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It Wasn't Supposed To Be This Way: Karen Lindberg

I just got back from an incredible conference and Dr. John Delony started his presentation repetitively saying, “It wasn’t supposed to be this way”, as he described a series of events in his life.  At the time, those words hit softly on my heart but yesterday – yesterday they barreled through my chest!

As most of you know, our son loves to golf.  The golf course is Nash’s “happy place”.  On the golf course, Nash gets to compete with and enjoy the comradery of his buddies.  Nash has loved to golf since he was a tiny guy.  I remember giving him a set of plastic clubs and calling my Dad ecstatic, telling him that Nash had a freakishly good swing – my Dad laughed, of course – but it was true, Nash has been a natural for as long as I can remember.  When he was 12, we were traveling to US Kids tournaments where he was competing with incredible golfers from multiple states.  We never discussed it, but it looked like he was set up to have some incredible years of golf ahead of him.  The last tournament he played in that summer was in July of 2020.  Little did we know as we loaded up his clubs that day what was about to take place.  Little did we know that in a few short weeks, Nash would be paralyzed from the waist down with little hope of walking again and even less hope of golfing again.  Little did we know that our entire trajectory was about to change.

Luckily, Nash has made an incredible recovery and now gets to compete on his high school golf team.  He gets to spend time each day on the course with an incredible group of young men and coaches.  Nash is back on the course, which is a blessing, but it’s just not the same for him yet.  Nash works hard – incredibly hard – but his scores are still where they were when his life changed in 2020.  As easy as he makes it look, golf is “different” for Nash.  Nash doesn’t have the ability to rotate the way we all do, he struggles greatly with balance, he fights through back pain when he plays, he gets exhausted from the extra effort everything takes.  Nash physically works harder in a round of golf than some of us do in an entire day.  Every time he steps on the course, he must put himself into warrior mode more than he ever did before the accident.  I know that has to become frustrating for him.  He misses what his body used to be able to do.  He longs for the day when he can achieve what he knows he was once capable of.  He just misses what “was”. 

Yesterday Nash had a tournament, and he had a solid round – he hit the ball as well as we have seen him since the accident, but his scores still weren’t where he wanted.  He knew he left too many putts out there.  He knew he had too many mishits out of the rough.  He had a decent round, but not the one he hoped for.  We met up with him at the van when it was over, and his eyes looked broken.  He looked defeated and you could see the tears barely being held back as he told us how he just wished it wasn’t this way for him.  We gave him the best pep talk we could and then sent him into the comfort of his teammates and coach.  I got in the car, barely holding it together myself and I heard the words “it wasn’t supposed to be this way” burn through my soul.  “It wasn’t supposed to be this way”.  He was never supposed to have to feel the pain that he has felt.  He was never supposed to have to endure the mental anguish that he has had to endure.  He was never supposed to have to battle so hard to enjoy a round of golf.  IT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE THIS WAY!!!

But – it is.  This is where we are.  This is the adversity that we were handed, and this is the adversity that we will overcome.  This is the adversity that Nash will overcome.  This is the adversity that will make Nash one of the strongest humans on this planet.

As I drove home fighting through my emotions, I had to remind myself that even though it wasn’t supposed to be this way in my plans or Nash’s plans, it is beyond our control.  It hurts like hell, but it’s just the way it is.  This is our path and it’s up to us what we make of it. 

At that same conference, Carey Lohrenz powerfully said, “Adversity introduces you to yourself” – think about that for a minute – adversity lets you see exactly who you are.  I have said that adversity makes you more of what you already are – but this is better.  Adversity gives you a front row seat to see YOURSELF.  Although it might not be today, when Nash evaluates his introduction to his true self, I hope he is incredibly proud of that young man.  I hope that he sees how hard he has worked and how much he has overcome in his short life.  I hope he will measure himself, not by a golf score, but by the fact that he was brave enough to keep swinging.  I hope that he will see a young man that faced his own Goliath and destroyed him.  I hope he will see his true value and how much he has to offer this world – both on and off the course.  I hope he can be as proud of himself as I am when I watch him.  Most of all, I hope he knows his worth.  Regardless of how many shots it took him to complete the round, the true victory was in completing it.

So, I ask you today – what in your life “wasn’t supposed to be this way”?  As always, know that I am praying for you as you face it.  Keep swinging – some days that’s the best you can do in the face of your adversity – and that’s enough! 


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