Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Many times since my husband’s TBI, people have said that I’m strong, and that God knows our strength. He knows the strong people and chooses them to be the ones to handle tragedy. But if that were true, then we wouldn’t have people committing suicide. Those people also had something happen that they needed strength for. So does that mean God knew they didn’t have the strength, but allowed them to endure something too difficult for them?

I think not. First, I don’t think that God looks at us and says “You can have tragedy A, and this person over here can have tragedy B.” I think that tragedy happens for many reasons. Sometimes, it is to strengthen us. Other times, it’s a punishment for something we did. Still others, it's simply the result of living in a fallen world with sinful people.

We are only as strong as our trust in God. I have heard many times “God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called.” Our own independent strength doesn't matter. Something will always arise that is beyond what we can handle. God means for those times to draw us closer to Him, not tear us from Him. When you can turn to God during difficult times, He will give you strength beyond your own capability.

The ability and freedom God allowed me to sometimes just scream at Him provided huge relief. I could tell Him that I couldn't handle the pain any more. I had someone I could vent to, share my raw emotions with, and He would never think any less of me for it. Then He could hold me in His arms when I reached the end of my strength, and carry me the rest of the way. It allowed me to appear strong to others because I could be weak before God.

I had no strength of my own, God's strength became my strength.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Why Me?

There are so many brain injuries that happen every day, and they all have different outcomes. Some are minor and may go unnoticed. Others spend months in the hospital and make miraculous recovery. Still others are drastically and forever changed, life will never return to anything that resembles “normal”.

I’ve read so many books about other people that suffered a TBI, and while they made amazing recovery, they weren’t like my husband’s recovery. His truly was a miracle. I have a hard time understanding it.

It’s easier to look at families that don’t know God and see why they wouldn’t get a miracle. They don’t know to ask for one, and if they got one, they wouldn’t understand what it was. But what about those families that have thriving relationships with God and don’t get the miracle? I know a pastor whose son has a brain injury and he still has major life-altering struggles years after his accident. I know she has prayed for a miracle for him, and so have I. So why hasn’t he received the miracle healing?

I know it’s not because of anything we have done. I’m not perfect, I have sinned just as much as the next person. I’m not any more righteous or deserving than anyone else. I probably didn’t even pray as much as some other people have. Yet, my husband is a miracle. He made more recovery than what was possible in our human standards and capabilities.

The only explanation is the grace of God. He chooses who He wants. It’s part of His plan. “Why me?” isn’t any more explainable than why God choose to leave His throne in heaven to come down to earth and live among us, to become one of us. Not only that, but He died for us. He died for me. I didn’t do anything to deserve that. On the contrary, what I did was deserving of death. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
I can’t even wrap my mind around that. God’s love for us is so great that we can’t even fathom it. The love parents have for their children can’t even hold a candle to God’s love for us. He chooses to bless us all in different ways. God knows our wants and needs better than we do. For Jeff and I, what was best for us, and what glorified God the most, was to heal Jeff. For others, what is best for them is the journey itself.

We may not be able to understand it this side of heaven, but someday we will. Someday, we will be able to look back on our lives and see all the things we thought were curses and realize they were blessings in disguise. Maybe for us, maybe it was for someone else. Either way, we have to know that “God works out all things for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

What is God asking you to trust Him with?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New Awareness of TBI

A few years ago, traumatic brain injury (TBI) was a foreign term to me. I never understood the implications. My knowledge on the subject consisted of what Hollywood portrayed. I thought it was perfectly normal to get hit on the head, get knocked unconscious, wake up, and be fine. Maybe a little lingering headache but that’s about it. Just look at any action movie or series out there.

When my husband suffered a TBI though, it was a different story. He didn’t wake up and go right back to normal. He didn’t wake up for 8 days. Then when he did, it was nothing like the movies. It also caused me to start doing all kinds of research on brain injuries. I was interested in their typical progress, but more than anything, I wanted to know how other people dealt with the changes in their loved one.

Specifically, I wanted to know from another wife’s perspective. How do you stay married to someone who isn’t the person you married? How do you go from being a wife to a mother of your husband? How do you go back to being the wife as he gets better? How do you deal with the mood swings and the verbal abuse? On the other hand, I was afraid to ask these questions because I was afraid the answer might be to leave him, and I wasn’t willing to do that.

Living with someone that has a TBI is a lifelong journey. Even if he fully recovers, life will always be different than it was before. But depending on your outlook, and your support system, that can be good or bad. I choose for it to be a good thing. I have a great support system, and most importantly, I have great faith in God. He has given me more strength than I ever could have found on my own. Where does your strength and support come from?

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