The view from my treadmill this afternoon!

Grace: Yesterday marked halfway through the month of September.  Aside from the fact that this time of year sends many of us “back to school” vibes  and also means I’m only six months away from being 25 (off-topic, I know), there is one more thing September was supposed to have been for us this year. It struck me the other day as I was finishing up physical therapy practice that September was predicted to be the month that I started  learning how to walk.

Those of you who have been with us for a while may remember this post from early February, where I recounted the sobering pronouncement from our orthopedic appointment that it would most likely take me 6 months to a year to learn how to walk, and one to two years to learn how to walk well. For those who aren’t great at math, that was only SEVEN months ago. Seven. Currently I walk two miles every day on a treadmill as part of my at-home physical therapy homework, and I don’t even use a cane. If you saw me walking down the street, I would look completely normal.

Can we all just take that in for a moment??

It’s startlingly easy for Ivan and me to get caught up in the needs and challenges of everyday life (usually brain-related, and still very real, to be sure). And our healing journey is far from finished. But it shocked me that I was looking a giant miracle right in the eyes, and almost missed it.

How did I exceed predictions by such a giant margin?? It would be flattering to credit myself with intrinsic personal awesomeness, or at least spout off a eulogy for therapists.  (I’ll give you a hint, we can eliminate the ” personal awesomeness” hypothesis right off the bat! 😉 )

While I have had some phenomenal therapists, and can’t thank them enough for what they’ve contributed, I think the true reason for this real-life miracle lies James 5:16: “The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” From the very day of the accident, we have been covered in prayer from more people than we could ever count or thank properly. And this prayer has accomplished far more than we could have dreamed of…far faster than we could have dreamed of.

As always, the glory goes first to God who is the worker of these marvelous developments. But I want to use this post to thank YOU, who have been tirelessly using prayer to fight for and with us all these months. Your urgent requests have produced some beyond-powerful effects.

Ivan: I just had to chime in…first of all, praise God! All good things (in fact, all things) come from Him and are used by Him ultimately for His glory and the good of His children. Second of all, thank you all for praying for us so faithfully! We can’t thank you all enough.

Third of all, I want to give a shout out to my wife…for working so incredibly hard these past months! One of the truths we have seen firsthand in our lives and in the lives of those who live within the “hospital sphere” of physical, mental, and emotional recovery is that a patient’s attitude toward his/her own recovery plays a central role in the recovery’s actual outcome. To put it another way, those who lose hope or don’t try will actually recover less than those who believe the best and give their all in order to get better. Now, this is not a guarantee, but it is an observation that many have seen borne out in the lives of actual patients.

Grace is one of the hardest workers I have ever known. This accident put her in a position where she has to battle every day to regain not only physical but also mental and emotional wholeness. She fights on multiple fronts. On the physical front, this means following a detailed daily regimen of exercise. Side note–most of us probably view exercise as “a good thing to do,” whether we actually end up doing it or not; but in the context of a person who’s had two strokes and two broken knees (among other things), it becomes much more than just a “good choice”; it becomes part of her battle for wholeness.

So I just wanted to “officially” congratulate my wife for putting so much time and effort, consistently, every day, to work hard toward her recovery. We’ve already seen some of the results of your hard work, Grace! I’m sure that God is pleased with your effort and attitude, and is using it as part of His sovereign, good, and loving plan for you. We are all so proud of you! 🙂

3 thoughts on “Walking Again: a Retrospective Update

  1. Yes, Grace, you are an example…a WALKING example…of fully trusting God while fully committing to the path he lays out before you. Your progress is a reason to celebrate, and certainly reason to praise God! Go, Team Utomo!


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