Monday, July 22, 2013

One Week. Thirteen Years.

One week.

One week, thirteen years ago.

One week, thirteen years ago, I was walking.

This year is extremely poignant for me as it is the first year in thirteen years that I will be at the same place I was last walking.  Oh, the myriad of emotions.  In this final week, I remember a lot of what I was doing thirteen years ago.  Soon, I'll be driving Luke to the train station, but not before I go pick up Jennifer at the airport in San Francisco.  We'll spend the night in Marin County and then head to the park the next day.  And on that day of July 28th - the last day I was walking - I will say my final goodbyes to my friends, coworkers, and boss.  Soon, I will later wake up in CCU at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas, paralyzed.  I can finally say that it does get easier to digest with time, but not every day is roses and sunshine.  I've certainly had my share this past anniversary year of hell handed to me in a hand basket.  And to think that last year, my anniversary would start about with a broken left femur.  I'm confident that this year will go much better.

This year symbolizes closure for me in so many ways.  Closure of getting to know who I am in a wheelchair, closure of allowing unhealthy relationships in my life due to low self esteem, closure to using alcohol as a way to feel accepted (6 years sober now!), closure of accomplishing big things that I'm proud of being affiliated with, and closure of feeling lost.  I am now entering into a new phase of life - one of confidence, acceptance, adventure, positive self-worth, and feeling like the Alyson I remember before I was forced to use a wheelchair.  I'm stronger, more compassionate, more loving, more giving, more understanding, more open to others' differences, more selfless, more aware, and I've proven to myself that I can do just about anything that I could when I was walking or what a man could do for me.  It feels good to be me again!

So in a week, I will be sitting where I last stood.  But that's okay.  I'll be awakening in a cabin rather than being airlifted to a hospital.  I'll be free to go through the redwoods and sequoias rather than hooked up to machines and IV's.  I'll sit in the Great Lounge and "people watch" rather than people coming to watch me.  And I'll be able to genuinely smile rather than smile because that's what I think I'm supposed to do. I'll make it to the next day being okay and being the same as I was the day before.  Yes, I'll wake up still needing to use a wheelchair, but the wheelchair is such an afterthought for me now.  I'm back to caring for and about me, Alyson Roth, and I'm wiser because of these past thirteen years and the lessons I've had to learn.

I already feel like such a different person than I was last week, three months ago, one year ago, and eleven years ago.  I'm empowered because I know that Christ has my life planned for great things, and I place everything else - all the things I cannot control - into His hands.  I suppose my one wish for this anniversary would be to spend it with people that knew me when I was walking, especially those from that summer of 2000.  Unfortunately, most of those people live far away, including my family, though there are a couple of friends who live in the area but I'm unfortunately not in contact with them at this time.  Anyone who knows me knows that those who knew me walking are precious gems to me who I cherish in my life.  So whether you're near or far, know that I love each one of you, and I'm so thankful for you "sticking it out" with me!  And for everyone else who has walked beside me these past thirteen years, thank you.  Thank you for being with me in my down times, the times I made stupid decisions,  encouraging me to keep striving for better, and for accepting me as I was.  I am proud to say that all of these trials has now brought me to be that person who I'm meant to be!

One week.

Thirteen years ago.



In a week.

Thirteen years later.

A better person has blossomed.

Praise God.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Deliberate Determination

I've been in a contemplative state lately.  Mostly trying to figure out God and wonder why He would make things so incredibly clear to me at the beginning of the year as if I was looking through glass to now it's like I'm looking through a tornado and trying to figure out the chaos and what's going to happen next, how to make it stop, and most of all, why God is allowing this feeling of rejection and abandonment I am now facing.  I thought 2013 was going to be my year, and I was looking forward to it.  Now, I feel like a dog trying to catch his tail.  

I've always loved Oswald Chambers' book, "My Utmost For His Highest."  My best friend gave me the book back in college with a sweet inscription on the inside cover from her.  The devotionals are short and easy, but extremely poignant that hits straight to the heart.

