When you grow up riding and racing motorcycles, pain is something you learn to live with. I saw friends sustain major injuries or even lose their lives, but I loved to ride and nothing was going to stop me. I wasn’t looking to die young, but the truth is, once I accepted the possibility, I became a better racer. Over my 35 years of riding, I endured multiple concussions, broken bones, nerve and ligament damage and a major head injury, but I always bounced back. Believe me, I have experienced several healing miracles in my life – the kind that has the doctors at a loss – and I always knew it was God.
But the injuries catch up with you after time. For more then 10 years now, I have had chronic pain. The pain would start in my neck and back then radiate into my legs and arms. Even as someone well acquainted with pain, I would sometimes be overwhelmed by the intensity of it. My doctors all said the same thing: damage throughout my spine was pinching my spinal cord. Surgery was not a valid option because of the lack of good vertebrae remaining. Basically, there was no hope whatsoever.
When you’re in intense pain, everyday becomes a blur. I withdrew from people because it was hard to concentrate on conversations. Light and noise were unbearable. I could not form a clear thought let alone verbalize it. My communication with anyone was a struggle. My communication with God was non-existent. To say I had a short fuse would be an understatement.
Everyone makes mistakes, but during those years my judgment reached an all time low. When you are operating out of the feelings and emotions that I was, poor decisions became routine. I constantly struggled in my mind with thoughts of failure as a husband, father, friend, son and business owner. I was missing out on times with my boys I would never recover. How much longer would my wife stand by me? This ongoing battle combined with the unbearable level of pain produced thoughts of hopelessness, faithlessness, and suicide.
At the end of 2010, my life was at its lowest point. Something just had to change. I was scheduled to see a new surgeon, and I decided that I would give God just one more chance. I told Him that I knew He was not the author of my condition and that He wasn’t behind it. I reminded Him of the times He had spoken to me and performed miracles in my life. I repented for hiding from Him and then I asked Him to allow one of two things to happen: I wanted to either live medicine-free (through a miracle or a successful surgery) or I didn’t want to continue living at all. The truth is, at that particular moment, I really did not care which way it went; it just had to change.
I took the two weeks before my appointment to wean myself off the narcotic pain medication the doctors had me on, so I could go to the doctor’s appointment with a clear mind. After reviewing the MRI, my new doctor told me that he could definitely help. It was a major surgery and, even though there was more damage than he expected, he continued to offer me much needed hope.
The surgery turned out to be a great success. Recovery takes time, but I have stayed ahead of the “normal” healing process for my body. As I continue to restore my relationship with God, He is also repairing some of the other things that I thought were lost. It is good to know that my heavenly Father is not surprised at what He sees when He opens me up. I am being renewed day by day. It sure doesn’t feel like it all the time, but I remind myself that, because God said so, it is so. I know God loves me. He didn’t want Jesus to have to suffer on the cross, but there was a price in order for Him to save and heal me. Thank God He was willing to pay it!
~by guest contributor, Dave Frederick