Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dream a Little Dream

Throughout my lifetime, I have not always been a dreamer. Sure, I had plenty of dreams, but I am not sure they were thoughts that I took too seriously. As of late, as I have been wondering the next steps for my life, I have been encouraged about some possibilities I have been thinking about. Are they dreams? I think so, but they are so-called dreams that I believe can one day come out of my brain and be lived out.

The other morning I woke up in unique way for me: I was filled with joy, hope, expectation, and vision -- and that was before I even had a cup of coffee! It was an encouraging time for me. I am not what one would call a "morning person." I would like mornings if they were a little later in the day. I am not at my best at the earlier part of a day.

Over the past two years I have been wondering what is "next" for me. I needed to step down from my position as the Director of Women's Ministries at Lakeside Church as I went on full-time disability. In my early stages of recovery, that was not my game plan at all, as I planned on returning to Lakeside.

As life continued on I was able to see that was absolutely the right decision to make, though it had been a hard decision to make. I was also able to see that there was still time needed if I was going to work at any job at all. My recovery from my brain injury still had much healing to go.

Thankfully I didn't just hide in my apartment and feel sorry for myself. There have been plenty of moments that I have felt sorry for myself, but I was not going to give up: continuing to cultivate my relationship with God; staying connected with family and friends; volunteering; beginning to learn to ride my bicycle again; meeting with my TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) support group; and meeting with a counselor have been some of the things that have been very important to me.

But what was "next" for me?

I have been doing some writing, as I hope to one day share my story on the written page. I have begun interviewing family and friends. It has been helpful for me in numerous ways, but I also see that it is helping me fill in some blanks.

There is about a three month period surrounding the injuries I sustained which I do not remember. As I speak with family, friends, medical personnel, as well as read some of the blog entries that were written, a picture is developing.

Though it is sad, hard, amazing, and miraculous of what I have gone through, I appreciate the clarity and the answers that are coming my way.

Is writing what is next? I think writing is included, but that is not all. The primary area of focus I believe God is leading me is that of helping, encouraging, and supporting brain injury survivors.

God has saved my life in a miraculous way and He has been enabling me to heal and recover in a miraculous capacity as well.

The number of people who suffer TBI's in the United States per year is staggering: approximately 1.7 million people! TBI's are a horrendous injury and there are a lot of us walking around recovering from one.

Before I sustained a TBI, I don't believe I had heard of it before. Now that I have, my eyes and ears have been opened to an incredible need. In fact, within my own extended family, there are at least six of us who have sustained some sort of traumatic or acquired brain injury.

My desire is to help raise awareness and even money for recovery, therapy, and other needs and expenses.

How will that look? Well, I'm still dreaming in that area, but will share one day soon a couple of areas. This I will share:
  • I am part of a trio of people: we've each sustained brain injuries in some capacity, who are beginning a small group this fall at Lakeside Church for brain injury survivors and caregivers.
  • I volunteer at Mercy General Hospital in the Acute Rehab Dept. (where I was a patient.) I get to help those who helped me who are now helping other survivors.
  • With writing, I want to continue to get the word out about brain injuries and other traumatic injuries to extend hope, love, encouragement, care, and resources.
  • I will be volunteering to help local events take place to communicate the reality and needs for brain injury survivors.
I would appreciate your prayers as I continue to seek God for His plans and purposes for me.

I am extremely encouraged and thankful for the direction I believe God is leading me and the dreams He is giving me to dream.

I will keep you updated on the process and progress.

Friday, August 20, 2010


People often ask me what I am doing. My life prior to being hit by a car, life was moving right along and I was busy -- doing stuff. Now with not having a job, my days have opened up a bit. I have been asking God what He wants me to do. Besides God wanting me to continue to cultivate my relationship with Him, I think that God wants me to help other brain injury survivors. Therefore, that is what I am seeking to do.

Volunteering at Mercy General in the Acute Rehab Dept. is providing some of that opportunity. I am envisioning a couple of other things down the road too. One of the new opps for me is to help develop a small group/support group for brain injury survivors.

I am working with two friends and we will begin this group in September at Lakeside Church. Each of the three of us have sustained a brain injury in some capacity. We all know the value and importance of being connected with others who have some of the same challenges, victories, and such. We do not walk alone along this journey!

Wednesday, September 1 we will be holding a reception at Lakeside Church (room 216) in Folsom (from 7-9pm) to share the heart, vision, and motivation for this group. We will have refreshments, share stories, a guest speaker and what our group will entail.

If you are a brain injury survivor, are the family member of a brain injury survivor, are the caretaker of a survivor, or would just like to find out what this is all about -- then please join us.

You may have sustained a brain injury from an external force/accident, have suffered a stroke, have M.S., have suffered concussions, or any other situation that has impacted your brain -- then this group is for you.

We will be trying in multiple ways to get the word out about this group, but if you or someone you know could possibly benefit, please come and bring others with you.

On Wednesday, Sept. 15 @ 7pm the small group will officially begin. Our evening will also communicate what our group time will include.

Did I ever think that I would be helping brain injury survivors? Nope! But God has a way of bringing good out of hard and difficult situations. I am very grateful for this opportunity to serve in this capacity.

Monday, August 9, 2010

In Good Hands

Though I have been walking this recovery journey for over two years, and I had made the decision to step down from my job and go on permanent disability months ago -- my life just feels kind of weird.

Saturday I got word from the judge who heard my case regarding disability and social security. When I met with the judge, the appointment had gone fine, but I have been waiting on hearing back from him regarding his decision. His decision was what was expected: he agreed with the fact that I am disabled.

To see it in writing and read it in the context of various testimonies was a tad surreal. It hit home that my life has gone/is going in a different direction then I imagined. This is not what I expected.

For whatever reason it is going along a new path. Even though I may not understand it or see why it is going this way, I do believe that God knows, sees, and understands it all. Faith gets to continue to take over here. Not faith in my circumstances, but my faith in God. Our faith is only as strong as the object of our faith: God is All-knowing, All-powerful, All-loving, and more. The Object of my faith is the Lord God Almighty. I am in good Hands.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Taking the Necessary Rest

I took my cat, Spike, to the vet yesterday. He hasn't been to a kitty dr. in quite awhile. Spike did great! The vet assistant even said so. Spike needed to give blood and have a mass under his bottom lip checked out.
After returning home, I think Spike slept most of the day and into early evening. There was a time that he was becoming active again and I thought he was just being recharged from his sleep.
Today Spike has a tad more energy, but he still is taking it easy.
I'm not a parent, so I am not sure what it is like to take one's child to the doctor to get shots, etc., but that must be challenging to see your child given a shot, etc.
I wasn't in the room when Spike's blood was taken, but I am sure it was a little scary for him. I think Spike was exhausted from his visit to the vet.
One of the challenges I am still experiencing over two years since my run in with a car, is that I still can get tired quite easily. It might be due to exercise, a busy schedule, spending time and interacting with people, or a number of other things.
One of the things I need to make sure is that I get plenty of rest. Sometimes it means taking a nap in the afternoon or just allowing my world to be still for about 15-20 minutes.
That may seem silly, but it is honestly something I need in my day.
It reenergizes me, it renews me, it can recharge me, and make me feel a lot better. My day activities and interactions can be a lot more productive when I take the necessary rest I need to take.