After I became paralyzed, there were so many things I did not know. There were so many questions and so many fears. Google was my friend and one day I googled a question about paralysis and my search landed me in the most amazing forum for anyone paralyzed. It was a place called Apparelyzed, which was operated by a quadriplegic from Europe and was a wealth of information for me from those who got it.
It was not a Christian forum at all and like any forum, many conversations besides paralysis took place. It was in certain conversations that I felt very alone in my conservative Christian positions. I wanted to be loving but not ashamed of my faith. That is how I met Michael. Michael was a paraplegic after breaking his back in a car accident only about 4 months before I became paralyzed myself. We were both not only newbies, but we were from the States and both Christians.
Our connection became stronger as we would rally for each other and help defend our faith in God in this forum amongst those who we had come to love, but not agree with. Michael was a bright light in his strong faith but gentle manner. We became Facebook friends and I grew to love his beautiful wife, Elizabeth, and his precious children. There faith in God was not a virtual presence in a forum, but very real in their daily lives.
They are from Texas and so we do not live close enough to enjoy each others company, but we were able to meet them in person not too long ago. They were on their way to a family reunion in Maggie Valley, NC and we met up with them in Crossville, TN at a Cracker Barrell. I am mad at myself because we had such a good time together, we forgot to get a picture!!
These first meetings always make me a little nervous because I want the real meeting to be as enjoyable as our virtual interactions. I was not disappointed. I don’t think there was one lull in the entire conversation. It was different because Michael is in a wheelchair and is a guy. My favorite memory was when we all hugged goodbye. Wheelchair hugs are kind of awkward when you are both in a chair and trying to reach each other. Michael laughed and said that was his first time to hug anyone else in a chair. I told him that made me special!
Elizabeth is a devoted and loving wife and you can see the love that she has for Michael. It thrills me when I see couples who become more devoted through a tragedy instead of letting it drive them apart. Their faith in God is strong and unwavering.
As you read this blog, and the couples that I introduce to you, I hope that you say a prayer for these couples. There are a lot of emotions that can haunt you if you let things take over your mind. Pray that the Lord will keep their love strong, faith strong and commitment strong. Michael and Elizabeth Ferguson are beautiful examples of what that looks like in person. I am honored to know them and call them my friends.