NEW LIFE - A Survivor's Story

by Cathryn L. C.

My new life began on 07-01-95, when I was involved in a MVA on I-35 just south of the Main Street exit in Norman, OK. I spent a month at Norman Regional Hospital, 2 days at University Hospital, and 5 months at Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Hospital. I am a survivor of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). My injury was severe, but my recovery was a miracle due to my faith in Jesus Christ. I did not see the difficulties of my injury until I got out into the "real world". Even greater than my daily struggles of dressing myself or remembering my plans for the day, was the daily struggle to maintain the friendships that I cared so much about. It was hard always being the one who had to be picked up because I was unable to drive due to seizures or the only one who could not ride the roller coaster because I had a brain injury. Even my friends would baby me at times by saying "Are you sure you can do this"? I know they were only looking out for me, but it always made me feel like I didn't belong anymore.

Another problem I dealt with was with my memory. I have come a long way from rehab. I couldn't even name a fruit when asked by my speech therapist. I look back on that and laugh... because a couple of weeks later she asked me this same question again and after a few minutes of silence I said "kiwi". Kiwi? I had to relearn so much. You learn a lot of compensating when you go through something like this. In the hospital I was wheeled to the chapel where I would pray to God for healing and strength to fight this trial. God was all I had. God was my refuge. One night I went to one of Dennis Jernigan's "Night of Praise" and I began to sob when Matthew Ward sang Psalm 61. David wrote: "O God, listen to my cry! From the ends of the earth I call to you whe my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge under the shelter of your wings." This was like my cry to the Lord. I really feel God let this happen to me.

Before my car accident I had become a very wild rebellious child. I did a lot that I so very much regret. The day before my accident I got down on my knees and asked God (who I had not prayed a word to in probably a year) to forgive me for what all I had done to displease Him and to please help me find a way out of this pit I had fallen into. We see that my prayer was answered. My "true heart" was slowly dying to the temptations of this world and I was letting the adversary take control of my heart. It had to come to an end. I have many scars that are a burden that I have to wear to remind me of that pit in which I had dwelled. I endure so much ridicule about my scars. I cannot begin to explain to you how it is to live a life with such scars. The hardest part is when it comes to "guys" and "dating". I plan on being single for quite some time. With Jesus as a guide of living the perfect single life serving His Father, I am learning to deal with it. Anyways, as a really good friend of mine says, "God is the only man I need". This Easter Sunday I heard something that really touched me, loud and clear over the microphone, "JESUS HAD SCARS"!!! He does understand! No wonder he is my refuge and the giver of my peace through this hardship.

Then I found out I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and the beginning stages of endometriosis in the fall of 1999. This was an answer to prayers as well, because I had been trying to find out why I had only 3 periods in my whole life. This is harder to deal with because I am more capable of understanding and feeling the syndrome than I was with my TBI. I really feel it is playing games with my "womanhood". Really, Satan is playing games with me and I am not giving in! He will not win me over anymore. Sure his enticements look nice, but I know where that will get me. The fact that my machinery does not function at 100% does not take the "mother" out of me. We all have it and it can't be removed. Motherhood is a gift given to us by our creator. He loves us all, so why would he play favorites with the gift of fertility? When you feel God is holding out on you, you have to ask yourself what you are holding back from Him. God may grant easy ovulations to some so that may serve Him with the gift of motherhood, but then he allows some to have problems ovulating so that they may serve Him by sharing God's love for children who wind up in this world alone and who are in need of two loving hearts and a warm home. God has given us all the maternal qualities- loving, caring, nurturing, disciplining, teaching, motivating, influencing, and encouraging. These do not come from an ovary, they come from God! He gives these qualities to all women for this purpose.

When my sister became pregnant with my nephew, God pushed these qualities to the top of my stack. He led me into volunteering for Extended Session ("Diaper Duty") at church and he led me to go through a Biblical Mothering class with my sister. Most importantly, He has led me to be the most godly aunt that ever lived. Who would of thought that a person who may not ever have a child of her own would have a life revolving so much around children? God! His plans are so not known by us. Nothing is impossible with God. I feel God has allowed me to go through these trials and tribulations so that I can be an advocate and a witness to those who are going through what I have went through. I was chosen! I find a lot of comfort by knowing that God wants ME to do this job. I feel the pain and abuse I go through daily is for something and someday it will hopefully be for someone. All I want to do is serve God. I fell into Satan's big trap. Oh, how I regret that, but I don't think I would change any of it.