This morning, I started my day by doing the Charleston to swing music with a group of old ladies. It was fantastic.
Especially after the long process that it took to get there. I wish I was cool enough to have friends that just so happen to be elderly and just so happen to invite me to their dance party. But this is actually for a class. One drawback to my school is the physical activity requirement that I kinda need to graduate. And if you’ve read any of my other posts, you know how much of a challenge physical activity is for me.
Lord bless the disability services at my school. I am extremely grateful for their willingness to provide me with the opportunity to take a PE class with people who are not healthy 20 year-olds, like most people assume I am. I’m very excited for the opportunity to take a class at a facility that specializes in physical activity for those with disabilities.
I haven’t talked much on this blog about my experience with various disability services in the past year. I have actually registered with three different disability services in the past year. But this is my first school year to begin the year with my accommodations in place. You would think it would make the process easier.
As a matter of fact, I’ve been more overwhelmed this semester by my meetings with professors, which isn’t normally the case. Not because they don’t care. They certainly do. But this time I had to repeat the phrase “I can’t” more than usual (mostly related to my PE class). I’m not gonna lie–it got very discouraging. Most of the time, I just have to get over it if people don’t understand what I’m going through. This is not the case when academic credits and graduation are on the line.
On Wednesday I went to the library. I went to the library to get my mind off of the “I can’t”s that echoed in my mind. As I was walking back from the library, the Lord pointed out an “I can”: I was wearing a normal backpack. The one that I couldn’t use all last year, due to my shoulder instability. I was able to exhale and felt an overwhelming sensation of peace. You know, one that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7). For the rest of my walk, I talked to God about my gratitude over my overall physical improvement. I praised Him for my normal backpack.
The small things in life are big enough reasons to praise Him.
This semester I’m taking a class on the Psalms. It’s already been as incredible as I’d hoped. I haven’t yet written my assignment on one of our textbooks (The Message of the Psalms: A Theological Commentary by Walter Brueggemann), but I did take pictures of multiple passages and send them to friends. (So that counts, right?) Here’s my favorite quote from what I’ve read so far: “Human life consists in turns of surprise when we are overwhelmed with the new gifts of God, when joy breaks through the despair. Where there has only been darkness, there is light.” Brueggemann describes this phenomenon as the “surprise of the gospel.”
After reading this, I was reminded of how good the good news is. I am nothing but bad news; Jesus is the complete opposite. In the despair and hopelessness of my sinful nature, Jesus grants me with eternal life through His own righteousness. I do nothing to deserve His love, and yet He gives abundantly more than I could ever fathom.
Even on my worst day, the good news of the gospel is still good.
Today has not been perfect. In fact, it’s possible that I strained my bicep again on my dominant arm. But through my disappointments and disability and disorientation, I can still be “surprised” today by the hope that the gospel brings to my life. The Lord’s daily new mercies (Lamentations 3:23) can be a pleasant surprise when everything seems to be going wrong.
May I never lose the wonder of His mercy.