I do the best I can to try to keep up with paralysis research, for sure. I know my daughter is on a waiting list at the University of Louisville where a Dr. Susan Harkema has conducted very successful surgeries on paraplegics. But let’s be real, my daughter is on a waiting list with thousands and thousands and thousands of others who are paralyzed. Now if Dr. Harkema knew my daughter I’m certain she would agree with me, Alissa is an amazing candidate for the new paraplegia surgeries coming down the pike! Alissa is young! Alissa is athletic! Alissa is a hard worker! Alissa is an incredibly positive young person who brings joy to all who work with her!
And I’m certain every other teen paraplegic’s mother feels the same way. Our last name is one tiny name on a gigantic waiting list, and let’s be real. It will take a miracle just to ever be considered for a life changing surgery, let alone yet another miracle for the life changing surgery to be effective.
Everyday I speak with God about it. “If Alissa could just stand, Lord. Even if she couldn’t take a step but if she could just please stand up out of the chair, it would make such a huge positive difference in her life, God! Please?”
I assure you I would sell my house, all my possessions, pretty much anything and everything I own simply for my daughter to be able to stand and/or walk again. Perhaps that gives you a bit of insight, Dear Reader, as to why I don’t fit in anymore in this world. Most other mothers want their daughter to win the scholarship, or the race, or the award, or marry the perfect guy, and have beautiful children. I’m just praying for my kid to stand up on her own again some day here on earth. It seems like a pretty low bar compared to what many other moms desire.
2 Kings Chapter 5 tells about another individual who was dealing with an unwanted physical problem. Leprosy. The Bible tells of Naaman. He is described as “commander of the army of the king of Aram.” “A great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded.” “A valiant soldier.”
But he had leprosy. While I’m not a leprosy expert, I can only image how a flesh-eating disease might stop a valiant man in his tracks.
I love how Scripture tells that Naaman discovered the prophet Elisha. You’ll have to track that down yourself and read it Dear Reader, but Naaman ends up in Israel at the doorstep of the prophet Elisha. Naaman travels a long way ready for something great and to his surprise, the prophet Elisha doesn’t even bother to come to the door. Instead, Elisha sends his servant to tell Naaman, “Go wash seven times in the Jordan River.” And Naaman leaves the prophet’s house in quite a huff! In fact, the Bible says, “He turned and went off in a rage.”
And Naaman’s servant chases him down and tries to talk some sense into him. “If Elisha, the prophet, had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” And of course, when Naaman finally does what he was asked to do and finally dips his body in the dirty Jordan River seven times: “His flesh was restored and became clean.”
I wrote off to the side in my Bible: “We want what we want but we don’t always want it the way it’s offered!”
- We want our child to be a mighty worker for God bringing Him glory at every turn, but we don’t want her to be paralyzed!
- We want our loved one to no longer deal with pain and suffering, but we certainly don’t want that to happen through his or her earthly death.
- We want our child to have a testimony which will bring numerous people to Christ, but surely that doesn’t mean he will make numerous immoral decisions in his life and be forced to deal with the consequences.
- We want to feel we are being used by God, but not in our current place of employment. “Surely God, surely if I just had a better, more important job than I could be more influential for you.”
- We want to have a vital ministry, and we tell our single self, “Now just as soon as I’m married, my real life can begin.”
We want good. We want healing. We want blessings. But often times we are not a fan of how or when or what it takes for those blessings to come about. We would much prefer a pristine magical fairy wand as opposed to dipping seven times in a dirty, stinky river.
But magical wands are for Disney movies and not for God. And sometimes He offers us such goodness, such wonderful opportunities to be used by Him, such amazing victories that we simply can’t see it. We simply can’t see it because we want what we want and we don’t always want it the way it’s being offered.
What if we can come to the contented realization that it is not always about what we want, but instead, about what will bring Him the most glory and then being able to see the “dirty stinky rivers” in our lives for what they truly are . . . His goodness and blessings being showered down on us? Maybe my daughter gets to have a surgery here on earth which reverses her paralysis. Maybe God just straight up heals her. Maybe the next time she actually feels the ground below her will be when she runs on Heaven’s golden streets. But in the meantime, I am going to choose to see the goodness and blessings even if I have to look through the muddy gross water to see them.
Until the next Wednesday the Lord allows. Thank you for reading and for any recommendations you might make to family and friends about the blog.