Every Tuesday and Thursday, I’m posting excerpts from Because I Can.
This is from Chapter 15: Miracles, Prayers, and Renewal
Somewhere along the way with all my reading, journaling and processing, I came to somewhat of a resolution about why I think accidents happen and I doubt if they include a divine being. I began leaning towards believing what Jerry had thought from the beginning.
Accidents are exactly what their name says they are — accidents.
In my situation, multiple drivers made a mistake or two and it resulted in an accident. I don’t think anyone or any being caused it to happen. I went from believing the popular saying that implies a divine being causes everything to happen for a reason to believing that…
Everything happens and a reason (good or bad) may or may not come out of it.
The majority of what did or did not come out of my experience was up to me. The choice was mine. I could stay on the couch instead of going to physical therapy. I could stay selfish and demand others serve me. I could stay bitter or depressed. I could become an alcoholic. I could commit suicide.
Or I could focus on the positive and become stronger. I could find hope in the beauty around me. I could look for love and share love. I could be thankful for many things … my husband, boys, others and that my body healed as well as it did. I could help others going through a trauma.
I still wondered about answered prayers. Prayers were often sited as the reason I survived and my leg was saved. But yet prayers for continued healing were not answered. I know I can be an all-or-nothing kind of person and most things in life don’t seem to work that way. But yet, it seemed that prayer ought to have some rhythm or reason to it.
I took an honest look at prayers, testimonies, reports and statistics. Without a doubt, the practice of prayer can give people peace … whether they are Christians or practice another religion.
But here’s the twist: studies also show that most of the time when people pray for specific life-changing things—healings or winning the lottery—they do not happen. And prayers for everyday things—new jobs, good weather or good parking spots—are answered about fifty percent of the time. Which is the normal ratio for things like that to happen.
Previously if I prayed for good weather for a picnic and it happened, I thanked God (and inwardly felt all warm and fuzzy). Now I realized the statistics were in my favor for good weather to happen in June in Southeast Pennsylvania, which is why I planned my picnics then. (Duh!)
If I really believe prayer affected the weather, shouldn’t I plan an outdoor wedding in January in Alaska and pray for a balmy day?
I wasn’t denying prayer and its connection to a divine being, but I was looking at it more realistically than I had before. I couldn’t help but consider my own circumstances and at times, my thoughts about prayer concerned me. Was I becoming cynical? Dr. Hinika gave God credit for my life being saved. Every doctor I’d seen was amazed how well my left leg and foot had recovered. One or two even called it a miracle.
Did miracles happen? Was I the recipient of miracles and now I was questioning if they happen? Or did I recover naturally? Great doctors, skills and technology can do a lot … and with the right circumstances our bodies can heal.
Yes, I had traumatic injuries, but research shows many people have survived immense trauma. Some are Christians, some are Muslim, Buddhist or Atheist. So if the God of the Bible produced miracles in my life, who produced the miracles in people who don’t believe in that God or in any god?
Then there was Rosene’s situation to consider. Some of my questions about God through-out my life had been fed by her circumstances. No one should have to live with the limitations she did—Cerebral Palsy and impaired vision (almost legally blind). In spite of all that, she was kind, considerate and loved God. She had amazing faith and she often prayed to be healed.
But was she healed?
Rosene, my younger sister, was as bright mentally as you and me, but due to a lack of muscle control over her whole body, she had severe physical disabilities. Because she’s a big part of my life, I also share some of her story in Because I Can. Actually the title of my book comes from what I’ve learned from her.
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are… because you can!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Other excerpts from Because I Can: The Prologue
Chapter 1: The Accident
Chapter 2: 50% Chance of Death Chapter 3: Waking Up Chapter 4: Paranoid and Anxious Chapter 5: Questions Chapter 6: Flying Home Chapter 7: Back on my Feet Chapter 8: Walk On Chapter 9: California Again Chapter 10: A Hurricane and My Obituary Chapter 11: Mentors and Counselors Chapter 12: Educating this Mennonite Girl from Small Town America Chapter 13: Quitting God Chapter 14: Surgery Again Chapter 16: Embracing Life Again Chapter 17: Running Again Epilogue: One Step at a Time… Because I Can!