442. Without Faith

Hebrews 11.6 | Ann Ning Learning How


A dear friend visited me soon after my injury – I was conversant but I would not classify myself as “awake.” I have no recollection of this visit. She told me about it when she came to visit me a couple years later (when she saw me for the first time).

In that visit in the hospital she asked me what she could pray about for me.

Me: That nothing would happen to me when I’m alone.

My friend: Ning, you know you’re never alone.

Me (scornfully): Pshaw.

She told me the story with a great imitation of my scoffing sound – it was like I was rolling my eyes saying, Yeah – that worked out really great the first time, didn’t it?

It was impossible not to laugh the way she told it, but it was also chilling in that my rawest thoughts came out when I had zero control over my faculties, and they were afraid and angry.

Later during the visit in Maryland (over 2 years? later) my friend asked me another question. I think it was so kind and sensitive that she sought an opportunity to ask me quietly in private,

Are you tempted to think that God is punishing you?

Wow. That is a million dollar question. It’s the kind of inquiry that makes you stop in your tracks, that takes a special person to have the right of experience and a history of love to ask, and that skips the formalities and goes straight to the bottom line. It’s up there with how JCJ’s mom asked me, Is it okay that you lived?

I was surprised. This person knows me very well. But when I thought about it and reconnected with more friends from my Old Life I learned that many people were extremely concerned about how this situation would impact me spiritually.

I had the immensely gratifying experience of reassuring my friend that I already decided what I thought the fact that this happened meant about everything I believed about God, but I’ve refrained from telling this extremely personal story until a new friend messaged me a couple of weeks ago and our conversation about “76.  You didn’t do anything wrong” made me think about it.

76.  You Didn't Do Anything Wrong

76. You Didn’t Do Anything Wrong

I’ve thought about it a lot recently bc I’ve needed to remind myself why I do this more often than usual. You’ve seen it unfold here on my blog, but let me just spell it out for you: It’s been a rough 2.5 months. As Mommy would point out, It’s been a rough 3.5 years. PS. We’re not done yet.

I know it’s been rough bc the word that appears most often in my Exercise Journal is “nauseous.” There’s also been the pain etc., but it all gets exacerbated by stressors. I asked Gen about her evaluation of my gait once (e.g. True or False: “My gait is ataxic.”) and she replied, Your gait changes depending on what you’ve been through that week.

Happily, though, my gait felt better over the last couple days (at least in the morning). We’re still sorting through everything else that’s acting up, e.g. the vision (I have to buckle down and do more home exercises with that Wretched Hart Chart like Daddy asked me to) and the crazy scary dreams.

My Nemesis (This is a Hart Chart)

My Nemesis (This is a Hart Chart)

But you know what? Thanksgiving is next week – so it’s the perfect time to start changing channels mentally.

What I found out by keeping my Exercise Journal is that I am indeed excruciatingly tired. But it’s not from Training. It’s from living This Disabled Life. I asked Coach R recently if he thought I was wearing my body parts out. He said no, but he thinks that I have to work harder than other people and it takes me more time to recover. I would agree with his observations, although he was talking about physicality. I’m also referring to the amount of mental energy I’m exerting.

So what’s the solution here?   Prayer Detox. I’m telling you it’s the Best Thing Ever that I write this stuff down bc I need it the most. And it’s time for some vacation – I will be out until Monday, December 1, although I’ll probably post my Thanksgiving Update next week.

Before I got sick I hit a really rough patch at work. I was SO stressed out it was awful. One night I just sobbed on the phone to Mommy, I just want to know I’m doing something right.

268.  Prayer Detox for Beginners

268. Prayer Detox for Beginners

Mommy put that question to bed by going straight to scripture: …without faith it is impossible to please [God]. Hebrews 11.6


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6 thoughts on “442. Without Faith

    • Hey, Matt – I think bc you are an AVMer too you’ve got this seriously uncanny way of saying stuff that is SO familiar. The woman who asked me that question is pretty much the only person in the world qualified to do so: She is a paraplegic – her car was hit by a coffee truck in Ethiopia as she was traveling out to the bush to do some counseling. She was serving as a missionary there – this was 18 years ago; she’s been in a power chair ever since. She is the mother of JCJ, my friend from Burundi – I stayed with them when I went to Africa and the Burundians asked me to move there permanently, and then this happened. I had never met R, JCJ’s mom before – just spoken on the phone. But I met her after my injury and within 5 minutes she asked me, “Is it okay that you lived?” This is the kind of question only we can ask each other. Thank God I had already decided. (Read the link!) :)atnt

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