|Emily, two days after back surgery after skiing accident|
A month ago, my 17-year-old daughter was injured in a snow skiing accident at my son's birthday party. With multiple fractures in her backbone and a shattered vertebrae with fragments pressed against her spinal cord, the doctors were amazed that she was not paralyzed. It's a long road to recovery, but surgery went well, and she is walking again.
We went to a follow-up appointment yesterday with the spinal surgeon, and Emily was wearing her "turtle shell" (back brace) and using her walker. A 43-year-old man in a wheelchair approached her and tentatively started a conversation, commenting on her turtle shell and the fact that she was able to walk. He said he was in a snow mobile accident when he was 17, shattering one of his vertebrae (T-12), leaving him paralyzed. He wanted to remind her what a blessing it was that she was walking, and to also tell her to persevere, not give up, that she was beautiful and still had her whole life ahead of her. He said life was good, even though he was paralyzed, that he was married and had children and works as a photographer.
When we left, Emily told me to carry her walker, she didn't need it, and she limped along back to the parking garage without it, one of the most beautiful sights ever! I would gladly have carried it everywhere and built up the strength in my arms as she rebuilt the strength in her legs.
Up to this point, I had observed that Emily never asked "why". She knew all along that God allowed it to happen and would use it for good in her life, whether she was paralyzed or not. She trusted Him; she was not angry. Her questions have been "what" - what is God going to do with this in her life? But the "what" questions lead back to "why", and now the "why" questions begin.
She asks "why am I NOT paralyzed?" Her T-12 was fractured, not shattered. It was amazing she could still walk. Why does the man in the wheel chair live in it the rest of his life while her T-12 heals and she walks again?
I don't know the answer, but I am thankful that she is walking, that life will return to 'normal' eventually, and I am looking forward to seeing how God is going to use this in her life.