Vacation ended far to soon, and we found ourselves heading back, but the trip back was equally as beautiful as the trip their and I had heard from Chad, so I felt a little better. We both decided to agree to see different people but remain friends, it hurt, but I knew it was the right thing to do. Neither one of us had done anything wrong, and I was glad we could still be friends. I would not want to lose Chad’s friendship. He waa a good person and I hoped he found happiness.
Chad had done nothing wrong, and neither had I so we really had no reason to hate each other, and we didn’t. We were still good friends, and if things were meant to be, if we were meant to get back together it would happen. But we were both only seventeen and we still had our entire lives ahead of us, no matter how long they may be.
“I am sorry you and Chad broke up.” Myra said.
“It’s okay, it hurts, but I know it’s for the best. Thank you for letting me cry on your shoulder and vent though.”
“You are most welcome, what are Sisters in Christ for.”
“Amen My. I really am blessed.”
“I know you are Sienna and so am I.”
“If we think about it, if we really think about it we are all blessed, Sometimes we just get to blinded by life to really see those blessings. We get so wrapped up in the drama we don’t always take the time to see the beauty.”
“Amen to that Sienna.”
I turned to Psalm 30
A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple.[b] Of David.
1 I will exalt you, LORD,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 LORD my God, I called to you for help,
and you healed me.
3 You, LORD, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
you spared me from going down to the pit.
4 Sing the praises of the LORD, you his faithful people;
praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
6 When I felt secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”
7 LORD, when you favored me,
you made my royal mountain[c] stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.
8 To you, LORD, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:
9 “What is gained if I am silenced,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, LORD, and be merciful to me;
LORD, be my help.”
11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
LORD my God, I will praise you forever.
Reading from the good book had always touched my heart and soul, and this time was no different. I could not imagine life without the direction that was found in God’s word. I had to laugh when people said their was no instuction book for life, because God had given us the best one possible, The word, and we should cherish it, and thank God for it.
Lord thank you for your word. I know it is a blessing, and a blessing to serve you. I ask that you continue to bless me, and bless those who surround me. May I continue to be a testimony to others, and may you use everything that I have been through for your glory. If I can lead others to the Lord, then I truly believe it will all be worth it. I love you Lord, and I praise you. You have been so good to me, and I owe you thanks and praise for that. I love you Lord.
“I am so glad we serve such an awesome God My.”
“So am I Sienna. Look at the beauty that surrounds us. It’s just awe inspring. Truly amazing.”
“No arguments their.”
“What a blessing to serve such an awesome God.”
“Amen to that sister.”
I was going to hate to see this trip end, because I was seeing so much beauty. Even on the way home we took time to stop and enjoy the beauty that surrounded us. But vacation was going to end soon, and Myra and I were going to start our lives as college students. It seemed like only yesterday we were in Kindergarten and now here we were high school graduates starting a life of our own. I could not believe all that had happened in the relatively short span. Twelve years did not seem all that long in the scheme of things, and two years certainly didn’t.
“I am going to hate to see this end.” I told Myra.
“I am too, but we have plenty of pictures and memories, our cell phones and digital cameras are full of pictures. We will be able to relive this tip whenever we want to.”
“I am grateful that we will.”
“So am I Sienna. “
“You know what we will probably get to make another trip like this someday to, maybe with our children. And it will be a blessing for them as well.”
“I hope so My.”
“I believe it could happen Sienna.”
“I know My. With the Lord anything is possible. I am just so amazed at everything he has done for us.”
“I am too Sienna.”
“If I ever get to the point I take God’s blessings for granted My, make sure that you snap me out of it.”
“I will Sienna, don’t worry about that.”
“I know, thank you My. You are a good friend.”
“So are you Sienna.”
I looked out the window of the Rv, thinking about God’s blessings. Thinking about how far I had come in the past two years. I had wondered at first how I was going to make it, but now I knew that with God anything is possible. I was living proof of that.
