"You'll never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only option you have." My friend has this as her status message on her site. And how true....it's been proven to my family and I, over and over again. This isn't the first time our faith and strength as a family has been tested, and I know for certain it isn't going to be the last.
We as a family don't go to church together. My parents were raised differently, my Mom now being what she likes to call 'loose Catholic' and my Dad is Agnostic. I'm not sure Tori's views....I have a hard time reading her. Bro is Agnostic as well, and Ash and I practice Christianity. But we don't go to church, all for one reason or another.
I used to. But during the time when I wasn't allowed in school, I pretty much didn't go many other places. I tried a few times, but after my first attack at church....well, I was just uncomfortable. And my youth leader knew that, and so she gave me her number, and Mike's number, and said to call her if I ever needed her. Which was awesome.
Then, come January and the wheelchair, I finally gathered my confidence to go to church. Ash came with, and we went. It was hard for both of us, Ash has her own reasons I don't feel like discussing here, as it isn't my place. I was hopeful and excited to go.
The service was wonderful, and I felt awkward because I was still getting used to the chair (I had gotten out of the hospital the day before) But everyone was really nice, and it was SO great to get to see my Youth Group again! And even better, Sean, my pastor, took me aside and told me about the Lock in that night. A lock in is held at the actually church, and basically it was for the HS kids and started at 9, ended at 12 the next day. We were literally locked in for the duration, and basically it was just time for fellowship.
I was excited, so of course the first thing I did after the service was call Mom and ask if I could go. Ash came as well, and at 9 that night we showed up. I was under strict orders to stay in my chair unless Sean, Mike, or Becca knew I was getting out of it, and then only if I promised to stay on my sleeping bag while I was out of it. I agreed, I still kinda enjoyed the chair, and knew I wouldn't be spending much time sleeping anyways.
So the night started well, I had just met Becca earlier but she proved she was one of the most awesome leaders ever. She and I stayed pretty close that night...I was still really shy, and awkward. But I met up with some friends, and we all hung out. At about 4 in the morning, my hands were absolutely killing me from the chair, and I was exhausted from the last few days still. Becca and I put our sleeping bags down and I put my wheelchair right next to me and went to sleep.
When I woke up the next morning, I was devastated at what I saw. My wheelchair was sitting next to me, but the footrests were no longer connected to the chair. Not the whole things, just the actually rest that you put your foot on. It soon became apparent that some of the boys had taken my chair while I slept, and broken it. I knew who hadn't done it, but wasn't sure who had. I asked everyone, and no one could give me a straight answer.
Sean promised he would pay to have them fixed, but I couldn't let him, and neither could my parents. We all knew it wasn't his fault. But that incident, it put me off. How could I go to a church and Youth Group were I could only trust a very few people? Plus, I was just generally disappointed. Most of the HS kids there were my classmates...but no one could tell me the truth. Honestly, I felt betrayed.
So I no longer attend church on Sunday. And does it make me less of a Christian? Maybe some people see it that way, but my view is that God doesn't care the house, be it your own or His. Fellowship is nice, and I miss it, but I'm doing alright. I know God is helping me through this. I know God isn't leaving me, He loves me, and I know I'll be okay.
Footprints in the Sand
One night I had a dream...I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord, and
Across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand;
One belonged to me, and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before us,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life,
There was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in my life
This really bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
You would walk with me all the way;
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life,
There is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why in times when I
needed you the most, you should leave me.
The Lord replied, "My precious, precious
child. I love you, and I would never,never leave you during your times of
trial and suffering.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you."