Ten years ago today (January 25, 2003), I fell 80 feet (24 meters) while rock climbing at T-Wall, a popular climbing site in Tennessee. The doctors said I might not live; when I did, they said I’d never be the same again. Today, not only am I “normal,” most people don’t even know this incident ever happened. This is part four of my story. (To read parts one, two, or three, click here, here, or here.)
THE MISSING PIECE
There’s a piece of my story that’s missing,
the piece that is all about you.
It’s the piece I’ve struggled the most with,
the piece so many assume true.
I recovered from my accident eventually.
My rehab is on the next page.
But what of my soul, of “God‘s purpose”?
What is it that I owe—to you?
Something that has been hard to explain is the disconnect I feel from what happened to me during those weeks in the hospital. When I woke up in the ICU three and a half weeks after I fell, I was a little girl. A sick little girl. And that was all.
There was no glamor.
There was no fame.
There was no epiphany –
No, “A-ha! This is what I’m supposed to do.”
There was no opening of the sky: “This is my daughter . . . ”
No booming voice, “Jessica, I love you.”
There was only me, as lost as ever. And even more so because of the sudden expectation that I would be, must be, had to be something more.
After all, if I weren’t “special,” why wasn’t I dead? . . . At the very least I must feel closer to God because of what I had been through.
Nothing, however, could have been further from the truth.
You see . . .
who saw me dying,
wasn’t me who watched the fight.
It wasn’t me who prayed for mercy,
or who hoped I would survive.
It wasn’t me who sat there crying.
wasn’t me who saw the grave.
It wasn’t me who watched with wonder,
as I turned around and thrived . . .
Yes, my life changed. But if I hadn’t lived, how would I have known? I would simply have gone on sleeping.
Facts you might be surprised by:
- My life has been changed far more by my experiences in Taiwan and Hong Kong than it was by my terrible accident.
- After the accident, I felt guilty that I had lived. (Why me? Why not someone else?)
- I still question: What if people hadn’t been praying for me? . . . And how is that fair?
- Today, I feel guilty for even having such an accident such as this. (E.g. How many people even get the chance to rock climb? How many people have been wounded far worse in combat, domestic disputes, by words? I am so fortunate.)
- I’m still trying to figure out God. Who is He? How can I find Him? And, most importantly, how does He relate to people ALL AROUND THE WORLD? I am no longer convinced there is one book full of one truth for all people for all of time. I think God is bigger than that. (Scandalous! I know.)
My story is not over. Part five is yet to come. In the meantime, though, I want to share with you a different perspective—an important one from which I, too, may learn. This is the perspective of my friends and family, people who were with me during this time.
Because, you see, the missing piece is you.
I hope you’ll stay tuned.
End of Part Four
Image credit: dd-hd.multiply.com
- how to not die
- how to not die: the rescue
- how to not die: the icu
- how to not die: the road to recovery
- Woman rescued from Waldens Bluff (chattanoogan.com)–The news article reporting my fall