Pity Parties and Focus

I’ve wasted many moments worrying about things that never came to pass, and even more moments throwing pity parties for myself celebrating all the things I could NOT do. What a waste!

Approximately one year after my accident I hit rock bottom spiritually and emotionally. I was a senior in high school and was horrified by my prospects. I was so prideful that I would roll through the day with a fake smile on my face, but as soon as the lights were out and I was in bed alone, I would start mentally counting all of the “can not’s” in my life. I can’t feel anything from my neck down. I can’t control my bowels. I can’t control my bladder. I can’t bathe myself. I can feed myself. I cannot sit in a chair for even two hours without passing out. I can feed myself. I’ll never be able to drive myself…The list got longer, and I got lower.

I would begin to pray and that would lead to crying. The crying always led to cursing. I was angry at me and I was angry at God. No hope and certainly no future. I cried out to my parents and asked them to bring me my Bible and then leave me alone. I had been in church all my life but had neglected any regular Bible study. I had no idea where to begin. Out of frustration and the inability to easily turn the pages, I would raise my right arm and smack the Bible in one direction or the other. I remembered hearing about a guy named Job. He had evidently had a few bad things happen to him. It took me forever to turn the pages to the beginning of his story.

He was a train wreck—lost his family, his friends, his wealth, and his health. At the beginning of the book, he is sitting in a pile of ashes, scraping boils off his body with some broken pottery. His encouraging wife comes by and makes a sarcastic remark about his God. I know how I would’ve responded to that woman, and I was hoping Job was about to stick it to her. Instead, Job stuck with God. I hated Job! I wanted him to lash out. I wanted him to curse God and everyone around him. I wanted him to justify everything I was thinking and praying. I hated Job … but I kept reading.

I remember thinking, Yeah, but Job wasn’t a seventeen-year-old quadriplegic with no future. But I kept reading and literally wrestling with God. I have never audibly heard the voice of God, but that night, through the book of Job, I was reminded who God was and who I was. While I was telling God that I couldn’t do this and I couldn’t do that, He clearly spoke to me through His Word and said, “I never asked you to do any of that. All I ever asked was that you trust me.”

The Creator of the universe has given me the permission and the privilege of not worrying about my future. I am simply to trust Him with it.

My prayer that night and to this day has been, “Lord, forgive me for not keeping my eyes on you. I do not feel like it. The circumstances do not make sense to me. I am clueless. I am helpless. But I am going to trust you, and I am going to trust you with my today, my tomorrow, and my eternity.” The following morning the “can’t do” list had not changed, but the most important thing in my life had changed. My focus had changed from my limitations and inabilities to God’s omnipotent power and possibilities.

1 Comment
  1. First of all I am so grateful that I was listening to relevent radio and heard your interview today. I have no physical disabilities, mental disabilities, or any addictions. I have been fortunate to have a family that loves me very much. I am facing some trials fueled by pride and selfishness. Although I am ashamed to say that I have wasted the gifts that God has given me, your interview also inspired me to to continue on my spiritual path to submit to God’s will for me, whatever that may be. I look forward to reading your book and may God bless you and your family.
    Shawn

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