No Do-Overs..

We certainly have to make the best of what we have at our disposal every day. I sucked it up and played one of Chris’ marching videos for him today. I was glad I did as his response was phenomenal. He lifted his head up off the bed to watch it on the television. Then I handed him a drum stick and he let out this huge sigh and reached out to take it. I even tried to get him to hit it on a book and he got pretty close! But the progress still carried a shadow of who Chris was before the accident. While I was so happy to see him moving I still had tears in my eyes from sadness.

I thought back to all the times I watched him march. And as joyful as that was I regretted all the times I chose other things over him. I did the same to my daughter too. But life doesn’t offer any do-overs!

I struggled so many times when obligations and ministry were scheduled on the same day as one of them had something planned. I thought I was doing what was right in selecting ministry. But you know they say hind sight is 20/20. I think if I could do it over I would pick the kids first.

As I was talking to a friend today she said, ” you just never know what a day will bring.” I said, “Boy you got that right!” We have to live every day to the fullest. We can not make decisions based on what might or might not happen. We didn’t see all this coming. But I still have regrets.

However, there is one day that I don’t regret at all. It was the last day Chris was going to march with the NSU band. I had other ministry related things that I needed (and wanted) to do. But I chose to go against the flow and go watch Chris march that fall day. I had no idea it really would be the last time he would march and I would be reading and studying on how to get him to just walk again!

I’m doing a lot of reflecting, the furnace gives plenty of time for that. And it changes you. I don’t know how the fire changes you but it changes you from the inside out. Somehow things that used to weigh so much don’t carry the weight they used to. I guess all the extra baggage just gets burned off in the fire of the furnace.

I have thought a lot about the simple wait. You know, waiting on God. I know what He has promised no matter what I see. But I still have to work through the process. I choose to rejoice in the progress Chris makes rather than get bogged down in the what-could-have-beens. That’s a difficult part of waiting too. Knowing what God has said but not able to see how He is going to bring it about! I’m guessing the simple word for that is “trust”.

So today, let us trust Him as we wait for Him. He has time in His hands and in His timing everything He promised is already done. We cannot lose heart, cannot lose faith… He who promised is faithful. Hudson Taylor says, “When I am faith-less He is faith-full”….

  1. #1 by Laura Hogston on October 11, 2010 - 3:17 pm

    Sister Olinger,
    I thank you so much for your posts. What a blessing they are.
    I was in tears today as you talked about choosing ministry over your children thinking you were doing the right thing.
    I am a Pastors wife, and my husband and I have often done that.
    I pray the wisdom we have gathered will carry us on and strengthen us through the phases of our life that we are in now.
    You and Chris are such an inspiration to me, and I am sure many, many others. I have a friend whose dear niece is going through nearly the same thing, and also from a car accident… it is exactly as you say, a “furnace”.
    Keep writing and sharing… we will be praying and caring, whether we ever meet on this side, you will be part of our lives from now on. Love you my sister. Praise the Lord for his strength


    • #2 by Jeanie Olinger on October 11, 2010 - 4:13 pm

      My dear Sister Hogston,
      Thank you so much for sharing your heart. You know it is so easy to get things out of balance with those two things we love dearly. We love our kids but we also can love ministry. We go into the ministry because of our love for God. It gets difficult to draw the line sometimes. I pray that more of us learn that our home is our first ministry base and outside that is an extension of what He’s doing in our home.

      I am very thankful that you are able to glean a little inspiration from the things we are going through. That’s the whole reason I started it to begin with! Thanks for hanging out “in the furnace” with us! If I can do anything to encourage your friend please let me know! It’s a difficult place to be for sure and I would not have made it alone! (must be why all three Hebrews were thrown in together huh? :-))

      love you my new found friend — and who knows where all I will go when this is done! We may meet up on this side!


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