Meeting goals

A year and a half ago, I stopped taking showers. Now I know that sounds terrible, but let me assure you I do bathe, just in the form of baths, not showers.

The reason being, my nervous system has gone into a parasympathetic state and the stimulation of shower spray on my head and body has been unbearable.

I’m reminded of the verse, “I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14a) I understand fully what the “fearfully made” statement means now with regards to the nervous system. Once that goes kaput things do get a bit fearful.

God has recently brought a new friend into my life named Emily, who is a survivor of a massive stroke causing severe brain injury. She has been such a huge supporter and we share our goals and dreams together as TBI warriors. I’m truly thankful for her courage and faith in facing the battles of daily life we face regularly.

The other week I related to her my goal of wanting to try taking showers again and she wholeheartedly encouraged me to give it a try and to not be afraid. It was a goal I had set and I was determined to at least try. Just telling her my goal and knowing she was behind me, gave me more courage and incentive to go for it.

But the biggest battle I was facing was my own fear. The fear of “what if”. What if I slip from my balance issues. What if I have a anxiety attack. What if I shatter my poor nerves again and on and on.

Fear is an anchor. It weighs down and keeps us still; it cements us, keeping our feet grounded and unable to move forward.

I decided to give it to God and carefully proceed forward with caution of course.

That morning after I got everything ready, and turned on the shower, I felt my courage rise up as I slowly got going and faced this challenge straight on. I let the water gradually spray my hands, then my arms and finally, slowly I put my full body in letting the warm water rush over my spine.

It wasn’t so bad. Yes, it was different and my spine felt the weird motor feeling I feel in it (sorry, I don’t know how else to describe this) but I allowed my body to slowly get used to the new sensation. I didn’t put my head under the spray yet but that will come and even though it was a small step, the giant leap was facing my fears and challenging myself to try things that were once common but now feel like a lifetime ago and uncertain.

Emily and I both cried tears of joy as I shared my small victory with her that day. While I further related my victory to others in our brain injury group, I received a overwhelming positive response while learning of others who have had the same shower issues like myself. One man said he needed occupational therapy before being able to shower again with ease.

It’s such a gift from God to get support especially when to the average person taking a shower’s no big deal. God has been so kind in leading me to others who can cheer me on especially when I need a good cheering.

Making goals and aiming for them can be a huge accomplishment no matter how big or small. Everyone needs goals because it’s setting goals that help us persevere, grow and stretch. Even if we fail or come short, not setting goals or trying is the bigger failure and we can’t give up.

I do think God sets goals too. He sees us the way He wants us to grow and mature in Him and puts us into circumstances that shape us more like Himself for His kingdom and for our good. From the beginning of time, His biggest goal was overcoming sin by sending Jesus to die in our place so we can have everlasting life. I’m tremendously glad Jesus met that goal! Jesus met every goal he faced because God the Father was with him every step of the way.

He’s with us too. God gave me strength last week to turn on the shower and get in. He’s given countless others with brain injury or health problems strength and courage to get up out of the bed to face what comes, and by His grace to set goals, face obstacles, and overcome challenges each and every day.

What are your goals? I’d love to hear them. If you wish, leave me a comment and I will gladly pray for you to meet your goals.~

A Time To Heal

About one year ago, I went to an eye specialist because of the extreme light sensitivity and pressure in my eyes. After examining my eyes and conducting numerous tests he concluded they were healthy but I was in need of special lenses for the glare and light sensitivities. He also told me from his experience with brain injury that it would take a “long time” for my brain to heal. He said this with big eyes to add emphasis to his words.

I could only think at that moment, “I hope he’s wrong!” I didn’t get it. I didn’t want to get it.

Who has time to heal nowadays? I certainly don’t. There’s too much to do with four kids, a home to run, and every day life with all it’s constant demands. Having an impatient nature and a type A personality wasn’t helping matters either. Yet….

The brain heals slowly.

I’ve dedicated hours of researching and reading information about brain injury and the time required for it to heal. Most doctors say 12-24 months but did my brain get that memo? Some may take years upon years to heal like Jennifer Barrick who is still healing 10 years after her horrible car wreck. She has made huge progress but still requires lots of TLC and therapy for her injury. Also, Michelle Munt from the UK who is still healing three years after her accident that required airlifting to the Royal London Hospital in England, with a serious injury most people don’t recover from. She still suffers from many symptoms daily.

No two brain injuries are like. Because of the complexity of the human brain and the fine tuning required for the neurons to heal, some will heal faster than others.

It’s seems to me in our fast paced society that we AREN’T accustomed to allowing our bodies time to heal. We want bandaids and quick shots of this or that.

The beauty of God’s word says there is a season and a TIME for every purpose under the sun….later it says A Time To Heal. God wants us to know that He has created us fearfully and wonderfully in His own image. We are His works of art, and His masterpiece. Our bodies are beautifully designed to heal. Healing is a gift to us. God says in His word, there IS a time to heal. Sadly, we don’t want to take the time to heal because we don’t want healing to take time.

Some brain inuries may take decades to heal or even a lifetime. Some may only heal to a point.

I struggle with thoughts like, “Am I going to heal? Will I be back to my old self again? I will never be the same.”

I have to give it over to God constantly. It’s too hard to try to glimpse into my perceived scenarios of the future. I must take one day at a time. When I give my worries over to the Lord, it gives me a sense of peace. I can envision a cardboard sign with each and every fear I feel written on it, sitting at the foot of the cross where Jesus calls me to cast my burdens.

Trusting in God’s perfect timing is my hope.

Psalm 31:15 says; My times are in thy hand..

That verse is so freeing to me because my healing and the time my body needs to heal aren’t up to me, but to God. There are plenty of things I can do to enhance my healing but really, it’s in His hands. He wants me to work at eating right, rest, get loads of sunshine, take my supplements, keep my appointments, etc. But actually, He is the one blessing those means which my body is using to recover. He wants me to trust Him and rest in His perfect timing for my brain to heal.

Will my family and friends be around after I’m healed? Some will. Some have already drifted away. Yet Jesus will be here because He will stay by my side during the process and be faithful to complete in me the good work He’s already begun. I’m trusting as far as timing goes that my times and healing are all in His magnificent and wonderful hands.