The devotional for July 8th hit me dead center in the eyes.  Amongst this chaos in my head, this feeling of rejection and uncertainty, and this "what do I do now" feeling, this devotional spoke volumes to me. You see, since I moved - based off of very clear signs from God - I have not been using my time wisely.  This has been predominantly caused by someone who I love very much who decided to not be a part of my life anymore after many, many years.  It hurts every day, and it cuts my heart and soul like a knife.  I question God, because I know what He told me that very first evening in his truck, waiting for the stop light to turn green - after no cars ended up coming through.  (And looking back, that light was awfully long for no cars to come.  Hmmm.)  I can't shake that feeling of "I know."  But since moving up here and all of this happening, I have forced myself to branch out, meet people, find a church, start enjoying extracurricular activities, and seeing life as an adventure rather than a pathway I have to follow.

I also know that God called me up here to finish my book that I hope to have published in 2014.  Because my mind has been consumed with this loss of a friend who I loved and thought he loved me equally as much, I have not been as motivated as I should be to finish the book.  However, while in the CCU at University Medical Center in Las Vegas within hours of me coming out of surgery from my car accident that left me with a spinal cord injury on July 29th (which my 13th anniversary is coming up and I've booked a cabin for three days in my favorite place on earth to celebrate life), I was called by God to write a book.  I heard it as clear as I heard what I did at that stoplight.  So, I must do this, and I must finish it.  

Below is the devotional for July 8th which hit me hard.  The entire devotional described me.  I have been called to do something, and I must put it into action.  He has "placed before me some big proposals and plans," but until I decide who I'm going to serve - man or God - "everything in my life will be held in a temporary suspension until I make a decision."  And it's between me and God, not me and my girlfriends, or me and the pastor, or me and my mom.  It's an agreement and obedience between me and God - no one else.  And believe me, there are a few things that I want to come out of "temporary suspension!"  I'm the one holding up God's plans for my life because of my disobedience in not finishing this book!

So you know exactly what I did today.  I made a list of all the things I needed to do that I had promised God, and one by one, I'm starting to check them off.  I believe this season in life where everything - literally everything - has been stripped away from me is for the purpose of me to be one with God and follow through willingly in obedience so that God can give me my hearts desires.  Oh, how I pray that to be true. But I cannot serve man.  Not even a husband.  I cannot serve man without serving God first.  That is the lesson I'm supposed to learn.  Whoa.  I just had an "ah ha" moment.  

As much as I deeply want to share my life with someone forever and have prayed for my husband since I was 9 years old, I know I must first honor God and serve Him first before anyone else (and before God allows me to marry whoever he is).  And serving also means being obedient.  So... I've got to finish this book!  The end is coming soon as July 29th - my anniversary date - will be the ending of the book.  Then I will spend the next two months editing and finally the last three months of the year pitching it to publishers.  

I'm about to enter into a whole new realm of life in about two and a half weeks and put closure on a very long season of life where I was trying to figure out who I am in this wheelchair.  Now that I am confident, secure, and passionate about who I am after almost 13 years, I need to start winding down this current chapter so I can enjoy the next season so those "temporary suspensions" can be released!  Time to finish that book!  :)  

Enjoy the devotional, and hopefully it speaks to you in some way as it did for me.


Will To Be Faithful

A person’s will is embodied in the actions of the whole person. I cannot give up my will— I must exercise it, putting it into action. I must will to obey, and I must will to receive God’s Spirit. When God gives me a vision of truth, there is never a question of what He will do, but only of what I will do. The Lord has been placing in front of each of us some big proposals and plans. The best thing to do is to remember what you did before when you were touched by God. Recall the moment when you were saved, or first recognized Jesus, or realized some truth. It was easy then to yield your allegiance to God. Immediately recall those moments each time the Spirit of God brings some new proposal before you.
“. . . choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. . . .” Your choice must be a deliberate determination— it is not something into which you will automatically drift. And everything else in your life will be held in temporary suspension until you make a decision. The proposal is between you and God— do not “confer with flesh and blood” about it (Galatians 1:16). With every new proposal, the people around us seem to become more and more isolated, and that is where the tension develops. God allows the opinion of His other saints to matter to you, and yet you become less and less certain that others really understand the step you are taking. You have no business trying to find out where God is leading— the only thing God will explain to you is Himself.
Openly declare to Him, “I will be faithful.” But remember that as soon as you choose to be faithful to Jesus Christ, “You are witnesses against yourselves . . .” (Joshua 24:22). Don’t consult with other Christians, but simply and freely declare before Him, “I will serve You.” Will to be faithful— and give other people credit for being faithful too.

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