I continue to be blessed by and in awe of those people I meet who have had what I consider, great adversity, in their life.
As only the Lord could work out, last weekend, my youngest son accompanied my husband and me to a dinner & social gathering at some friends’ of ours. They usually have these Sunday night gatherings that are open to any family and friends that are available. They usually cook the main staple and the attendees pitch in and bring a dish to pass. (Thanks, Ken & Sandy, for being so kind and generous and sharing the love of the Lord with us all!)
Toward the end of this past Sunday, the three of us “happened” to sit down at the table where this gal in a wheelchair was. (Maybe it was because that is where the desserts were!) We overheard this gal ask these other two people if they were going to be around the next weekend and wanted to participate in a Big Ball tournament which is an annual benefit to help this gal with medical expenses.
My son, the baseball enthusiast, looked over at me and said he’d love to play. At the time,we had possible plans to be out of town, but I said if we did not go out of town, that would be fine for him to participate.
As you may guess, we did not go out of town, and my son got to play Big Ball for the first time! I was blessed to drive and accompany him to the benefit as well as be there to watch him play.
Ready to run to third base!
While watching my son play three Big Ball games on Saturday and one on Sunday, I had the true blessing of talking with this gal, her father, her mother and step-father. In my book, they are all wonderful examples of people overcoming adversity in their life and making the best of it.
When I’m at these events, I find myself praying for the people and thinking of how inspiring their lives are to me. I brought things to help pass the time, but I didn’t need any of that. I just got lost in my thinking and praying.
Can you imagine what it must be like to…..
….be paralyzed for the past 8 years
…to not have use of your arms, hands, or legs
…to not be able to walk
…to be told you’d never drive
…to not let your situation get you defeated?
Well, this gal, through lots of determination and perseverance, rather than stubbornness (the word her father used) has regained the use of both arms and hands! And, she was determined to drive….and she does now! She has her goal set on walking again one day, and I really hope she does!
What a true inspiration and living example of how to not let adversity get the best of you.
It is pure joy to talk with her, to hear her positive outlook on life and to see her overcome so many obstacles. She has had numerous surgeries for several different ailments. But through it all, she has a wonderful, peaceful attitude.
She currently endures a three hour drive each way four times a month for medical intervention.
I am so thankful that my son wanted to be a part of the Big Ball tournament. I know my life was blessed by talking with this amazing gal and her family.
Like I said, it was my son’s first experience playing Big Ball. He was part of one of the non-competitive teams which was a mish-mash of people from young to older, with a range of no Big Ball experience to years of experience. Unfortunately, they lost all four games so then the tournament ended for them.
The last game was a tough loss as both teams had not scored until that final inning, and if they lost then they were out of the tournament. His team was up first in the inning and scored two runs. The other team had their last ups, and ended up getting three runs with two outs.
Ready to play defense!
It was a tough loss for my son because the team fell apart defensively during that last inning. And, to make matters worse, he ended up making one error that did not help the situation. It reminded him too much of the last game of his travel baseball season where it was the same kind of situation.
I always find it difficult to know what to say at times like that. In thinking about it now, maybe I missed an opportunity to tell him some about adversity and even sharing more about this gal. I always try to tell him to do his best, and it’s never one person’s fault if you lose a game…it’s a team.
My heart smiled a few times when first the gal’s mom (which I didn’t know at the time) wondered who that second baseman was. I was a little hesitant to say that was my son, since I wasn’t sure if she was going to say something good or bad. Thankfully, it was good…she said, “He is good.” (I breathed a sign of relief!)
On Sunday, the gal’s step-dad came to me and introduced himself and said, “You have a fine young man there.”
Photo credit by BK under Creative Commons License (CC BY 2.0)
All of this also made me think about adversity….
…maybe you are an athlete and do lose almost every game you play
…maybe you have cancer or some other chronic illness
…maybe you have a loved one serving in the military and they are deployed
…maybe your spouse died unexpectedly
…maybe you are trying to find someplace to live
…maybe you are unemployed and need to find a job
…maybe your child has some kind of addiction.
Through all of these things, our attitude and perspective on life is so vital to how we handle the situation.
We can dwell on the negative and let that defeat us…
We can choose to dwell on the positive and try to overcome our situation one step at a time! As this gal often reminds herself, there is always someone else worse off.
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. –John 16:33 (NIV)
So, I encourage you to try to take that first step to overcome whatever adversity you are facing in your life today. Try to reach out to another to help encourage you or help you in some way, and always remember you are not alone….God is with you through it all!
…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. –Matthew 2:20 (NIV)