Summer Discovery

Have you ever prayed for something for so long you forget to keep looking for the answer?

Throughout the past year, there have been incremental stages of continued healing from my Post Concussion Syndrome. Looking back, these changes were drastic in comparison to the almost seven years of recovery. Yet, in day-to-day pace, we hadn’t noticed anything really significant until this summer.

After six years of no travel to speak of, Michael and I decided it was time for me to try flying again. I boarded the plane and headed to Calgary for ten days last May. The flights were rough symptomatically, but I managed. The visit was wonderful after not seeing much of my family, and having not seen a very dear friend of mine in six years. However, when I returned home, it took me a good two weeks to recover. That’s not bad considering the past, but I knew I wasn’t quite good enough… yet.

Then Michael and I drove to New Brunswick in October, 2022 to speak at the Ladies of Grace conference at New Brunswick Bible Institute. God was so good in showing us that the healing was progressing. Out of the fourteen hours of driving there and back, I was able to, “man the wheel,” periodically for seven of those hours. Again, I returned home and took quite a while to recover. Hmm, God was up to something, but there were still pockets of symptoms, exhaustion, etc.

Because the trip out east went fairly well, Michael and I decided to get courageous and plan a trip to Alberta this summer. This was significant for us because Alberta was the last trip we took together before the accident which caused my concussion in September of 2016. It’s like we were finishing what had been started with our, “Sustaining Hope,” journey so long ago.

The first week of summer break from Hope Through Hard Times consisted of organizing and cleaning the house. It had been neglected for quite a while. Then it was preparing for our trip and finishing up some things on the podcast and Bible study before we left.

We boarded the plane for Alberta on June 30th – and that’s when the adventure began!

Immediately after arriving at my brother and sister-in-love’s house, we were running around with the kids and catching up with everyone. Mind you, it was two hours behind our home’s time zone. So, according to the time zone we were used to, we went to bed at 1:00am. The rest of the weekend was filled with activities. We went swimming at a local lake, attended church, played games with friends and the kids, and ended that part of the trip with a local amusement park.

The first activity my nephews wanted to do was Bumper Cars. I debated going on, but thought I’d try. If it’s designed for kids, the bumps can’t be that bad. That led to two rounds of that game, then mini-golf, and a small kids’ roller coaster with my niece. We had lots of fun, but this one adult roller coaster intrigued me all day. While waiting an hour and a half in line, I kept thinking this probably wouldn’t be a very smart decision for me, but I persisted. Finally, a few of us hopped on.

Boy was it worth it! We had so much fun going two rounds on that ride. When we got off, a friend asked my nephew if he felt funny inside from the ride to which he agreed. I thought, “Well, if that’s normal, then I’m doing really well!”

The next day we took an hour and a half drive with family to Banff National Park. Again, this drive was significant, especially after all the activities in which we had already participated. Just a year ago, it was difficult for me to drive an hour outside of my city, having a quiet, structured schedule.

We took the next few days to explore the Rocky Mountains on a few trails, did the Banff Hot Springs, and the Gondola ride. The Gondola was scheduled for the end of the day. My nerves from the height we were traveling, the altitude of the mountain, and the rigorous activities did eventually affect my head a bit. It made me feel like I wanted to find a spot on the floor of the visitor’s centre at the top of the mountain to lay down, but instead walked around until we were ready to ride the Gondola down the mountain.

Normally, when I had that feeling of needing to be grounded/lay down (kind of like motion sickness), I would be pretty symptomatic the next day. This time when I woke the next day, I noticed I was good to go, and just in time to attend the Calgary Stampede!

This event is one of my all-time favourites. They put on such an excellent show! We attended the afternoon rodeo on the Friday and the evening performance on the Monday. Both were beyond our expectations! We watched the barrel racers, steer wrestlers, bull riders, bare-back relay races, chuck wagon races, and more! The evening show had a two-hour music performance at the end of the night with singers from quite a variety of genres, dancers, fireworks, etc. It was incredible!

Michael and I met my dear friend’s family at the Calgary Zoo and spent hours exploring animals from around the world.

We participated in more swimming at a lake, and drove a couple of hours to have lunch with Michael’s brother the day before we flew home. There wasn’t a single day I took to just rest.

The test continued as we flew home. Would the exhaustion and concussion symptoms hit when the excitement was over?

After a couple of days where I slept-in and napped, I was good to go again. It was miraculous! No lingering side effects; I was healthy!

We got back into work for a week and a half and then stayed at an AirBnB for a couple of nights to have some time to ourselves. Elora Gorge was a half hour from where we were staying so we tubed down the light rapids. When we got to the bottom, we enjoyed it so much we decided to do it a second time. We walked twenty-five minutes back to the top and started again, and then walked another twenty minutes to the car when we were done.

The next day, we drove to my Stepmom’s family cottage and spent a few days celebrating my dad’s 70th birthday with them and our family, who were visiting from Calgary.

Now, Michael and I are back to work again!

There were a lot of facts in this post instead of the emotions and details of events. As much as I’d love to share all of that with you, the most important point I want to make is this: God’s great and gracious healing He gave me!

Two years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to do two of these activities within the same week. Last year still would have been fairly difficult. This summer, after a few days of success, I continued to get more courageous in trying other things.

The result is great praise to the Lord for all He has done! He didn’t have to heal me. But by His grace, He did, which tells me that this healing is what will bring Him the greatest glory, so I need to shout out His great and mighty work.

The Lord used doctors to bring the physical healing slowly and surely, but it is ultimately done by Him. And the thing that cements that most in my mind is that He brought spiritual healing alongside the physical throughout the entire journey. They always went hand-in-hand, much like the paralytic man’s experience described in Mark 2:1-12.

This healing has allowed Michael and I to dream again about the future. He has spent the last seven years faithfully serving the Lord and me through this tough journey. Now, by God’s grace, we can connect again in ways we haven’t in a very long time.

Aware of this new freedom the Lord has blessed me with, I choose to live in gratitude for the healing, and courage for the future. There’s no point in fearing whether I’ll get another concussion. It could happen, but it might not. If I stayed in my safe bubble of what is comfortable, I’d never be able to explore the incredible things God has for me, and what He wants of me. Instead, I choose to test the boundaries in which I’ve been living, within wisdom and reason, and move forward with excitement and anticipation for the future.

Ultimately, I have learned that there is nothing in this life worth hoping in, except Jesus Christ and eternal life with Him. He is yours and my sustaining hope. Therefore, I pray that I’ll continue with open hands into the unknowns of the future, with Hope being my beacon of light.

I am thankful that many of our prayers for my healing have been favourably answered, and that the Lord has opened my eyes to it. Is there something you’ve been praying about for a long time? Have you noticed where the God has been at work in that situation? Sometimes He gives the big neon sign, but mostly, it is in the simple, daily moments that He works the most.

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