In July of 2003, the Lord allowed something to happen in my life that would forever change the way I do things. While I was in Orlando, Florida attending the Christy Awards for Christian novelists, my right hip prosthesis broke, rendering me helpless and sending me on my first-ever ambulance ride.
Two hip revisions later, complications from the surgeries, coupled with a neurological problem in my feet, made walking without an assisted device impossible. After much time, prayer, and physical therapy, I’m still using a wheelchair to get around. I do believe in miracles. But my physicians have done all they can, and unless the Great Physician chooses to intervene, I will likely be “rolling” through this life.
That hasn’t been an easy thing to accept. Pride doesn’t die without a fight. At least mine didn’t. I expressed my disappointment to the Lord many times over the years and eventually came to realize that when it comes to using my talent for His glory, I’m not disabled at all. It’s in my weakness that I experience His strength. And despite my limitations—perhaps because of them—an unseen reservoir deep inside me keeps filling the pages of my novels with suspenseful plots that surprise me, and spiritual truths made real through characters born in my imagination, but in His strength.
That said, the physical challenges remain, and I’ve had to change the way I do most things. Some I can no longer do at all. For instance, bird watching has replaced deep sea fishing. And a trip to the park has replaced our travels to exotic places. Yet the adventurer in me finds great satisfaction any time I discover new and amazing things in God’s creation, especially when I’m able to capture it with my camera lens.
My life took an unexpected turn and I had to change my thinking. But when you get right down to it, life looks pretty much the same whether you’re sitting in a wheelchair or standing on two feet. It’s all perspective.