"Meeting with one specialist in particular shed some much needed light upon the maze of misunderstanding and misconception. He was a specialist in the field of head trauma injury. He was also a well-renowned psychiatrist and frequently spoke at brain injury conventions [worldwide]. He told me I would have to work really hard to recognize important signals alerting me to specific ways in which my brain would retrain me. I had to accept that I could not ever retrain my brain. The option to retrain my brain was not even feasible....Of particular importance was the process of learning to discern between well-meaning advice and educated advice.....The optimistic decision to let my brain in its new capacity retrain me was going to require lifelong resolve.....and would continue to be a constant work in motion.....I wanted and craved the Master's touch. I knew I needed His guidance and strength to be able to stand before Him one day, victorious in living abundantly the life He considered so precious. I do not want to stand before Him having wasted what He entrusted to my care. There will be no second chance to do it all over again." [Excerpt from my book Worthy In His Eyes: Part Four: PROACTIVE FAITH...Chapter Four: RETRAINING] © Kathleen M. Pritchard
LOOKING FORWARD: Last week Kip and I decided to check out a local lake with hopes of finding some little goslings to photograph. We had been in town awhile, but decided to make this one last stop before going home. Success!! There was an entire little family of Canada Geese: Mom, Dad and 5 fuzzy little goslings!! We were super thrilled!
However, we were not alone in that lovely, secluded spot. Teens were on their school lunch break and had gathered at this spot to eat, listen to their tunes and "give" driving lessons on a standard truck---[grind, grind!] I was super tuckered already from doing our errands, but I wanted to photograph this little family so much. I tried to ignore all the stimuli around us. There was also a very, very strong North wind.
We did get several great shots and I was extremely excited to have witnessed this springtime gift. But my legs were super heavy as I walked back to the vehicle. As we began the 1/2 hour journey home, I began to feel nauseated. I closed my eyes, feeling light-headed. Once home I had to lie down immediately. Thinking the rest would "settle things down" I was taken by surprise when I tried to stand up. The whole room was spinning and I kept staggering to the left feeling like I was going to pass out. I also had a massive headache. This continued for the rest of the afternoon, easing just slightly in the evening. I admit, it really scared me. I was almost afraid to go to sleep--afraid I would pass out while sleeping.
The next morning I was doing much better, however some of the vertigo "head floating separately from my body" persisted. My ears were also bothering me. It was much better than the day before but I knew I had to take a few rests. Two days later, I was back to feeling absolutely fine again.
These same symptoms were present during the first 2 or 3 years following my accident. Kip and I talked about that. I now realize how much I have learned to pay attention to the signals my brain gives me during this journey of brain injury. I have been proactive in letting my brain retrain me and the progress each year has resulted in wonderful, full days--without repercussion. Oh, the odd time I bend a little, but I am quickly reminded of my mistake in that and rest accordingly.
But this time...this time I wanted to drink in the blessing and joy of God's miraculous creation so badly that I bent every single rule of discernment and wisdom. And as much as I'm sure God was touched by my enthusiasm, I know He wasn't happy about my stubbornness.
Disregarding all the signals produced awful consequences. God did not create those consequences to teach me a lesson--but He did allow me to experience them. I made a very poor decision because I wanted something soooo badly. My brain said "Fine--you know where this is going and you're ignoring the signals. This isn't going to turn out well." Kip had told me 2 or 3 times, "Hon, we better quit. There's way too much going on here for you, let alone the wind." My response was, "But, just a few more shots!" I had over 150 shots.....I could have stopped much earlier.
The past few years I have enjoyed healthy, full days---paced well. I didn't like this onslaught of terrible symptoms once again and I paid dearly for refusing to adhere to my limitations. So did Kip. He was very concerned about me and stayed close by in case I passed out. My poor decision affected him also and that wasn't fair to him [although he never said or indicated this even once.]
I apologized to Kip, and to the Lord. I had been driven by my own will and stubbornness. A positive from all of this? Instead of being angry about my disability, I realized that my stubborn will still lurks inside of me, waiting for any opportunity to throw me a curve ball. I must remain vigilant to recognize that and I still have to work at assessing my surroundings---wisely. Pursing my own will, with the ensuing results certainly hasn't enticed me to do it again, that's for sure!!!
God's grace abounds and through Him I have been able to embrace this [new] life with fullness and contentment. I have gradually allowed my brain to retrain me in a healthy way. I am ever so grateful for a second chance to explore life and I do see this new journey God is taking me on as an exciting and rewarding blessing.
Our Heavenly Father is always with us. He will let us fall when we change our focus from Him to what we want, but like any loving parent, He will reach down, pick us up, dust us off and lovingly point us in the right direction again. Thank goodness He is so patient. Thank goodness for His unconditional love. Who could ask for more?!
Blessings on your week ahead. ~~~Kathie
"This is what the LORD says: "Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls...." [Jeremiah 6: 16a NLT]
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