Learning to Walk…4 Times

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You probably are questioning why I learned to walk four times.  Most of us take our first steps when we are about a year old, and we are off and running from there.  I recall as a mother, how I looked forward to the day when my children would walk.  Then later,  as I was chasing them around, wondered why I had wanted them to be mobile.

I learned to walk like most infants.  First crawling, then standing, taking a few steps, and then I was off on my own.  I was free to explore and get to places, I was previously unable to.  At one year of age, I was very proud of my new found skill.  This was the first time I learned to walk.

Things changed when I was nineteen years old.  My left leg would not work properly.  I could not bend it, or put pressure on it, without immense pain.  I had MRI’s, xrays, and CT scans.  It was thought at first, that the problem was muscular.   However, after 4 months, I was admitted to the hospital for exploratory surgery to save my life, as my weight had plummeted to 83 pounds.  I had been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when I was 12 and it had resurfaced again. It was discovered that my intestines had ruptured, which created a tumor like sack in my leg, that was pushing against my muscles and bone structure, restricting my ability to use my leg.  I had an extensive intestinal resection surgery, where a  9 foot long segment of both the large and small intestines were removed, as well as the 2 lb mass.  After surgery to reconstruct my leg muscles, I had to learn to walk again, for the second time in my life.  It took time with a physical therapist, to retrain my muscles to respond to my brain.  It was a slow process, but I tackled it with enthusiasm, as I had my life back and was headed to college in 3 short months.

Then, when I was 33 years old, and the mother of 6 year old Hannah, I became pregnant again.  After having 4 miscarriages, and without in vitro fertilization,  I was 29 weeks pregnant with triplet babies. I had developed pre-eclampsia and had been hospitalized for the past 6 weeks.  Through some miraculous circumstances,  it was discovered that all my organs were beginning to shut down.  My lungs were  almost completely full of water, and I was told I had less than 24 hours to live.  An emergency c-section was performed, at its conclusion my blood pressure was 40 over 20, and I slipped into a coma.  Eight days later, I again was learning to walk, for the third time. I was struck by how difficult it was to regain balance. I was completely disoriented on two feet. I worked daily with a physical therapist. In order to leave the hospital, and spend time with my babies in the NICU, I needed to be able to walk.

The fourth time I learned to walk, has been a lifelong experience. I trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior when I was four years old. Since then, it has been a daily exercise in learning to trust Him, and walk with Him through every moment of each day. I have discovered that, some times it is easier to walk in step with him, than other times. However, in His great grace and love, He gently draws me back in step with him, over and over again. A lifelong process of growing through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Life has truly been a journey of learning to walk. I have observed that learning to walk brings with it excitement and expectation. Whether it is as an infant, and the excitement of getting to places previously unreachable. As a teenager, looking forward to attending college. As a young mother, looking forward to holding her babies and watching them grow up. Or, as a follower of Christ walking in step with Him, looking forward to the perfection of heaven. Learning to walk brings hope! Hope is a beautiful gift!

The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

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