I still was grieving over breaking up with Chad, but I was healing as well. If I could make it through a spinal cord injury, I certainly could get through a relationship ending. The truth was I really didn’t know if it had ended or if it were just put on hold anyway.
I could not be mopey and bring everyone else down with me. This was a time to celebrate and a time to prepare to get ready for college.
We took our time on our ride home as we did on the way to Georgia, but before long we were back home and actually it was welcomed. We had a lot to do to prepare for college and I wanted to make sure we got everything done that needed to be done. Myra and I were opening a new chapters in our lives, we were going to be college students.
I knew thinking about it was starting to get to our parents. I guess parents all grieve when their children grow up. I just prayed that my Mom and Aunt Sheila would know that we would never not want them a part of our lives. My Mom would always be a huge part of my life, college was not about to change that. We may no longer live in the same house on a daily basis, but that didn’t have to change our bond in any way. I was not going to allow that to happen, I had to much love and respect for my Mom than that.
I turned to the book of Joshua just days before I was going to leave for college.
Rahab and the Spies
1 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.
2 The king of Jericho was told, “Look, some of the Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land.” 3 So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab: “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land.”
4 But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. 5 At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.” 6 (But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.) 7 So the men set out in pursuit of the spies on the road that leads to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as the pursuers had gone out, the gate was shut.
8 Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, “I know that the LORD has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea[a] for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.[b] 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.
12 “Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign 13 that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them—and that you will save us from death.”
14 “Our lives for your lives!” the men assured her. “If you don’t tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly and faithfully when the LORD gives us the land.”
15 So she let them down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall. 16 She said to them, “Go to the hills so the pursuers will not find you. Hide yourselves there three days until they return, and then go on your way.”
17 Now the men had said to her, “This oath you made us swear will not be binding on us 18 unless, when we enter the land, you have tied this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you have brought your father and mother, your brothers and all your family into your house. 19 If any of them go outside your house into the street, their blood will be on their own heads; we will not be responsible. As for those who are in the house with you, their blood will be on our head if a hand is laid on them. 20 But if you tell what we are doing, we will be released from the oath you made us swear.”
21 “Agreed,” she replied. “Let it be as you say.”
So she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window.
22 When they left, they went into the hills and stayed there three days, until the pursuers had searched all along the road and returned without finding them. 23 Then the two men started back. They went down out of the hills, forded the river and came to Joshua son of Nun and told him everything that had happened to them. 24 They said to Joshua, “The LORD has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us.”
Many were not as blessed as Myra and I were, they went off to college with no idea of foundation, of where their faith laid, some did not even believed. It made me more and more grateful that despite what Mom had been through when I was little more than a toddler, despite the way Dad had left her, she chose not to be angry with God, and instead she raised me in a God-fearing home. I knew that truly did make a difference, and I was glad for that. I would not want to start out with no directions.
“I can’t believe you are really leaving for college.” Mom said as she helped me packed. “It seems like only yesterday that I was sending announcements out about your birth. The time has just gone by so quickly. I guess I never understood how quickly kids grow up until you were born. Now here I am helping you pack for college.”
“Mom I will be fine. I hope you know that. Myra and I are going to share a dorm room, and you have raised me with a strong foundation of faith. I know that with all you have taught me and with the Lord’s guiding hand most of all I will do just fine.”
“Sienna I know you will too. I am very proud of you. You have endured more than some people endure in a lifetime in just the past couple of years. Still your faith remains strong, that does my heart good.”
“Mom you have given me a good foundation of faith. You have showed me the joys of serving the Lord. You do not compromise your beliefs even when you are reporting the news. I know it has caused you trouble before, but you have never been afraid of speaking your faith on the air, or sharing your faith at home. When I gave my heart to the Lord, it was in large part due to the example you set before me.”
“Sienna you are going to make me cry.”
“That’s not what I am trying to do Mom.”
“I know sweetie. I am just so proud of you, and I am going to miss you so much.”
“Mom I’ll be home every weekend that’s why I chose to go to a college near by.”
“I am glad you decided on that.”
“So am I Mom. I didn’t want to go so far away that I couldn’t come back on the weekends. You won’t even know I am gone.”
