The Day that Life Changed ~ 5 years ago

image1January 10, 2011, was a magical day, she watch the whales and glanced at her family.   Her eyes filled up with tears, and glanced across the row of her beautiful family.  She looked at her mom and dad and how happy they were, her brother and his beautiful family, and then her own.

Gratitude set in.   She then thanked Him for all that He had given her, and was so thankful for the state of peace, euphoria that set in.   The day at sea world was over, she was on cloud 9.    She wanted to pinch herself is this for real?  

They had just been through three years of heart ache, pain, loss, and recovery.   She discovered through that difficult time –  family is everything.  Family is what defines us, and at any given moment you can lose someone that you thought would be there forever.   Her heart still swelled at the thought of it all.   But they came through it stronger.

That evening they went grocery shopping for the family.  It was exciting, but exhaustion set in.    Although she was exhausted, her heart was full of joy and anticipation.   They got home, everyone was fed, and then the kids went off to bed.    

That night the six of them sat at the table, laughing, and feeling so happy.   The adults all were celebrating with bubbly.    A couple of glasses and spirits soared.   She watch the flicker of the light on the pool, started to dance and then it all changed.   She dove head first into a 2-4 foot deep end of the pool.    She thought it was 8 ft deep.  Everyone screamed, but they were merely echoes as she entered the water.  Early that day she would not go outside and even think of entering the pool – without a heater who would want to be in the freezing cold water.   But that evening she felt so alive, and just wanted to be free.

Minutes felt like hours, time stood still as her head nicked the bottom of the pool.  A voice came to her, and light surrounded her, You are going to be ok but this is going to be a long road.    She came up from the water, and felt like a child, she called for mommy.    She could hear her husband yelling at her, she felt so stupid.  How could she have been so careless?   How could she only think of herself?  Guilt set in.   Ruined, it’s all ruined.

She walked out of the pool holding her chin in her hand, sat down on the couch and her mom called 9-1-1.    No No don’t do it…. She felt ok, sort of except the pain at the back of her head.    Blood then trickled down her face.    The ambulance came, and they set her down to stabilize her spine on the spine board.   Now everything hurt, her body started to shake.    Inside worry started to overwhelm her, what would happen when her 3 and 6 year old boys woke up?   How could she have done all of this…..

In the ambulance, time stood still again.   So many things went through her mind, guilt, anger, and fear.   She started to pray.   Help me Lord, I am so sorry for doing this.  Please let everything be ok.

At the hospital in the emergency room, they cut open her clothes, and her brother, dad and husband looked with worry as everything was happening so fast.    She had an x-ray and CT scan, it revealed she had a C1 fracture – burst fracture shattered on the right side.   She didn’t understand what that meant, and as the doctor started to explain the seriousness she wondered, am I going to live.    Oh my God what have I done?   Her hands, feet and head started to feel numb.  More fear as she called for a priest.   She then asked him to find the scripture where the disciples did the healing of the hands, and had the ability to heal.    The priest couldn’t find the scripture. She asked her dad, brother, and husband to join hands as they all prayed for her.  It was Matthew 10:10 she was thinking about “He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.”  

Her thoughts raced.   And she prayed inside God I know I told you I would never want to live in a capacity that made me disabled.   But I am just praying that you allow me to stay here and be there for my babies.   Please Lord , I am scared of being paralyzed or dying.   Help me please.  I am so sorry for my foolishness.

Her hands, feet and head stopped tingling moments later. He was there, reassuring her she was going to be ok.       

These were a few moments in my story.   My injury only a small percentage of people survive and of those that do survive often are quadriplegics.   I was and still am His miracle.    

The days that followed were very difficult.  One of the most difficult moments was the first time my boys saw their mama for the first time.  The look in their eyes are etched on my heart.     Eyes completely in fear and looking at their mama in an 8lb halo with bolts drilled into her head.  I remember my little Marcus, he looked at me and his eyes were so wide in fear, I then said to him a lie but prayed for strength in the right words “Marcus mommy is ok, she isn’t in pain and is going to be ok.  You know what is cool you can show me for show and tell and say your mommy is a transformer.”  He then smiled but still was scared.  IT was hard leaving my family in the most magical place in the world, but I really didn’t want their time to end with so much uncertainty and unhappiness.   I then flew back from Florida with my mom, and began the journey of trying to be normal again.  

