It was sometime this last winter, and I can’t recall, but a college roommate of mine at Fort Hays was putting out on social media about his son getting life watched to KC for a severe headache situation they couldn’t figure out. I immediately began to pray and continued praying for answers and for healing. I continued to follow Lance Fiekert’s posts on Twitter and Facebook, as he was guiding prayer warriors on specific prayers, but he was also sharing the things that were keeping their family going forward as they struggled through finding a diagnosis, then once they did, a successful treatment. I remember praying diligently, and I could feel others were doing the same. Long story short, one by one, prayers began to be answered, the diagnosis came, treatments came, ups and downs came, and you could feel Lance and his family going through the ups and downs but the whole time he was inspiring people by his faith in God to handle the whole situation.
Fast forward to last Friday, about 3 pm, Karen called me, “Nels, Nash is alive but he has been shot….!” “What??” ……….. we made it to the hospital, couldn’t see him, they could, then he and I got on a helicopter to Wichita. The whole time, “Is he gonna live?” “What is going on inside him?” “What is going to happen?” “You are kidding me, is this real??” My legs were shaking, my heart was blasted away, but I had to be strong. He needed me to, my wife needed me to, there was no other choice.
We landed in Wichita, it was exactly 5 pm, on the roof of Wesley. A flight that took less than 45 minutes, but lasted an eternity. I rubbed Nash’s head the whole way, never once passing out, never losing consciousness, he quivered in pain many times, but never cried, never did anything but stay calm, cool, and collected. This whole time, from 3 pm on, my mind was spewing out prayers to God like a warrior. Some in my pickup out loud, most thereafter in my head quietly to myself, and once as a family with our Rockstar Pastor Josh.
Fast forward a few minutes, I stood outside of the trauma ER room, 15 plus people surrounding Nash, people barking out orders, moving quickly, checking him over, making assessments for needs, as I stood there and watched on, waiting for Karen to get there. The trauma surgeon came out and began to talk me through the injuries. Lung, diaphragm, liver……….and then he said “he has some loss of sensation and movement in his legs” and we are doing more diagnostics to assess what is going on there. The bullet or bullet fragment is lodged in his spinal column. I will let you know shortly….” And he walked off……..
The male flight nurse was standing there hearing those words, put his arm around me, and I had stood strong until then, knew my wife was coming, he said, “it’s ok, let it go, you need to..” So, I grabbed him, hugged him, and cried intensely letting go of some pent up emotion that had built up from trying to stay strong in front of Karen and Nash. I thanked him and he was off. I sat in a chair, and began praying again! Praying like a warrior, waiting for more news.
The trauma surgeon came back, “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but the bullet is lodged in his spinal column at T12………………………………………………………………………………………………” I stood there listening, doing what any good doctor does, being calm, cool, collected, listening, and thinking “ok what’s next”, “if no surgery recommended, I want a second opinion…” So on and so forth… all the while my heart and soul were shattered and no longer in my chest but all the way down in my toes…. Then Karen showed up,,,,,,,,,,,,, just as he was wrapping up with me and repeated everything he said to me, to her.
It was at that very moment I knew this was going to be a battle and a journey, and my brain kicked into autopilot falling on the Godly wisdom I had studied and the self-improvement books, etc I had been studying for over 10 years. I could be angry or I could lean into God. I could ask “why” or I could lean into God. I could cry or I could lean into God. I could be pessimistic or I could be optimistic. I could be weak or I could be strong. I could be lost in the commotion or I could listen, digest, think, translate, and execute. I could let the devil in or I could let God in. I could be strong for my family or I could be weak. I could dig deep in my values or I could sink like a ship. I had many options, but it was my choice which ones I took to help guide our family. I thought about Lance Feikert and their journey. I knew I had choices, but my mind wasn’t quite letting me make all the right ones just yet.
I fell asleep Saturday night, with the tv on and I woke up Sunday morning, and Charles Stanley was preaching about getting through adversity. I thought, “I need to listen to this”, so I did. And at that moment, I began taking notes, I began processing what had happened, where we were at, and where we were headed. I began to get some clarity in all the brain fog. I then showered and headed back to the hospital. And on the way, my dear friend and mentor Dr. Doug Ford called. He shared many things with me. He has been through the depths of hell but has come out glorious. I knew his son had died in a plane crash and he always wanted to hug him just one more time, but he told me, “Nels, we looked for him for 7 days. That was the worst 7 days of my life.” He began to share more wise words as they just poured from his extremely faithfully seasoned lips. He said, “Nels, I just can’t wait to see you all on the other side of the rainbow from this.” “This will change your life forever and I just can’t wait to see Nash, you, Karen, and Mac on the other side of this because it is going to make you more beautiful than you already are.” “Nels, you and Karen are inspiring people with your messages.” He just kept talking and I just kept weeping thinking, “My God, I am broken, but I have got to do this!’
So, here we are today. Our boy Nash is alive and moving his legs, toes, and getting er done! He is better than I! Truly I say, he is my hero! He has said thank you to every single person leaving our room from surgeon to janitor. He has politely and kindly asked for more pain meds when his pain is at a 10. He has had all humility removed, but battles on. He has found a smile while so much to him seems taken away at this point. He has a peaceful and good solid mind even in the midst of we know he relives the moment he got shot daily. And yesterday he asked to get in a wheelchair. He hadn’t moved much at all since Friday. He got in that sucker and next thing I know we are taking him down the hallway, down the elevator, and out the door outside being able to see his Grandpa and Grandma Lindberg. Quietly with his strength waving at them and telling them, he loved them.
This is Nash’s journey. We are with him every step of the way, and we feel the inspiration taking place, but this is not us. This is our son Nash’s doing. I have said since he was about 3 years of age, “this kid is weird”, in a tremendous way! Because he has had a keen intuition and gut instinct like no one else I have ever seen, since then. He always could feel things around him, how people were thinking, and how their actions were affecting those around the room. He was always observing, taking every single little detail in, from words to facial expressions, to objects, to the room, everything. He was just unreal! And still is! He had a teacher once tell us he was immature and likely needed to be held back. I looked at her and listened, and responded with “We need you to do your job, and bring this brilliant kid along.” You see, she had no clue who this kid was, nor how brilliant, intuitive, aware, caring, and instinctive this kid is! I’ll never forget that moment as I thought, “Ma'am, what you don’t know is he is so much smarter than you and you have no clue…” “I am so sorry for you, if you will just watch and observe from this kid, he will teach you.”
This is Nash’s journey. This is Nash inspiring us to inspire you. This is Nash at a very young age achieving his inner greatness. This is Nash doing what he does. Nash is teaching us. Just watch and listen to him. I wish you all could spend as much time with him as his parents, family, dear friends, and his fine teachers have been able to! They will all tell you of his greatness and influence. And more is to come! The best is yet to come!! Yes, he can!!
Keep the prayers coming and your prayer chains and your prayer warriors ignited! We feel them, God is answering them!!