Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Inner Strength (04/20/06)
TITLE: It Is Just Too Big
By Wendy Solomon
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I was never a courageous person. Not even as a child. Just ask my family. They will tell you about the time I had the chance to ride an elephant and chickened out because it was too big. Then there was the slide, maybe you have been on one like it. The one you ride down on a burlap bag. Well, I truly wanted to go down that slide. I went to the top with my dad, but it was just too big. My dad did everything he could to try to get me to go down short of physically forcing me. In the end Dad went down alone and I walked down all those stairs, against the flow of traffic.
Well, a few years ago I was facing the biggest hurdle ever, and I had no idea how I would get over it. As I looked for a way out or around I realized there was not one to be found. And then there was the other reason. I knew it was God’s will for me to go straight down this path He had charted for me. But how?
Mom needed my help. After being diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s), Dad was going home. They had done a tracheotomy and put him on a ventilator so he could breathe. That meant 24/7 care. How could I possibly face this?
I had spent a month with him right before the diagnosis. I did not know then what he had, but I knew he was dying. When my visit with him was over I went back home. We were living in Bogotá, Colombia at the time and Dad was in Texas. I would not have to watch him die; I was not strong enough to face that. I thanked God for His great wisdom. Then He turned my world upside down! The next thing I knew I was headed back to Texas to help care for my dad. What had happened here? Of the four siblings I am the least likely one to be able to handle this. I was sure it was just too big for me. How could I learn what needed done to care for my daddy and watch him die while doing it? The fears just mounted and soon I felt like I was at the top of that slide again but this time the stairs had been removed.
It took me a week to learn to suction him and work the machine. It would have taken longer but Dad insisted it was time. I had been able to put him off when we were on the slide but this was different. I could not say “no”. So now I was on the burlap bag. Then came the day Mom needed to go somewhere and I had to stay alone with Dad. What if I got it all wrong and he died on my watch? I could never live with myself. I am a very merciful person and can forgive anyone of anything, anyone but me that is. As Mom drove out of the driveway I felt the panic. Someone had just pushed me and I was hurling down the slide.
What I had not realized was that little girl who had refused to go down the slide no longer existed. My Daddy knew that. Both my Daddies knew. My Heavenly Father was just giving me the chance to figure it out for myself. I will not tell you that the ride was exhilarating because it was not. But I did find out that when God dwells within, you have an inner strength bigger than anything He will allow you to face.
Psalm 18:32 says, “It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.”(KJV) I can think of no better verse to describe where my strength came from. God bound me up with a force of valor and caused the course of my life to be full. I will always cherish the extra time God gave me with my Daddy. God’s wisdom truly is great.
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