When you hit a tough patch in life, what happens?
In our western world we have a low tolerance to discomfort, illness, uncertainty. Problems are unacceptable and need to be fixed. If we cannot find a solution we can easily slip into depression, anger and self-pity.
And then we come across someone who inspires us, showing us that life can be deeply rewarding, even happy, in the most difficult of circumstances.
One such person is Abigail Witchalls. She was left paralysed in 2005 after being stabbed in the neck in front of her 21 month old son. She was only 26 years old and pregnant with her second child.
Within 3 weeks of the injury, she began to write poetry, each letter slowly spelled out by blinking her eyes to her father.
Still silent body
But within my spirit sings
Dancing in love-light
Abigail gave birth to a second son 5 months later and had a daughter in 2010. Following a trip to Lourdes she wrote about her inner journey of coming to terms with what happened to her.
Since my spinal injury the previous year, I had prayed for healing. And now in Lourdes I asked God to “heal me in the way I need most, according to Your will.” He did heal me – not physically – but He freed me to love life and to know daily the joy I had longed for. To my surprise, I find that I have more to give now that I’m paralysed than I did when I was able-bodied. This is one of God’s little miracles.
A story like this is inspiring but also challenging. Abigail speaks of being freed to love life. She gives us a clue about her inner resources.
“Within my spirit sings” . . . despite circumstances.
We can learn a lot from her.