Share. Connect. Love.

Posted 2015-01-18T11:41:00Z


People are born every day, but you choose to mark the days that are connected with people you care about. One of the people I care about is my friend Hanna. Her birthday is January 18th, and last year, she wanted to go rock climbing in the morning and to dinner in Freiburg in the evening. I messed up her plans a little bit by falling from the top of the rock wall and hijacking the rest of the day.

For better or for worse, we share this day now. I’ll forever be connected to Hanna because her birthday is my traumaversary. I mark this day each year as the day that my life changed forever, the day I lost the ability to walk, the day ripped my from my classroom for a semester, the day that brought me closer to Jesus than I’d ever been.

A year later, I’ve miraculously recovered a lot of movement and sensation though I’m still far from restored. I still use a wheelchair most of the time, and I still need loads of medical equipment and medication that I’d rather not. There’s a fine line between celebrating the healing that has happened and grieving over what function has not yet returned. I don’t know where to fall some days; neither do you. Every day has highs and lows, triumphs and trials, and I want to very clearly acknowledge both. I don’t need anyone to remind me of the odds that were against me ever walking again; I know them well. I also don’t need any reminders of how much I’m left without since my accident; I can’t forget it.

This is part of who I am, and I’m not ashamed of it by any means, but I don’t fully understand it myself. It’s new territory for me still. I’ve only been paralyzed one time every day of the earth’s orbit around the sun. I’ve been un-paralyzed for 24 previous rotations. I need a little more time to make sense of this new way of life. I also know that there’s still miraculous healing to come. Most of you read or heard about my toe wiggle just a couple weeks ago. I am not ready to be comfortable with where I am because it’s not where I’ll remain.

I’ve kinda made a mantra of “comfort is overrated” because that’s become so true for me the past couple years. I needed to get outside my comfort zone when I moved from my Shire-like Hillsboro, Oregon to this Shire-like Kandern community (not the Mordor you were expecting). I needed to get uncomfortable through the personal space invasion of hospital care to learn about dependence on others (much more Mordor-like). I’m still not comfortable, and I’m okay with that. If I get comfortable, I’ll get stagnant as a person, and I never want that.

I constantly want to be growing, deepening who I am. Moving to Germany was a big part of that, and recovering from my accident continues to shape me in powerful ways. My story isn’t over yet. I know the last page - and there’s excitement in what’s to come - but there’s a whole adventure between me and the end that I don’t yet know. I have a lot of autonomy in the way that I join with the Author of my story to get to the end, and a lesson I learned long ago is that I intend to live deliberately. In fact, years ago, I taped a note to my desk for me to remember every day “I intend to live deliberately.” I was terrified of being like Edna from The Awakening and just letting life happen to me, so I made a solemn vow to be an active participate in my own life. 

All that being said, I’m still figuring out how to respond well to all this crazy crap in my life. I’m facing each day without any instruction manual on how to live as a teacher paralyzed in her mid twenties. I have nothing to give you other than my gratitude for reading this and continuing to care and pray. I have no reason to expect anything from you, and yet, I still beg of you to join with me in repeating the requests I told my dad before surgery a year ago: Pray that God is glorified. Oh, and it’d be nice if I could walk again, too.

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Comments (23)

  • Karen Brauer
    Karen Brauer

    Dear Laura, You have been on my mind this weekend, so i have been praying for you alot, looking back over this past year, how the Spirit sustains you beyond human ability -both physically and in your faith. I give thanks for you and am so glad you are at BFA. And praying for you to walk again.

    6 years ago · Reply
  • David Hewett
    David Hewett

    And (y)our prayers HAVE been answered, God has been glorified! As a father I could not be more pleased with my daughter and her response to life and God's display of HIS Glory through the vessel HE has created called Laura. I LOVE you Laura, Dad.

    6 years ago · Reply
  • Shirley Barker
    Shirley Barker

    Love, love, love reading your heart. It's so refreshing, too, in a world riddled with "okays" and "goods." Authenticity. It's the best. I can only imagine your intimacy with the Lord now, your even greater intimacy after your initial move out of your Comfort Zone. It's so amazing how in our darkest time we see the most light. Live intentionally - so true and a mantra I share. So thankful for the gift from God you are and your trail-blazing spirit. You may be in a wheelchair, but you are untethered. xoxo

    6 years ago · Reply
  • Katrina Custer
    Katrina Custer

    I fell asleep last night thinking of you and Hanna, knowing it was already the 18th for you. What grace and kindness, patience and resilience you've encompassed the past 12 months. I pray for you far more often than I let you (sorry), and I can't wait to see you in March. May this particular day hold blessings for you in a special way that only God could have designed. SDG. Love, Katrina

    6 years ago · Reply
  • Trish Sprecker
    Trish Sprecker

    Once again, you brought beautiful tears to my eyes. The reality of life for you and the strength of the Savior shining through is quite a sight to behold. I know from personal trauma there are days you do not share with us of personal confusion that is deep and that is okay, it is refreshing to read the triumph of God's attitude shining through when our own is broken. Rest continually in His arms and let Jesus continue to lead you through. It is not a battle to get over but one one to wade through. Your eyes being on Jesus....that is your biggest witness and triumph no matter what, but I pray daily that God heals you completely. I cannot wait to read your book when you eventually write about this, I somehow think you will. Wink, wink. Love you to pieces Laura!

    6 years ago · Reply
  • Laura McGlothlin
    Laura McGlothlin

    I join others who have been praying for you this weekend. I hope there are some special rays of hope and encouragement today! Hugs!

