Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One Step at a Time

The past couple of months have been an intense season for my family. My Mom was in the hospital for over a month and the prognosis was bleak. At times the doctors didn't even think she would pull through. However, I'm thrilled to say she was recently able to transfer to a skilled nursing rehab facility, praise God! She's now in the process of regaining her strength and literally re-learning many basic life skills.

Throughout this journey we celebrate the simplest things each day. She's able to feed herself again...she's able to speak clearly enough for us to understand her...she's laughing at our goofy jokes...yaay God!! The things we take for granted are mountains of success in her recovery. Each small step brings us closer to our goal of bringing her home.

She's an amazing woman and she inspires me daily with her fierce determination and steady perseverance. Her team of therapists set goals for her to meet and she focuses on giving her best in this uphill battle one day at a time. Some days she's extremely tired...actually weary would be a better word.

To get the full picture you need to know she's already at a deficit because her right arm is totally paralyzed and she has limited use of her right leg. She came into rehab with this existing handicap coupled with all her recent medical setbacks and a month spent lying in a hospital bed. I share all this to simply point out how difficult her daily routine really is. Each day brings new challenges, new victories and some setbacks.

One of the exercises they do with Mom is simply assisting her in trying to walk.To do this they strap an assist belt around her waist and have someone push her wheelchair behind her so she can rest as needed. She supports herself with a quad cane and takes one step forward with her good foot then drags her right foot to take the next step. She is unable to walk unassisted so the physical therapist must hold onto her assist belt to support her and make sure she doesn't fall. She does all this while also being tethered to an oxygen canister. Simply attempting to walk is a monumental task!

At first she could barely stand up, let alone take a step. Then she could take a couple of steps then sit back in the wheelchair to rest. The long term goal is to make it to the end of a very long hallway about 200ft. Mom's daily goal is to simply put one foot in front of the other, go as far as she can, then rest and try to do it again. She is focused on the course that is marked out for her and continues to persevere.

Watching Mom take those steps down that hallway reminds me that each of us have a race marked out for us. We all have challenges that hinder us from staying the course. They may be physical like hers or they may be emotional or both. Pride, selfishness, fear...the list goes on. We all have something that entangles us or distracts us from staying the course He has marked out for us.

I am reminded as I watch her of the race that is marked out for me. That in order for me to run that race well I need to surrender my struggles at His feet and keep my eyes FOCUSED on HIM. As we cheer Mom on to take one more step I am reminded that's just what our Heavenly Father does for us...keep going...one more step...I know it's difficult...keep your eyes on ME. Like her physical therapist, Jesus is our constant support system and guide. He gives us strength for the race and rest when we are weary.

Mom inspires me to stay the course...to press on...to throw off the sin that keeps me from moving forward. I may be on the sidelines cheering her on but without knowing it SHE is the one cheering me on by the example she sets!

Hebrews 12:1 ...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning it's shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of grace. Consider Him who endured such oppression from sinful men so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

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