“Of course I will Sienna, but I am proud of you and I know you are doing what’s right for you. You are going to make a wonderful novelist someday.”
“Well Mom I am studying journalism.”
“I know sweetie, but I also know your real dream is to be a novelist. I believe you will be too. I have complete faith in your ability.”
“Thank you Mom for your support. But if that doesn’t work out, I hope they have a place for me at the station.”
“Sienna they would be glad to have you, but go for your dreams sweetie.”
“I am Mom. Thank you for your encouragement.”
“You are more than welcome sweetie, I only want the best for you.”
“I know you do Mom. You have proven that time and time again.”
“I am glad, and I am blessed to have a daughter in you.”
“Now you are going to make me cry.”
“We are just both going to be one big mess aren’t we.”
“Yes we are.”
Mom and I found ourselves looking through old photo albums, more than we were doing packing. It would get done, but now we were just trying to cherish a few memories. Relieving the moments of my childhood. We even found ourselves looking at pictures that were taken at the hospital. At first I had been embarrassed to have anyone take my picture when I was in the chair, but it no longer bothered me. I still had moments when I was embarrassed I wished I was more steady on my feet, and was able to walk for longer distances, but the fact that I was able to take any steps, even with the walker was a miracle. A miracle I knew that I should be thankful for. I should not focus on what I could not do, but I needed to focus on what I could.
“I will miss you Mom, even though we will be close. I will miss you, but I’ll be okay, and so will you. You will be so busy with wedding plans and everything. And don’t worry I will be here for that.”
“You better be, you are one of the maids of honor.”
“Don’t worry Mom I will be. I am so glad you have finally found a good man, one who loves you.”
“Sienna believe me I am glad too. I don’t think I would have had the courage to date again if it weren’t for you though.”
“How do you figure that Mom?”
“Sweetie you just showed me that no matter what you have to hold on to faith, and keep fighting. I had to fight feelings of not being good enough, because of what happened years ago. I know that’s in the past though, and this is now. God has given me something good, and I am going to do my best to look at it as a blessing. You showed me the importance of that Sienna.”
“Mom you were the one who taught me to be strong, to stand up for myself. You have been strong all along.”
“Maybe on the outside, but on the inside I was terrified.”
“Mom I know what it is like to be afraid on the inside and put a brave front on the outside believe me. I became a master of that when I was in the hospital. I often really just wanted to fall apart.”
“It would have been okay to Sienna.”
“I understand that now Mom, but at the time I was afraid I was simply going to fall apart, and not be able to put myself back together again. I wanted to be brave and strong for everyone else. I didn’t want to see you guys hurting, and I know you were. I could see it in your eyes.”
“Oh sweetie, we were hurting because you were hurting.”
“I know Mom, and I love you for that. I have come along way since then though, and I am truly happy where I am at.”
“That’s wonderful Sienna, we really can not ask for more can we?”
“No we can’t Mom, but God blesses us with more anyway.”
It was nice having an adult conversation with my Mother. Not that we didn’t have them, because we did, but this time was more special, probably because we both knew that in a matter of days I would be driving off and leaving for college. Myra and her Mother were experiencing the same thing, but I think they were all releived that at least we would be going to college together. We would somehow be able to keep an eye on one another. I was glad that she was my roomate, because the truth was as strong as an independent as I was, I needed my best friend. I needed her help physically from time to time, but I also needed to lean on her when I was having a tough moment, and she needed to lean on me as well.
I still grieved the fact that things had changed so much sometimes. I grieved over Chad, but I also grieved over everything I had lost a couple of years prior. I had to remind myself that I had gained so much more though. I had gained more than I could have ever imagined. I could never let myself forget that God was good.
Having Myra for a roomate was going to make the trasnistion easier. I would be able to confide in my best friend, and I knew we had most of our classes together. She was pursuing a degree in Creative Writing as well. From the time we were in first grade we would write stories together, and as we grew older our writing grew. Myra had let me a read a few of her more recent pieces and they were amazing. She had a lot of insight for someone our age, but people said the same about me.