    6 years ago · Reply
  • Carol Newlin
    Carol Newlin

    Laura - Your posts pack such a wallop! You convey such feelings of authenticity. You tell your stories so briefly but with such meaning that I'm always amazed at how well you can make me understand what this journey has been for you. And you always throw in a little wise comment or some humor to lighten things. This past year has been incredibly tough and yet so very inspiring for us all. We so appreciate you continuing to update us on how you are doing - the good and the bad. I pray the next year brings more healing and miracles for you and your family. Continue living deliberately!

    6 years ago · Reply
  • Vanessa K
    Vanessa K

    I think there needs to be a 'I read the Great Awakening & it scarred me for life a little bit' club. May we never be Ednas. I hope you're surrounded by people you love today (if you desire the company) and always. Also: Lord of the Rings jokes...what a nerd ;).

    6 years ago · Reply
  • Sue MacMillan
    Sue MacMillan

    Laura, you continue to inspire and remind us to embrace all the little victories. May God bless you, now and for evermore.

    6 years ago · Reply
  • Patricia Rogers
    Patricia Rogers

    I am so proud of who you are and what is to come in your life. Like I told you I always knew you would walk out of Rehab and I know you will walk again without your sticks and braces. I love you to pieces, you know. Love, Granny

    6 years ago · Reply
  • Georgia Robinson
    Georgia Robinson

    Oh Laura, you have been such an inspiration

    6 years ago · Reply
  • Georgia Robinson
    Georgia Robinson

    Dearest Laura You may never know what an impact your life has had on me and others. As I go through this post op rehab for my knee replacement, I think of you and pray for you more than ever before. Though my battle is mini compared to yours, I appreciate your struggle in a whole different way. Yes, the successes are very lifting and the areas of defeat not so good. But keeping my eyes on our beloved Jesus and encouraged by your postings, I am able to go forward. I pray Laura, that someday you could put all these postings of yours in a book to be read and reread by many. Whether physical, mental or spiritual, many would benefit from your very honest postings. Our prayer for you, of course, is that you will walk one day. But we also pray you are encouraged by each answer to prayer and blessing the Lord gives you. We hold you tightly in our prayers and love you Georgia

    6 years ago · Reply
  • Corrine Rogers
    Corrine Rogers

    I can add nothing to these comments that say it all. However you have and will continue to be in my prayers. Love you. And, I, too, will be waiting for that book one day in the future.

    6 years ago · Reply
  • Donnas Moe
    Donnas Moe

    You are a Shining Light whatever roads your life's journey takes you. I am in awe whenever I read your blog. God's blessings.

    6 years ago · Reply
  • Barbara Speck
    Barbara Speck

    Will continue to journey with you Laura through prayer in 2015...and not give up asking for Jesus' miraculous healing!

    6 years ago · Reply
  • The Taylor Family
    The Taylor Family

    Laura, your situation, and your choice to place your trust in the Lord, continues to speak volumes to many! Thank you for allowing God to use your very difficult circumstances to point our family to Him who is able to do more than we could ask or imagine. You are in our hearts and in our prayers, and we join you in asking and trusting God for more healing in 2015!

    6 years ago · Reply
  • Greg Steward
    Greg Steward

    It wasn't your choice to take that fall, but each day you have a choice regarding how to live in light of that day. Thank you for being an example, a teacher, to us regarding how to live in the light of his glory and to persevere through hard times. And it will be "through" hard times, what Paul calls these light, momentary troubles. May God give you the necessary grace that each day requires.

    6 years ago · Reply
  • stephanie ringsage
    stephanie ringsage

    Laura, every breathe your breath to every toe you wiggle I pray you will continue to be made strong in your weakness. Your ongoing blog, your transparency of your challenges and praises DO glorify our almighty God's wisdom and plan for you life. Thank you for your comments, your humor and precious insight of the lessons you are learning; by sharing these things, you encourage others (me) and help keep things in perspective in our lives. Reminding us that our lives are really God's special gift to us. Still praying for great miracles in your life!! Watch and be amazed as God reveals his plans for you !! Blessings, Stephanie Ringsage

    6 years ago · Reply
  • Sue Kummer
    Sue Kummer

    You are an amazing young woman that God is using is many more ways than you can see right now. Please keep sharing, no matter which side of things you are observing or feeling that day. Yes, I will continue to pray for your heart's desire: for God to be glorified, oh yea, and for you to experience healing!

    6 years ago · Reply
  • Ashleigh King
    Ashleigh King

    Reading this bring tears to my eyes and a smile to face - simultaneously. Your writing seems to have that effect, girl. You have no idea how many people you have inspired and how the glory of God shines through every part of you. You inspire me. Constantly. I am lucky to be connected to the one of the coolest people I know. Can't even tell you how much I wish I could have a cup of coffee with you in person right now, but I'll settle for asking Jesus to be the loving arms I can't be. :) I miss you terribly, pray for you often, and love you a lot. Love , Ashleigh.

    6 years ago · Reply
  • George Wood
    George Wood

    Praying with you and for you that He will be glorified and that you will be healed!

    6 years ago · Reply
  • Deb Piccirillo
    Deb Piccirillo

    Hugs from Downingtown, PA.

    6 years ago · Reply
  • Joy Watson
    Joy Watson

    Remembering with you this passing of one year and your Traumaversary. I respect and admire your journey and the instruction manual you are writing. You are in the arena in your suffering, strength, and perseverence, and frustration, and pain. You are beautiful in all of it. May God's healing power continue to be manifested in your body and soul. You are dear.

    6 years ago · Reply