Was it a Coincidence?

My journey through amputation toward recovery has included extraordinary moments, some of which deserve the name miracle. I’ve written about a few of those events in this blog but I have also experienced one unique experience that has been an everyday part of my life since this entire thing began about a year ago.

The realities of amputation and the challenges of rehabilitation have driven me to frequent prayer, but these prayers have consistently been thwarted. Whenever I would try to pray about something weighing heavy on me like the prospect for surviving the surgery or the longing to walk again I would hear a voice say to me in clear words “I’ve got this.” Whenever I then tried to continue my prayer I felt my words being thrown back at me as if the effort reflected a disappointing lack of trust. This total experience was in no way vague or mystical; it was visceral and direct.

Living daily with this phenomenon has changed me. I have learned what it means to trust God. A year ago I would have said that trusting God meant believing that there is a God and that God loves me. I now understand that it means much more than that. Today I know that trust is a matter of holding on to the idea that in every aspect of my life no matter how small, mundane or even difficult, God is working on behalf of what is best for me. My greatest challenge, one that I’ve learned is much tougher than getting back on my feet, has been the task of abandoning worry and embracing all of life with joy knowing that God is at work in every situation. As a result my frightened pleas to God have been replaced by praise and my once constant worries have been driven away by unwavering confidence.

So, what’s the coincidence that my title refers to? Yesterday I was on the phone with my mom when she told me a story about the days before my surgery. She was continually imploring God for my survival and that I might walk again when she suddenly heard a voice say “Don’t pray about this anymore. Your prayer has already been answered.”  She told me that it felt a bit like a rebuke but she understood that it meant it was time for her to let go and let God take care of this matter. Today she wonders if we both heard the same clear firm voice. Who can say for sure, but I suspect we did.

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