Lord thank you for letting things work out the way they have. I did not want to have to face starting over without someone familiar. And I know I am making it sound like I am moving a thousand miles away, but this is a big step for me, and the truth is I am a little scared. I probably shouldn’t be Lord, but I am. I want to have a good start in college, but I am afraid of what lays ahead. How are people going to treat me? Will I be able to keep up with my course load? I know this isn’t higschool anymore.
I had to snap out of it/
I don’t want to hear this.
Not listening to what I have to say is not going to make it any easier for you Sienna. You have to want to get stronger.
You said I would never walk again.
Come on where is that fighting spirit.
Please don’t leave me. Please tell me this is a bad dream I am going to wake up from.
“Sienna you fell asleep, and you looked like you were having a nightmare.”
“I guess, it was more like a flashback.”
“Are you okay?” Myra asked.
“Honestly My, I don’t know.”
“Come on Sienna, you will be okay. It’s just nerves.”
“Yeah your probably right.”
“Go get ready, lets check out the campus again.”
“Alright guess I will.”
“Use your chair Sienna, it’s a lot of walking.”
“Duh My.” I teased. “Don’t worry I am not going to slow you down any.”
“Sienna that’s not what I meant.”
“I know I am sorry. I guess I don’t make very good company right now. Are you sure you want me going?”
“Yes Sienna. I am sure now let’s go.”
“Okay My. I guess sitting around here moping isn’t going to get anything accomplished.”
“No it’s not.”
“Thank you My.”
“For not letting me sit back and sulk, and worry about what is probably nothing.”
“Siennna everything is going to be okay. You are going to be grear. Your smart and you want this don’t you. We have always talked about going to college together, and here were are.”
“I know My, and I really am happy. I am scared too though.”
“Sienna that’s normal. We are all a little scared of change, and you have been through a lot of change in the last couple of years. I would be worried if you weren’t a little afraid.”
“Thanks for the encouraging words My. Now as you keep telling me let’s roll.”
“Okay, sounds good. Try not to be too down okay Sienna please. Losen up and enjoy yourself.”
“I’m trying My, but a trip around the campus isn’t exactly a trip to Disneyland.”
“It’s as fun as we make it Sienna.”
“I guess your right about that.”
“I know I am.”
I loved the way Myra always did her to best, to cheer me up. She let me grieve, and she offered me her shoulder, but she didn’t let me stay down in the dumps about things either. I was the same way with her. The Lord knew we would need best friends in each other, so he had allowed that to happen. I was so glad for that, because I did not want to think about going through life without my best friend. I knew she felt the same way about me too.
Lord thank you for helping Myra to know what to say to get me out of that head space. I am dwelling to much on things I know that Lord, and I really need to snap out of it. I thank you for giving me the courage and the strength to do that. I love you Lord, and I praise you.
“It is a beautiful campus isn’t it Sienna?”
“Yes it is. I can not imagine what its like to see something like this and not believe.”
“That’s not something I want to imagine Sienna.”
“Me either My. I am glad I have my faith.”
The world may not see our faith as popular, but neither Myra or I were out to be simply popular. We wanted to be able to share God’s message with others, and live a Christian life, while finding a measure of success in this world, We knew it could be done, because that is the very thing our Mothers did. They had found both faith and success, the truth was you could not know true success, without faith. I believed that with all my heart, and I prayed I would never lose sight of that.
“Let’s never let anything they try to teach us in any of our college courses, get in the way of what we believe My.”
“I can go for that. Let’s make that pact, and if we start to question, we will remind each other just what God has done for us.”
Honestly I didn’t know what college would hold for us, and neither did Myra. We were new here, and hadn’t even started classes yet, but we had both heard of professors who tried to shove their liberal views down students throats and were particalary hard on those students who proclaimed to be Christians. I made a promise to myself but more importantly to God, that no matter what anyone said, no matter how they tried to threaten us I was not going to compromise my beliefs. I refused to deny my beliefs.
