Rich Dixon continues his story:
Last time I became an unlikely author.
Since we’re telling the tale in bite-sized chunks, perhaps it’s time for a summary.
1987. Spinal cord injury and the horrible news – permanent paralysis. Weeks and then months of rehab.
Back to work as a middle school math teacher.
A decade of darkness as I wandered in awful depression.
Journal. Several months of writing, wandering, searching, seeking, finding a bit of light and hope.
Twenty years later – Relentless Grace.
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My Christian friends told me to pray. Then they mostly drifted away because I was angry and defiant and tough to be around.
I did pray. I asked God to let me die. I begged for recovery. I asked for an end to the horrific loneliness and isolation.
Nothing changed. My prayers weren’t “answered.” More about that later.
Right now we’re about 20 years past the injury, and we’ve skipped a really key step, the step that first brought Jon and me together in real life.
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Before we fill in that important blank, we should talk about that “un-answered prayer” nonsense.I’m not a theology guy, so these are simply my own insights.
It’s true – I didn’t get what I wanted. But I no longer expect prayer to change God. I hope it changes me.
Prayer isn’t about asking for stuff and being disappointed when the right gifts don’t show up under the tree. I’ve learned to think of prayer as a 2-way conversation between Jesus and me. And I’m learning to listen a lot more than I speak.
Prayer, for me, is more about understanding how Jesus wants me to become like Him. Asking for help and guidance along that path. Laughing with Him, and asking forgiveness, when I fall short.
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Oh, yeah. We got side-tracked and forgot to fill in that blank.
To be continued…