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Facing Your Goliath to Find Your David

As we made our journey through our stay at Madonna with Nash, there were and still are many thoughts and emotions one’s mind goes through. Virtually every single person at Madonna has lived a story they didn’t ask for. Virtually every single person at Madonna has lived a near-death experience but were saved by the grace of God to remain on this precious earth. Throughout those individual journeys, most every patient just wants things to go back to normal, go back to life pre-accident. The difficult aspect is each person has to work through the Madonna journey through intensive therapies to gain back “all of normal” as much as possible. Some are fortunate enough to gain back “all of normal” and others gain back enough to continue living with intensive assistance, and all levels in between. The challenge is, as you go through that journey, no one knows just how much of “all of normal” you will gain back. And for loving parents, spouses, dear friends, and other family members, as well as the patient, you just want it all back.

It was a Wednesday morning, and I had been watching a grieving father virtually daily, as they progressed through their Madonna journey with a son severely injured in a car accident and with a traumatic brain injury. He was early in the process, but really had limited functions, and mostly laid in bed for therapies at that point working to see what the brain would give them in the basic arm or leg movements, head movements, and just see what the eyes would follow or recognize, while no verbalization could be achieved by him. The father I could see was virtually distraught, extremely saddened, and had minimal to say in our interactions. But that Wednesday morning was different as I said “hello” to him in the lounge, and he began to talk to me about his son. I won’t get into specifics, but he wanted his son back. While he wanted his son back, he knew he would likely not have his “old son” back, and was mentally dealing with the reality of their new normal and just hoping their son could someday talk to them.

You see, his son’s journey was unfair. This father imagined his son hunting and playing sports like any 16-year-old son. His father imagined his son graduating high school, navigating his journey of life, getting married, and eventually making him a grandpa. When a person lives the pain of an unfair story, we grieve the lack of a happy ending. But we rush to the ending in our minds, and we aren’t to the ending yet. In any unfair story of tragedy, but it a patient at Madonna, or the victim of 9-11, or the victim of the Oklahoma City bombing, or any tragic accident, we must grieve to grow. If the victim lives, we must grieve the loss of the “could have been” to help us breathe. If the victim is no longer with us, those still here must grieve the loss of the “could have been” to just help them breathe. Because where we are right now is both the last place we want to be and the very place we need to be to uncover God’s fullness in their lives or our lives.

Even though the sum of the “could have beens” are gone for the victim or those remaining here on earth, our mighty God still has a great purpose for everyone. Great purpose is often born and fertilized in those depths of hell one never asked for. Purpose was developed at birth of life, but great purpose is born out of the desperate pleas for help in life’s greatest moments of brevity and magnitude when there is no one to plead to but our mighty God.

Sometimes God will put a Goliath in front of us to find the David inside of us. I have told my son numerous times, “I’m not sure I could have done what you have accomplished throughout your journey!” And his response has always been, “You might be surprised what you can do when you have no other choice!” And he is right! You have no other choice in your despair, but to cling to your faith, let go and let God, stand firm, and keep moving forward! That father I was talking about, I am certain he is moving forward with purpose and creating a purpose for his son the whole way.

What are you doing in your journey of adversity? Are you clinging to your faith, letting go and letting God, standing firm, and moving forward? My 12-year-old son, Nash says, “You have no choice!” Keep moving forward!!


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