Have you ever been in a situation where you don’t know if your life will be normal again?   I was in this situation, and felt like I caused it all.    I had to forgive myself, but every step I took it was because of God.    For those of you that are unbelievers, I wish you could hold my hand and see everything I saw.

  • Laying in the hospital in the dark, the nurse took the emergency button from me.  Alone, unable to breath or talk properly because of the compression on my vocal cord.   I could barely utter a sound as loud as a whisper.  In pain that was beyond all comprehension, whispering for help.   I prayed, and asked God to allow someone to hear me.
  • When the bolts were drilled into my head, and the halo was fastened, they want you to try to walk after it is put on.  8lbs of weight pushing down, I got up and my heart almost stopped.   I sat down and thought, how am I going to do this? Again I prayed.   He helped me and I was walking again.  First only a few feet, then down the hall.
  • Being at Disneyworld only for a day when I wanted to be there with them forever, walking around with my halo, I prayed.   Please God help me let this go. 
  • Leaving my children in a wheel chair on a plane, and my husband that I depended on for everything.   I prayed, and He helped me again.
  • Coming home and trying to be normal again, doing laundry, cleaning the house, being a mother of strength, and a wife, sister and daughter.  I prayed to keep it all together.  He was there
  • After 80 days of being in the halo, and the CT results revealing the break was worse off than before, my heart was shattered, I didn’t know what this meant for me and my life.   I headed home and prayed.   He asked me, Do you trust in me child, that I am the God beyond all comprehension. Up til that moment, I felt like after being in the halo – I would be normal again –  it was my plan – not His.   In that moment, I cried and said I am sorry – and said YES GOD I TRUST YOU PLEASE FORGIVE ME.

 

God is loving.  His doing is beyond all comprehension.   Today, my C1 did not heal based on conventional medicine.  When you look at me you would never know that I still have a broken neck stabilized by scar tissue and cartilage. 

This was the beginning of what God was going to show me.    These past 5 years, many things have happened to me and the ones I love and cherish.   But HIS GRACE REIGNS.  In each of every story we have come out stronger, with love that is so deep.    I have learnt

  • My material goods, job, or wealth does not define who I am.
  • Love is created through actions, and it is through each one of us that we can create a difference in the life of one or many.   The more good we put out there the more that comes back.
  • Yes there will be hard times in this life, but it is through the love, support, and faith that we will come through stronger.  Good always comes out of the bad.
  • God loves us unconditionally and does not want any harm to come to a hair on our heads.  However, he will allow things to happen for the good of all.
  • One can help many, by opening up our experiences to one another we create healing.
  • I do not need external validation to realize I am a good person.
  • What you put out there in life comes back full circle.
  • Miracles really do happen.
  • I cannot control what happens to me, but I can control how I choose to respond.
  • Love really love the people in your life.  Extend the hand when you can to others.
  • Family and the ones we love may not always be there so enjoy every single moment together.
  • Forgive, let go, let God handle it.     If you cannot do this, it will eat you up inside.
  • Live today, do not be anxious or worry about things that are beyond your control.
  • Take care of yourself inside out – learn to love You the way you are.

 

There are many more learnings, but I am so very thankful for every single one of them.   Tomorrow is my 5 year anniversary since I broke my neck.  I am reminded of the gift of life.   I choose to celebrate this by making someone else’s life a bit better.   We welcomed Esther from Uganda, our third sponsor child into our lives today.    Finally a girl!!   

Life is about the moments that take your breath away, the good the bad and the ugly.    So much of this life is not in our control.  We have the power of choice in every moment.   I choose God to guide me.   Thank-you God for saving me and allowing me to be on this wonderful earth with my children and to be able to laugh, live and love.  I choose to trust you always have my best interests at heart.

