I am 17 years old, and I can’t walk. I can’t move my fingers or get out of bed, and my doctor just said I might not make it past 18. It’s November, and my birthday is four months from now. My body can’t move, and apparently, my life and dreams are to follow suit.
I went through the various stages of grief before I decided to make the most of what time I had left. I knew the best place to start was to open my Bible, and this passage looked me straight in the heart:
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.”
I held onto this promise as I walked through that dark season (or layed through, if you want to be literal), and it taught me a few things about trusting God and His overcoming power.
Know God or no God.
First, acknowledge who He is. “The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.” Do our lives show that we truly know and believe who our amazing God is, or that there is no God? He’s worth getting to know.
They are weak, but He is strong.
In a world that promotes “she said she could, so she did,” it requires a lot of humility to live counterculture to that - to embrace weakness as part of our design because we were made by a loving God who doesn’t want us to rely on our own strength. Instead, we get to rely on His. Our own strength will never be enough, and usually comes at a cost: exhaustion, injury, strained relationships, etc.
Pack light to fly.
In the Pixar movie “Up,” Carl learned the only way to get his house to fly again was to lighten the load. In the same way weren’t built to do it all, we also weren’t made to shoulder our fears and pain. Balloons soar to new heights when there’s nothing weighing them down.
My life looks different than what I thought, but God is good.
My body hurts, but God is my strength.
I don’t know if I’ll be here tomorrow, but I trust God anyway.
It’s been 17 years since God spoke life to me through that passage. 17 years since I thought my time on earth would long be over, yet here I am. I can walk and run. I’m a wife and a mother. And His promises are still guiding me as we navigate today’s uncertainties. Maybe I’ve been healed or just a long remission, but I believe He led me through major lifestyle changes so that I can share this message with you today. To soar we must:
- Nurture the soul with an intentional relationship with Him.
- Nurture the body through healthy food and exercise.
I don’t know when or how this pandemic will end, but as I learned then, trusting God to lead us is an opportunity to witness God’s miraculous powers up close and personal. That alone is a worthy lifestyle change.
Birds learn to fly by falling out of their nest. It’s how they learn to open their wings, flap, and work with the wind to soar. May we all fall into our Lord’s loving arms, so we can soar on wings like eagles. Wings up!