Perhaps I was being overdramatic but I knew violence happened and Christians were persecuted not just overseas but in America. I remembered what happened at Columbine, Virgina Tech, and Pearl Mississip I had only been a little girl then, and did not understand what was going on, but I do remember Mom crying when the news of Columbine came on. I had not seen Mom cry like that since my Father had left us a couple of years earlier, but then she had tried to hide those tears now she wasn’t.
I knew that I could not go through life worrying about another Columbine though. I had to believe that the Lord’s hand would protect me through this, and if I were to be called home I would be ready. My heart was right with the Lord, and I had given my life to Christ along time ago. I was washed in the blood, so I knew that if my time were to end at this very minute I would be called to Heaven, and would be reunited with Jesus. I had a feeling though that Jesus had a little more life in store for me though, and the truth was I would gladly accept that.
The Lord had something for me to accomplish on this earth. He had something for us all to accomplish, if we only took the time to listen to his direction. Far to many times we got busy going where we wanted to go, wondering why we were feeling lost. The truth was we were lost, whenever we strayed from Christ we allowed ourselves to become lost.
“Feeling better?” Myra asked.
“Yeah. Sorry. Just getting lost in thought, and the beauty. You were right this is a beautiful campus. God’s beauty is evident everywhere. I am glad we decided to go here. It may be a little difficult for me to get used to navigating around here at first, but I will get used to it.”
“And if you need me Sienna, just say the word okay.”
“I will My. You know that.”
“I don’t always know that Sienna, because sometimes you can be plain stubborn.”
“Well I am told in some cases that could be a good thing.”
“I know Sienna, I am just teasing you.”
“I know you are, and it’s okay. I am only teasing back. I am glad we can play around with each other and not take things to seriously.”
“Me too Sienna.”
“Seriously though Sienna, if you ever need help I am here for you.”
“I know you are Myra and thank you. You know the same is true for you. “
“I am glad we have each other.”
“So am I My.”
I knew that God placed every person into our life for a reason. Some would remain for a lifetime, and some for only a season. I truly believed that Myra was a friend who would remain for a lifetime. We had been friends since we were little girls, and here we were at college still friends, sharing a dorm room. I had to believe this was God’s way of showing us that this was a friendship that’s meant to last forever. I
I loved my literature classes, and Creative writing class but the Math classes were not exactly the highlight of my day. The truth was Math had never really been a class I enjoyed. I was more of a creative thinker, and I seemed to freeze up when it came to math. I was smart enough to understand what was being done though, and slowly I got the hang of doing the problems, it just wasn’t something I enjoyed. I had never enjoyed math, truth be told. My dislike for Math certainly didn’t change because I was in College now.
You are going to have to work hard to prove yourself capable, and you may have to do things a little differently than some. But your legs do not work, that does not mean you can’t suceed. If you are determined Sienna, you can certainly know success.
I remembered the words that the therapists had spoken to me just over two years prior, as I was getting ready to leave the hospital. I was still struggling to come to terms with everything at the time. The fact was in some ways I would probably always have things to come to terms with. I knew that she was right though, if I worked hard enough I would find success. I found comfort in that fact.
I had found success too, perhaps not in the monetary sense, though I still managed to earn money here and their. I would find greater monetary success when I graduated from college and got my degree, but I found success in knowing that I could overcome with the help of the Lord, and in doing well in the school. I had shown everyone that with the Lord anything is possible, and in my book that was more important than all the money in the world. I am not saying I did not pray I would be able to earn a good amount of money the way Mom did, but if I did I had plans on helping others just as Mom did.
I am not going to say things are always going to be easy for you Sienna, because they are not. That is true for anyone though, not just people who suffer from Spinal Cord injuries. And I am not going to promise you won’t have your share of trials, you will. I will promise that with hard work though, you will have a good and happy life, if you allow yourself that.
Once again the therapist had been right. I was grateful that she was both encouraging and honest with me. I knew I was not the first person this physical therapist work with, and some had injuries much more severe than mine. I could breathe on my own, and I had use of my upper body, some were not as blessed as I was. I knew that and I had could thank God that my injuries were not worse. If my injury had been just a little higher, I could have been in the same situation.
“Are you okay Sienna?” Myra asked.
“Yeah sorry. I was just lost in thought. “
“Still having a hard time with college Alegebra?”
“That’s putting it mildly. I’ll get it, but I don’t like it.”
“Math isn’t my favorite subject either, but I think it’s safe to say I am a little more fond of it than you are.”
“I would not doubt that My.”
“You’ll do fine though Sienna., I know you, and you are smart. You will do well.”
“I hope so My.”
“I know you will Sienna. Have faith in yourself, and if you need help with the problems, I will do my best to help.”
“I just may take you up on that.”
You can face the challenges you will have, with faith and determination, no matter what they may be.
The words, the gentle reminder gave me the hope I needed. No matter my struggles, even if it were simply understanding College Alegebra, I would get through. I knew that the good Lord was going to help me through anything if I worked hard and I turned to him when I needed help.
Nothing was to big or to small for the Lord to handle. I was reminded of that daily. And I was blessed by that fact. I often had to remind myself that the Lord was not upset when we turned to him even with the small things, he wanted us to trust him in all things great and small.
Abraham Justified by Faith
1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”[a]
4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
7 “Blessed are those
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”[b]
9 Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11 And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12 And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”[c] He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.
18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”[d] 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
I did not neglect spending time in the word, even with all my studying, because I knew that if I did that, I would regret it. Instead I spent time in prayer and reading the word everyday, knowing that if I leaned on him I would find true strength. Strength that could only come from the Lord. I would never have been as strong as people claimed I was, if it had not been for the Lord. I doubted I would have been in college now. I would have been probably expecting everyone to care for me, without knowing the Lord would give me strength. I wondered how anyone could not turn to the Lord, not only in their times of sorrow, but in times of celebration as well.
“What do you think of the Creative writing class?” Myra asked.
“I love it, but I knew I would. What about you?”
“I love it too, the professor as a little stricter than I expected I guess. But I like the class, and what we are learning.”
“Like you told me about Math, I know you will do great.”
“You’re welcome My.”
I could not believe that I had come so far. The Lord had gotten me through this much, and I was grateful for that. The Lord was continuing to bless me, and I had no doubt that I would do well in my classes. I had faith in the Lord and in my ability.
I knew that with the help of the Lord I could overcome anything. I was going to make it through college with the help of the Lord. I knew that was a blessing, and I thanked the good Lord for it. I was blessed and I knew that. I could not have overcome anything I had without the Lord, and without the help of my family and my best friend. Myra helped me in more ways than I believed she would ever understand. I was rich in the ways that truly mattered and I prayed I would always remember that.
“My, I really am thankful for all you have done for me too. I hope you know that.”
“I do Sienna, and thank you. I want to be here for you. That’s what best friends are for.”
“I know My.”
Sienna you are going to get through this, you are going to be okay. No one said that recovery was going to be easy. You are going to have to accept the fact that some things have changed, but that does not mean you have changed. You are the same person you were before, you just happen to be sitting down.
This wasn’t what I wanted out of life.
Sienna no one wants to suffer from a spinal cord injury. No one asks for an accident to turn their world upside down, but the way you react that is your choice. You can either be mad at the world, or you can decided to move on with your life. You can still accomplish things Sienna, you may not run races, but you can still be successful.
I know that in my head, but the truth is my heart hurts
“Sienna wake up! We are going to be late from class. You were talking in your sleep. You never do that, having a bad dream?”
“No another memory.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah I’m fine, I was just remembering the way the physical therapist encouraged me after the accident.”
“You’ve been dreaming about your time in the hospital, a lot lately haven’t you?”
“Yeah I guess I have. I really don’t know why.”
“Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Yeah My, I am positive I am fine. The dream was actually not a bad one. I just can’t figure out why I am having so many dreams like this.”
“Maybe God’s telling you something.”
“I don’t know Sienna, you will have to pray about it.”
