From early childhood, I was taught to be thankful for the belongings I was blessed with and avoid taking them for granted. Growing up on my grandparent's farm, I learned to value and cherish the simple pleasures of life, even though our material possessions were meager. We lacked running water; thus, hauling it in buckets and barrels became a daily routine. All of my clothes were homemade, and I was exhilarated to receive those hand-me-downs from older cousins. As an adult, I rarely recall taking my family or friends for granted, and, being a healthcare worker, I have gained great respect for life and well-being. Still, after a lifetime of careful appreciation for the blessings surrounding me, one lesson was yet to be learned.
Nearly a year ago, after being diagnosed with a cerebral abscess, I faced the grim realization that I had taken the art of communication for granted. What immense difficulties I had attempting to communicate in any form.
Numerous lessons have been learned from this experience, and I would like to share only a few.
Communicate with one another. One of my dearest friends, visiting during my recuperation, conveyed her guilt of neglecting to express her love for me. Do we lack in our communication with one another? We need to constantly be telling others how much we love and appreciate them. Expressing our sincere thoughts to others may be the encouragement they have desperately needed.
Let God communicate with you. God communicates to us through His word. Simply by opening the Bible, we can find beautiful passages that help us learn what he desires for us. Never having had a problem with reading, I suddenly found myself unable to recognize words. How would I prepare for Bible classes, daily readings, and my passion for journaling? Never take for granted the wonderful opportunity we have each and every day to read and study the Word of God.
Communicate with God. In James 5:16 we read, "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." How fortunate we are to have the opportunity to communicate with God through prayer. For days, due to the immense swelling on my brain, I was unable to have that immediate access to God through prayer. I was comforted by the thoughts and prayers being offered to God in my behalf by others.
Never take for granted the constant communication we have with God. He will listen to our anxieties, frustrations, joys, fears, and hopes for tomorrow. Matthew 7:7-8 says, "Ask , and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."
I have found that, if God does not give us what we ask for, He will bless us with something better. Jesus gives us strength when we need it most. Through the many grueling months of rehabilitation, He has given back to me the art of communication, which I will never, again, take for granted. -Rt. 1, Box 109-A, Rivesville, WV 26588.
[Editor's note: We rejoice in sister Pat's recovery. We are thankful to be able to, again, publish her good, thoughtful articles. She writes, "I have spent numerous hours in therapy (8-9 hours a day) in order to partially master the 3 R's. My neurophysiologists, my speech therapists, and my surgeon are amazed, as they felt I would never read again. Except for the seizures (which are controlled pretty well with medication), I am making great strides. I returned to work on December 5th with supervision. Monday, January 9th, I will be on my own. I'm rather anxious about being alone in a unit filled with children, but I'm going to give 100%. I have been so blessed with family and friends who have continually encouraged me through their thoughts and prayers. My aunt, with much insistence, counted over 1,200 cards I have received (and they are still trickling in)"].
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