him so very much and my greatest fear is that I will fail Him through all of this.
5. My husband and children. My precious Jimmy is so wonderful and the Lord has helped him tremendously. We talk all the time about how life has dramatically changed for our family in one way, but in the things that matter, it has not. My role as a momma, is still to love my children, teach them God’s Word, train them to grow up and serve their Lord, and set the atmosphere of happiness and peace in our home. You do not have to be able to walk to do this. Actually, it seems like now, I have even more time for them to come crawl up in my lap and we talk of things. Sometimes, in the mornings, Jimmy will still be reading his Bible in the office, and I will be in bed and will have read my Bible, but will be waiting on him to come in and help me get up, and the children will all come in and pile in bed with me. We will talk and play and tickle and giggle and it has turned into quite a wonderful morning tradition that we really never had before. The children are so sweet and are sometimes way too helpful – like putting my brakes on for me when I am trying to roll from one room to another!:) I truly am thankful for my precious family. On that note, I saw the baby doctor on Tuesday and they want me to get an evaluation at a high-risk pregnancy hospital. I really would like to stay where I am at since I am about 6 months along, but they are a small town hospital and have never dealt with a delivery of a paralyzed woman. My doctor said that we may throw the whole hospital into a state of shock!! However, there is a high risk of blood clots and the chance that I may not be able to feel going into labor so we need to have other plans ready. As far as the baby, his heartbeat is very steady. Since I cannot feel him moving (and you Mommy’s know this is a security blanket for us to feel our babies move throughout the day) the doctor said to come in at any time to hear the heartbeat and they will not charge me. I thought that was so very sweet. So, my consultation appt. at the high risk facility is on April 28th. I should know more about what is going on by then I think.
We are coming to Tennessee for the Crown Bible Conference next week and I will be around from Monday evening till Wednesday morning. I am looking forward to seeing some of you.
Well, this has been a very lengthy and rambled post but it is a beautiful day outside and I felt like a long chat. If you have endured this to the end, I thank you and you should get a reward for your patience!!:)

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9 thoughts on “A Month On Easter

  1. So glad everything is going well. I’m so thankful for your “head-on” attitude. Truly the Lord is good-we’re all SO blessed. Would love to see you all next week, but I’m sure you have a full schedule with family, but I’ll see you in a few short weeks :)Love ya.

  2. You are doing great!! I marvel at how quickly you have adjusted to everything. I cannot believe it has already been a month. You are an inspiration!!

  3. Mrs. Reagan,I had not been on your blog for quite a while and WOW! So much has happened in your life that I was unaware of. I have dedicated myself anew to daily prayer for you and your family. I can already see how God is using your story to help others. Thank you for your Godly spirit that is coupled with human transparency.Love,Rebecca

  4. It was so good to see you and hear Jimmy preach at the Church. I am sure the Bible conference was a blessing. I enjoy your post about your illness you are such an inspiration to me…I am blessed but I seem to grumble a lot. Life takes on a new perspective as I read your letter. Thank you for sharing with me, it is truly an inspiratiion to praise the Lord. He is soooo good. Love in Christ…Phyllis

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