“You’re right, thank you.”
“I don’t know what you are thanking me for, but your welcome. Now get ready, or we are going to be late for class, and I don’t want to be late.”
“Me either My. I can take a hint I am getting ready.”
I was a lot faster at getting ready now, than I had during those first days after the accident. I still took longer than I had before the Spinal Cord Injury, but I had made a lot of progress, and I was glad of that. I had worked hard towards that progress and I was going to continue to work hard. The Lord had blessed me and I was going to in turn bless others, by showing them what could be done, with God’s grace. I tried now to look at even the little victories as a reason to celebrate because I knew how quickly things could be taken away from you. Tomorrow was not a promise, but a gift, so I was going to do my best to cherish all my todays and I was glad for that.
Lord thank you for giving me people in my life who care. I know that is a true blessing, and thank you for giving me that foundation of faith that has allowed me to overcome everything I have overcome. I know that I cannot know true success unless I live for you lord, and I thank you for that knowledge. I am so blessed by the many things in my life you have done for me. I ask for your continued blessings not only for myself but for others in my life as well. I ask that you let Mom and Kenny have a long and happy relationship and I ask that no matter what happens or has happened between Chad and I you continue to bless him.
“Your getting lost in thought again Sienna.”
“Just praying, but I am ready let’s go.”
“Sounds good, pray that we do well on this test.”
“I have and I am sure we will My.”
“I hope so.”
“We’ve studied hard. We have the material covered, we will do fine.”
“I guess I am just a little nervous.”
“I couldn’t tell at all.” I teased Myra.
“Well I am glad I could make you laugh. At least I got your mind off of worrying for a minute.”
“Sienna you are just as bad when it comes to math.”
“Guilty as charged.”
“What did you have a gallon of coffee before class?” Myra joked.
“I don’t think so, if I did we would both be in trouble.”
“Very funny. I want some of your energy and enthusiasm.”
“The Lord just gave me an amazing sense of peace after praying this morning.”
“That’s awesome Sienna.”
“I know, I love when the Lord works like that.”
“Me too Sienna.”
“We serve an awesome God.”
“Yes we do amen, and now we are here. I actually feel much better about this test thank you Sienna.”
“You’re welcome but you should be thanking the Lord.”
“I am Sienna, believe I am.”
“Good. Now let’s get in class before we miss the test all together.”
“That might be a good idea.” Myra agreed.
Thank you Lord for using me to help calm Myra’s nervousness, the way you use her to help calm mine. I know we are blessed to have your presence in our lives. I could not even begin to imagine going through life without faith in you dear Lord. I see your beauty and handiwork evident everywhere. I honestly don’t understand how anyone can see all of this, and not believe. I feel so sad for those who go through life without the faith in you that has helped me get through everything I have gotten through. You have blessed me in so many ways. I cannot begin to thank you for everything. Give me the strength I need to get through each new day, and I thank you for pouring your continued blessings on my, and on my loved ones. You have been so good Lord, how can anyone see that goodness, and love and question what you want for us? I know you want to prosper us, and give us a future, and Lord please help Myra and I to do well on this test. Forgive me for going on like this, but I have so much on my mind at the moment, and so much to thank you and praise you for. I could praise you my whole life and that still would not be sufficient.
I was relieved when the test lay in front of me, because I realized it was material I had covered, and would understand. I could see Myra was relieved to, because she hadn’t been so sure of herself. We were both good students but I seemed to be a little stronger in some classes than she was, and she was stronger in some. We both had our strengths and our weakness, but that was true for everyone. I was just grateful that we could help each other through the classes we struggled with. It made it easier, and it was a blessing. I doubted I would have been able to keep up with my classes, when I went back to school after the accident, had it not been for Myra, she had made sure I got my assignments, even when I was still recovering at home, unable to attend school. I knew she had took a lot of time out of her own schedule, to make sure we could graduate together. I was a good student, but I knew that if I had fallen to far behind I would have struggled to make up, and would have spent less time in trying to recover from the accident. Myra understood that too, and that is why she had been so instrumental in helping me.
