It’s the first day of my last year of university. Wow.
Here I am, sitting the dining room, just before I drive back to school, writing this post.
Reflecting, yet again on where I’ve come from. Four months of “summer” went by WAY TOO FAST. From food adventures, to road trips, to recovery, and my birthday surprise. WAY TOO GOOD.
Just over 4 months ago, I was sitting in the living room, legs propped up, ice machine running to reduce the inflammation in my left knee. It was the beginning of my ACL recovery journey. I remember staring into the kitchen, watching my mom prepare my meals. I remember waiting for my brother to wake up just so he could help me get down the first step to get to the washroom. I remember my dad trying to get me out of the house for doctor’s appointments. Has it really already been 4 months?
I shared my recovery story at church last Saturday, and couldn’t help but come back to the verses that God impressed for me to meditate on the day of surgery:
“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well…
How precious are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.” – Psalm 139: 14, 17 – 18
I’m humbled by the thought that I almost gave up on myself, despite the love my friends and family share with me; God never stopped showing me His love through them and their actions.
In the past I’ve gone through destructive and degrading negative self-talk that nearly crushed my spirits. I almost got to that point again this summer, but thank God for His love.
You see, when you’re in recovery, so many thoughts go through your mind. Well for me anyway. Thoughts like: Am I ever gonna get to run again? Why can’t this recovery go any faster? Am I even ready to finish university? What’s gonna happen afterwards? Why am I worrying again? I feel like I’m drifting away from my friends. Am I too hard on my brother? Are my parents ACTUALLY proud of me?
But then, God’s voice was like: Ashley, why are you worrying again? Remember I said,
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” – Philippians 4:6, 7
I’ve also told you,
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:33, 34
It’s amazing how my thoughts started to change: I don’t have to be anxious. I don’t have to worry, nor should I even consider it. I have a focus and that is God’s kingdom. I want to live my life more intentionally for Him. He deserves my praise. I’m His child. Nothing can separate me from him, nor can anyone give or take away the love He has for me.
As a blogger, I read other blogs, too. They’re a great source of writing fuel – just saying 😉 I came across this quote, “You don’t make mistakes, mistakes make you.” I can’t exactly remember which blog or post I saw it from, I mean it could have even been a movie… But that quote just resonated with me. You don’t make mistakes, mistakes make you. So I may think I made the mistake, but the mistake actually builds me up. The mistake(s) help me learn more about myself, and as a Christian, about the God who loves me and gave His Son for me.
Sitting here in the dining room makes me remember that my falling down that ski slope on the evening of January 31, 2014, WAS a mistake, and it was the act of deciding to go down the hill that made me fall and injure myself. BUT, after surgery and working on recovery, I realize that this injury will forever define part of me. You can say I’m allowing this said “mistake” to define me, but not to break me down. Rather to build others up and remind them where I came from, hoping that they, too, will remember where they came from.
We all started somewhere at some point.
I started university for the third time, 3 years ago. I started skiing in December 2013. I started recovery after April 18, 2017. Had I never started any of the above, never would I be sharing these testimonies with you.
We all have a journey to take.
Whether you’re just starting your university journey, almost finished, or still hesitating to decide – you’re working towards something special.
We all have the ability to quit or continue.
Did you start something new? Are you still contemplating on what to do next? The key is to “Never, never, never give up.” – Winston Churchill.
So what’s it gonna be? You have the choice to make it or break it friends.
“Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14
Make it count!