Eight years ago today, I woke up completely paralyzed. Something else happens this year. On April 28, I turn 40. What do these two things have to do with each other? Because 8 years ago, I wasn’t too sure I would ever see this birthday.

When I woke up 8 years ago and was completely paralyzed, I had no clue what had happened to me. I was terrified. I was even more terrified when I had complications after having my baby 4 months later. I was terrified when they would not pinpoint an exact diagnosis.Do you hear a common word here? Terror!

Oh how the Lord sustained and comforted me. Trusting the Lord does not mean you don’t feel terror. It just means that when you are terrified, you have to cling to Jesus for peace. However, I would look at my children and wonder if I would be around to raise them. I would look at my husband and wonder if he would raise the kids alone. I would look at myself and wonder if I was really going to live through all of this. I was quite confident I would not see my 40th birthday.

But here I am…eight years later. It is funny how much my life…and thoughts…have changed!

My head and feelings about being paralyzed for the rest of my life are not always good. Sometimes it can all feel so terribly overwhelming. Sometimes I crave the simplicity of a shower, going to the bathroom, or just jumping in and out of a car. Sometimes I want to walk…and run…so bad I can taste it. I just can’t remember it. Sometimes…I still feel terrified about my future.

But most of the time, I feel just fine. I am not embarrassed anymore to be in public. I think my chair suits me. I smile when people stare. I have embraced the reality of tipping over in my chair, falling in the shower and having accidents when they are not convenient. I am accepting that ALL of my children are now taller than me! 🙂

I have had some of these anniversaries fighting tears all day. And I may again. But as I write this, I am so thankful to be here. I am thankful for 8 years of the amazing blessing of being a mom. I am thankful for 8 more years with my man. I am thankful for 8 more years to serve Jesus.

I get to spend this day around my family and my church family. I get to smile and hug on my kids. I get to snuggle my guy. I get to get myself up, shower myself, dress myself, transfer myself and roll myself to my van where I will drive myself to church. 8 years ago, I would have never thought that would ever happen again.

I will end with a phrase that I tell all of my wheelie friends on the days of their anniversaries: Happy Alive Day Alicia!

I am thankful to celebrate 8 years!















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