“That wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.” Myra admitted. “I think I did well on the test.”
“I am sure you did My. I am glad this is our last class for the weekend. Mom and I are planning on going out for dinner tonight. You and your Mom are invited too of course. In fact I think she would like you guys to be there she wants to talk about wedding plans.”
“I’ll ask Mom, but I think she will be sure to be there. I can’t believe your Mom is actually going to get married.”
“I know I am so happy for her.”
“So am I. She deserves this.”
“Yes she does My. I am glad to see her happy. She spent so much time worrying about me after I was hurt.”
“I know we all did Sienna, but that was only because we care.”
“I know you guys do, and I am so grateful for that. I could not have gotten this far without you guys. I probably would have just become someone who mopes around all the time.”
“Sienna that has never been your style.”
“I have my moments.”
“We all do Sienna, but that just makes us human.”
Having people in your life, who care who want to help you, will make a difference, but sometimes the best way they will be able to help you is to let you help yourself. You will have to learn to speak up and tell people what you can do and what you cannot to, there’s no shame in asking for help if you really need it, but don’t let people just think they have to baby you. You have a spinal cord injury that does not have to mean you are helpless. You will be as able as you allow yourself to be.
At first my family and friends had wanted to do everything they could to make my life easier, sometimes that included doing things for me that I could have done on my own. I learned quickly to speak up though, and Mom, Aunt Sheila and Myra all understood, they wanted me to have the independence I craved. I had times when I really did need help, that was true even today, and I was no longer ashamed to admit that, but I was also not going to let people baby me. I was not a little child, I was a young woman, and I was completely capable of doing most things for myself.
Sometimes you may feel bad, telling people no, but that’s okay. I am sure that feeling will pass, and if they truly wants what’s best for you, they will let you take those steps to independence. You may have those moments when you question what you are really capable of, but if you look within yourself, you will truly see what you are capable of.
“Sienna you’re doing it again. You are getting lost in space.”
“Sorry My. I just can’t seem to help it. I am usually not this spacey.”
“No kidding Sienna. Are you going to be okay to drive back home?”
“Yeah I will, when I am on the road I focus on the road.”
“I know you do Sienna, I was just teasing. Are you ready?”
“Sure it’s been a few weeks since we’ve been back home, I know our parents will be happy to see us. I can’t wait to find out what Mom wants to talk to us about, about the wedding I mean.”
“I don’t know what your Mom has in mind, but we will soon find out.”
“Yes I know we will. I know that I hope Mom has a perfect wedding, she really didn’t get that when she married my Father. His family was well, I really don’t know how to put it. I am sure anything I try to say regarding them will come out as Un-Christian.”
“I know how you feel about them Sienna, you don’t have to tell me anything. They did wrong by you and your Mother, in a very big way, and I don’t blame you for being mad at them. I am mad at them too, because I don’t like anyone hurting my best friend.”
“Thank you My. But I prefer not to even think about that right now, let’s focus on Mom’s wedding.”
“Okay Sienna, you’re the one who brought it up though.”
“I know and I am thankful for your encouragement and your kindness, don’t ever forget that okay Myra.”
“I won’t Sienna.”
Lord I appreciate all you have done for me and the encouragement you have given me. I thank you for letting me overcome all I have overcome, but I do ask that you help me get over this strong feeling of hate I have for my Father’s side of the family. I know that is not of you, and I do not want to be consumed by it anymore. I do not want to hear their names, and let that anger rise anymore. I do not want these people or these feelings to have that kind of hold over me anymore. Instead I want to feel only your joy. I want to know your presence.
“I understand why you feel the way you do Sienna, and I am not going to bring it up unless you do. I just want you to know that if you need a friend I am here.”
“My, I have never forgotten that, thank you. I know I tell you often, that I could not have gotten through this without the help of you, Mom, your Mom and most importantly the good Lord, but the truth is I can not thank you enough. I cannot thank any of you enough for everything you have done.”
“Sienna you know we want to be there for you.”
“Yes, thank you.”