We did it!! I can’t believe the day is finally here.
I can still remember getting the news that you’d been accepted into Grand Valley State University’s Physician Assistant program right here in West Michigan! We’d only been married two years, and we’d been praying almost every day to get accepted. With stars in our eyes, we rushed downtown to see the six story building for ourselves.
Exciting things were in store for the future!
Not long after, I answered the phone to a different kind of news, the news that you’d fallen three stories in a work accident while working in construction. With tears in my eyes, I rushed downtown once again, except this time to the emergency room where I found you laid up in a hospital bed, IVs in your arms, and a huddle of ER doctors surrounding you.
You, my strong husband, suddenly looked so vulnerable, trapped in a body that was betraying you. And I didn’t know what to do but pray. Your pain wasn’t anything a comforting word or a flash of a smile could change. It was there to stay.
The following three weeks were some of the most difficult ones. My life suddenly became condensed to the things I could fit into a luggage bag in the hospital room. Even with the support of family and friends, it felt like we were living on a prayer.
We learned how to depend on God for the next day, the next step, the next part of His plan (Proverbs 16:9).
I watched you endure major surgery on your broken femur. And with hard work and determination, you learned to walk again. It was an answer to prayer and proof of your resolve. One foot in front of the other. You learned to take one thing at a time.
Fast forward a few months to the morning I dropped you off for the first day of classes. It was raining. And before driving away, I waited just long enough to watch you walk down the sidewalk into your first day of PA school. The limp was gone. Your gait was straight. Our prayers had been answered. And the future was ahead of us once again!
What a journey it had been to get there. Seeing your perseverance and dedication, I had no doubt you’d succeed in PA School. Whether it was the next test. The next clinical. The next Clin Apps exam. You took one thing at a time.
Two and a half long years later, I sit back in the massive audience on your graduation day as I wait to hear them call out your name. I sit back, and I watch for you to walk across that stage to the sound of accolade. But no one will be cheering louder than me as I watch you walk– one determined step in front of the other…..
I will forever recognize that grit and determination in your stride, but there is something else, rather Someone Else, that got you here today. You have the hard work ethic, yes, but you also have the heart.
I truly believe God works all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). And though we didn’t know how He would use your accident at the time, now I can see it. I can see how He gave you the sense of resolve and the heart of compassion to relate to your future patients. Because you know what it is like to be one.
It’s my prayer that as we walk through this life together, we would always remember the lessons we learned early on in our marriage. I pray that we would use every trial we face, not as an excuse for self-pity, but as an invitation to walk beside someone else in their pain. That’s literally what you’ve chosen to do for a career. And I couldn’t be more proud on your graduation day.
I love you,
Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps“