No Longer in Charge: One Year Later  

I must give credit for this realization to our pastor, Rev. Doug Learned. He is not yet 50 but had a heart scare recently and now has a stent in his heart and got a few, unscheduled weeks ‘off.’ When he returned to the pulpit, his message redirected me to crystalize some similar thoughts I had myself.

It is now a full year since my horrible accident. I, along with many others, am still praying for a healing miracle so I can walk again. I would be delighted to even stand. We know that is not at all beyond the realm of what God can easily do. We realize also that many times miracles come in the form of modern supports such as medical research and medicine. We are fortunate to have children and also friends who are connected closely to science, research, and medicine. When there is progress out there related to spinal cord injuries (SCI), we are pretty apt to hear about it. Thankfully, there are pretty regular breakthroughs. We are thankful for Foundations such as Christopher and Dana Reeves’ that provide generous support to excellent, bright, energetic researchers. I am convinced that the breakthrough I need is just around the corner.

Another thing I am absolutely convinced of is that my positive outlook, brain functioning, arm and hand dexterity, and deeper faith are due largely to the hosts of family, friends, and acquaintances who began an almost immediate and also on-going prayer and caring support network for us. We can never thank you enough. Through this we have realized with gratitude the importance of family and friends. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I mentioned, out of frustration, more than once to the Mary Free Bed staff (MFB) that I used to take care of 4,000 people (students, staff, families numbered more than this) and now I can’t even take care of myself. Alan used to oversee billions of dollars of investments for thousands of retirees (or someday retirees) first in MI and then in PA. We were blessed to have these take-charge jobs and loved them. Well, March 19, 2014 came along and we were no longer in charge. It was a 180* change for both of us. As Rev. Learned said, sometimes God allows us to be taken down and to stay down for a time. We are no longer in charge.

Figuratively and literally we were turned 180*. Alan was headed for MI, received the news of my accident while in line in Atlanta to get on the second leg of his flight, and turned around to be placed in a rare, empty seat of a flight heading back to Ft. Myers. 180* change. Gwen and I had a fun day planned of relaxing and fun in Naples but she was given rides to not one but two hospitals to be with me that day. Certainly no day of fun and relaxation. 180* change. I had planned to ‘give back’ to education and leadership in retirement and actually had a couple job prospects in place or close when I was stopped in my tracks. Instead, I have spent a full year recuperating and have more healing and rehab ahead of me. 180* change. Alan and I had planned to travel and spend more time with our children in retirement. Instead, to recuperate from a wound following surgery, I spend most of my time out of my wheelchair and on bed and Alan spends much time supporting me. Again, a 180* change.

Throughout my career, I was not a ‘reach for this goal next’ type of person. I always felt like I worked hard, was thankfully appreciated, and invited to move to the next rung on the ladder or the rung of opportunity presented itself. I believe God was leading me the whole way. What is next? I really wish I knew. What I know is that He has a plan and I am willing to do what is now ahead for me. I am not in charge any more. Many, many years ago God entered into a covenant, 2-way promise, with Abraham. I will bless you to be a blessing. I will be your God and you will be my people. We have long taught our children and prayed that they be blessed to be a blessing to others. Whatever God has planned, I know it will somehow be using me to be a blessing to others.

Thank you all for your prayerful support. We still need it. I pray that God bless each of you. Watch for your blessings.

Shalom, Collene

Advertisements

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cheryl becker
    Mar 19, 2015 @ 11:27:24

    Great first post, Collene! Be double blessed today!

    Like

    Reply

  2. Kathy Bosma
    Mar 19, 2015 @ 19:50:47

    There is so much truth in what you wrote. Thanks for reminding us. We continue to pray for you and you healing. You are truly an inspiration.

    Like

    Reply

  3. gvantimm
    Mar 19, 2015 @ 20:22:59

    The theme of our Sunday messages this month? “180”
    So many of our lives did a 180* that day. Only eternity will know the true impact on each one. Collene, your strength physically, emotionally, relationally, and especially spiritually challenges each of us daily. Obviously this is not the road you chose to journey physically, but the ripple effect of your life touches and impacts more lives than ever imagined. We continue our daily prayers for both you and Alan, boldly believing miracles.

    Like

    Reply

  4. Shirley Kleinfelter
    Mar 19, 2015 @ 20:33:52

    Blessings to you and Alan. Your post is so uplifting to everyone that cares for you and all our prayers will continue enthusiastically.

    Like

    Reply

  5. Elly
    Mar 19, 2015 @ 21:11:23

    You are articulate, thoughtful, and wise. This is an anniversary of a life-changing event that few of us can imagine. Your assessment is remarkable in its clarity and insight. Your work is underway!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Hal Barrett
    Mar 21, 2015 @ 09:00:09

    This is a great first post!! As you know, there are many ( too numerous to count) continuing to pray for you, Alan and your family.

    Like

    Reply

  7. Diane Troost
    Mar 21, 2015 @ 09:18:30

    Colleen, Thank-you for pressing forward! As we well know, life can change in a heartbeat, and it is wonderful to read your thoughtful new blog. We all are confronted with changes and how we react to them is really how others will see the transparency of the Christ that dwells within… blessings.

    Like

    Reply

  8. gloriabeth77
    Mar 21, 2015 @ 12:59:21

    You knocked this first post out of the ball park! I am truly inspired and in awe of your perseverance. Pat and I are running the Calvin Classic 5K on April 25th and your name will be on our hearts. We will run for you! God is good, all the time! Love you!

    Like

    Reply

  9. Debra Hoksbergen
    Mar 21, 2015 @ 16:22:51

    Hi Colleen, beautiful blog. Both what you wrote and the art work for your blog background. I like it!! I keep up on you through lots of people. I sit in front of Phyllis in choir at CMC. Also, just talked to Sherrie and she said she saw you guys. I don’t know when you will be back in Holland, but a visit is long overdue. Either at your condo or mine. I was also thinking it might be nice to have Shirley come visit you sometime too. I know you have lots of arrangements to make before you can make the trip, but sounds like a pretty nice place to be right now. Think of you often, prayers continue for that miracle. Deb

    Like

    Reply

  10. Rachel Plasman
    Mar 22, 2015 @ 22:59:32

    Thank you for sharing so beautifully. We had such a nice time visiting you and Alan this week and we thank you for your kind hospitality. Our prayer is for continued healing and strength, for peace and never dying hope and for the gift of a miracle. Hugs!

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: