All to the Glory of God–that is why I blog and share my story so openly. I want others to know it is possible to live and parent well with mental illness. This, by necessity, causes my posts to be brutally honest, and that is not always pretty.
I have always endeavored to live by the verse 2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
This is not me. This is not her. It used to be me. It’s never been her.
I spent several years in and out of this wheelchair due to Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I have learned to walk three times in my life…and that last time seems to have been the charm as the MS has been in remission since before that almost 11-year-old up there was even in the womb and I have gone from using a wheelchair to running 5ks, 10ks, and soon a half marathon!
So, today, that wheelchair and I are parting ways. Permanently. I am taking back my attic space and you, dear wheeled chariot, are going back to work.
Let me explain.
My family and I felt the call a few months ago to begin helping refugees who are fleeing horrible, horrible situations. These new Americans have been vetted by every level of government and have waited through years of paperwork to get here. They are here to be safe, to be free.
I didn’t know what to expect the first time I visited Mary (name changed) but what I found, was a friend–one of my most favorite people in the world. I like to think I help her and her family, but what I know, is I love being around her and her family. It brings me much joy and happiness.
Then there was an e-mail from a local agency asking me to help another family. I was scared to say yes, but thanks to google translate all went well and I got them to their doctor appointment. One of the family members Helen (name changed) was in a wheelchair. A really old beat up wheelchair. In this family, I saw loneliness. I have known loneliness many times in my life and seeing it so naked before me, I wanted to run…but my heart was drawn to them.
Then, a few weeks later, the agency sent out a list of things needed for a family. We had two of those items. A sofa and a vacuum a neighbor had given us when they moved. I ignored the wheelchair on that list. Yes, I have one…but I can’t give it away…what if?
Last night, we went to deliver the sofa and the vacuum. And who greeted us, but Stephen (name changed), Helen’s brother. They were the ones moving into an apartment needing these items. And there was Helen, sitting on the floor, needing a wheelchair. And there was me, fresh from running 5 miles, owning a wheelchair. But, what if…
What if what?
I called hubby to talk to him about it. He was all for passing along the chair…and she is not much bigger than I…so even though it was made for me…it seems like it is time for it to be made for her.
So today, I put Sue to work cleaning a decade plus of grime off my chair. Tonight I am going to drop it off to Helen. Friday I am going to attempt another 10 mile run.
All by the grace of God.