Against All Odds

Tell us about a situation where you’d hoped against all hope, where the odds were completely stacked against you, yet you triumphed. Be sure to describe your situation in full detail. Tell us all about your triumph in all its glory.

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A time where all the odds were completely stacked against me, but I triumphed in the end.  Hmm.  There was one time that really jumps out at me. I guess you could say that I triumphed, but I believe that God is the one who triumphed in my situation.  The date was August 2, 1981. That was the day that I was  born. You see, I was born with a birth defect called Spina Bifida. It is a neural tube defect. I have a type called myelomeningocele.  So, not only was my spinal column not completely formed, but my spinal cord and meninges (the tissues covering the spinal cord) were sticking out of my back. In 1981, there was no way to tell if you were carrying a baby with Spina Bifida, or any other kind of neural tube defect. So, when I was born, it was a complete shock to my mom.

Back in those days, the standard way to dealing with Spina Bifida, was not to close the child’s back, put them in a home, and let them die. I am lucky that my mom chose not to do that. I believe that God spoke into her heart to fight for me, and she listened. So my first surgery was when I was less than a day old. My back was closed, but Mom was told that I would never walk, never talk, never think for myself, and be a vegetable for my entire life.  A few weeks after my birth, I developed a condition known as hydrocephalus- which is the build up of spinal fluid on the brain. So, I had a shunt implanted at that point. A shunt is a tube that move spinal fluid off the brain and into the abdominal cavity.  After I had that, I was allowed to go home to my mom and older brother. I have a biological father too, but I don’t have anything to do with Bill. I’m completely okay with that since I have a wonderful dad who, I believe, God picked out just to be my dad!

Contrary to what the doctors predicted in 1981, I walked for sixteen years, until I had surgery to take care of the tethering in my spinal cord. There was a lot of nerve damage caused in the course of the surgery and subsequent complications, that ended up with me being in a wheelchair. While I have had chronic pain for years, I do live on my own (with the help of my caregiver during the day) with my cat, a run a daily email prayer ministry, and I’ve taken college classes towards a Psychology degree. I am a freelance writer and editor- and am working on my first novel, ‘A Miner Prince’.

Some days are more difficult than others and I still have my medical struggles. That translates to; ‘I spend a considerable amount of time in the refiner’s fire’. I feel very, very, very blessed that God has put so much time and energy in  to me. I am absolutely convinced that He has a plan for my life, and part of His plan is for me to be disabled, have Rheumatoid Arthritis, and be a chronic pain patient. Some days I do not like that plan, but He knows better than I do what He is going to do with me in my circumstances.

That being said, I can’t say that I have been the one to triumph against all odds, but God has used me as a vehicle to tell people about Him and share my story with them.