Friday, August 1, 2014

My Husband Is My Role Model for God-Sized Dreaming

Who Inspires You on the Path to Fulfilling Your Dreams? 

We gain traction for our God-sized dreams by being inspired, influenced, and impacted by other dreamers.

Maybe they are dreamers who have gone before us and succeeded. Or dreamers who have failed but have demonstrated traits we want to emulate. Or maybe they are dreamers who are somewhere in the middle of fulfilling their God-sized Dream and their progress, their example spurs us on.

My husband Chris is my model for a God-sized dreamer.

He was hit by a car while waiting for his commuter bus 22 years ago…just standing there when “bam”! A young driver who had fallen asleep at the wheel of a delivery van smashed into Chris and sent him flying 30 feet.

While brain surgery saved his life, Chris was still left with a traumatic brain injury, making him unable to talk, walk, or care for himself. The months that followed Chris’ injury were filled with hard work, prayer, and a fierce determination to get better. I watched as Chris kept fighting to move past obstacles and reach goals that were considered by doctors and therapists out of reach.

At first, Chris’s recovery was a full-time job.
He spent all day, five days a week, for several months working on regaining the skills and knowledge he had lost. He worked with physical, occupational, speech, and vocational therapists day after day after day. His progress was astounding.

After about nine months of tireless intensive therapy, Chris entered into a work trial, attempting to return to his job as a Marketing Director, gradually. The first week, he went to the office just one day for a few hours. The next week, a couple of days for a few hours. Then each week, he added a few more hours, until he was working several hours five days a week. At the end of the six months, it was determined Chris could not juggle the many demands of his former job.

I’ll never forget that evening…It was a hot summer night. I was in the backyard with the kids when Chris rounded the bend. His jacket was flung over his back, he shuffled toward us, his shoulders stooped, eyes were exhausted…he was dejected. He didn’t have to say a word…I knew.

“I lost my job today. They’re not taking me back,” Chris murmured.

“Oh honey, I’m so sorry…”

We spent the rest of the evening going over the stress of the last several months, crying, questioning, and wondering, What would happen next?

I won’t go into all the details. But I will tell you, Chris could’ve given up that day. He could’ve decided that was it. He wasn’t employable. He’d get long-term disability. And maybe he’d get some kind of part-time job.

But no!

Chris spent a few days depressed and disappointed and then he started planning what to do next. 

He continued all his rehab and started applying to a few teaching projects through a program he had been part of many years before. There were obstacles – I’d get a panicked call that Chris was lost and didn’t know how to get home…He got a bad review of his work…there was confusion, stress, fear, doubt.

Chris did not let his emotions, his limitations, his potential for failure, stop him.

No…Chris kept right on going. He worked harder, he believed he could get better and better, he prayed all the time. In fact, Chris recalls hearing God’s instruction, “Trust me. Don’t think about what you don’t have. Just trust me.” 

And so one thing led to another. Chris moved from teaching in the public schools, to becoming an adjunct professor at our local university.

In the next several months, Chris will realize an unbelievable dream…a dream that no one would ever have believed could come true 22 years ago.

He will don the black robes and march up the aisle, shake hands with the President and Dean of the University, and he will hear the words, “Congratulations, Dr. Parker” as he accepts his diploma for his Doctorate in Education.

I may never receive a doctorate…but I will always be influenced by the hard work, faith, hope, relentlessness, and determination Chris has modeled. And as my dream comes true, I can point to Chris and say, “Thank you!”

How about you? Who is your model of God-sized dream success?

This story first appeared at God-Sized Dreams


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