These moments take me back 5 years ago:

https://www.youtube.com/user/nessachesters

 

SO thankful for this life….All of it.

~Ness

 

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Everyday miracles happen… Do you believe?

Image for 3 year anniversary

Everyday miracles happen… Do you believe?  

I do…. 3 years ago exactly my life was forever changed.  The impossible, became my new reality and I needed to focus on what could be possible… A possible that I never really knew for sure could be a reality.

A shock that shook my family forever, a shock that shook my soul.   I am God’s miracle a C1 fracture survivor.   After heading into the pool headfirst, in 3meter deep water – I survived.   And better yet, I survived and feel I would go through it again if it brings me to the same place I am now.   My C1 fracture was a burst fracture shattered into a million pieces.   I was placed in a halo for 80 days and come to realize that this life is what we make it.  

I chose to trust in God, and to lift up my worries to Him.  Don’t get me wrong there were times where I felt like my breath was taken away. 

  • When my mom washed me for the first time,
  • when I couldn’t dress myself under the halo vest,
  • and when my hair started to fall out in clumps. 
  • Or even just being the mommy to my beautiful boys who looked to me for stability and strength.

I chose to LIVE! 

Returning home and leaving my boys, husband, dad, and brother and family in Disney, I was crushed.  I felt so much remorse and guilt.   As soon as I got home I did 11 loads of laundry.  I thought if I could teach my body to respond to normal every day activities I could strengthen it.   I did everything I did before – except drive.    I am so thankful for the ones who loved me through all of this.

In a halo for 80 days, people would look at me and feel sorry for me.   I began to see through their eyes how people who appear different are treated – it shows all over the expression on peoples’ faces.    Perception is everything, all most people want is to be treated as equals.  

Life came first, the broken neck came second.

Forever changed.

I had this vision, after my halo came off I would be normal again….The world normal – who defines it?  My hair would grow back, I could run again, and have no fear.  

Dancing with the boys before the halo removal to “staying alive”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4j7lE5d0BI

Removal of the Halo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o23NLhgjZ0g

Getting the collar on:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_5lk01G8y0

 But after the halo came off – the radiology results revealed the break was “WORSE OFF” “REMEDIAL ACTION WAS RECOMMENDED”…

I sat there reading the report and was in complete disbelief, fear and overwhelmed with emotion.   Without a C1 and stability, did this mean my spinal cord would be impacted? 

What did I do to deserve this?

What is next?

I was brought to my knees again.   The inner anger towards my actions….. The effects I had on others, and now my family.

All of these thoughts came flooding in….. This is what satan wants.  He wants us to blame ourselves, he wants fear and guilt to drive our thought process.  Because with this – we are paralyzed.

A couple of days went by and I got down on my knees –  I am so thankful for the love of friendship and family and prayers….

I had clarity again, I need to continue to Trust in God.  I asked Him for strength and chose to Trust in Him in all things, and would not live in fear. 

I had to be patient, I had to forgive myself (I am still working on this), I had to love myself. I was not in control of what happens…..

This journey of life, and the trials we face are our mercies in disguise.   They provide so much growth if you are open to it.

 3 years later…… I am blessed with abundance, and I am learning to forgive, let go and realize that all I have is TODAY.  I have chosen not to have a CT scan and do not know if my neck is healed (on paper).  I just chose to believe that God has and continues to heal me from the inside out.

I must live in the moment, and all I can control is my response to what happens in this life.

I am still learning and there are times when I fall short – but that is ok.  This is all part of this journey of life.

This past year I water skied behind our boat, and went on a ton of roller coasters….back at Disney (God gave me a redo.

imagesBXDVPZ48

 

May you be blessed my friends, because I know I am.

Nesscropped-new-face-image.png

(if you want to read more on what happened click here: https://nesschesters.wordpress.com/the-gift-of-being-fully-alive/ )

Got any rivers

                You think are uncrossable?

Got any mountains

You can’t tunnel through?

God specializes

In things thought impossible.

And He can do

What no other can do.