Trip Block…A dedicated fan of Americas pastime and a role model

I would like to share my testimony of what God has done throughout my life.
Before I start, I would like to share one of my favorite verses: Psalm 139: 13-14 For you formed my inward parts, you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wondeful are
your works; my soul knows it well.

I was born 23yrs ago with a disability called spina bifida. It is nerve damage to the spinal cord during first early weeks of pregnancy. There are several levels of spina bifida. My case was a mild case, I was born here at Phoebe Putney, then transported to Atlanta Scottish Rite Hospital and surgery was performed when I was a day old, to close the opening in my lower back, at 4 days old I had my second surgery to have a shunt put in to drain spinal fluid off my brain. I spent the first 3wks of my life in NICU, I was finally sent home with oxygen and lots of monitors. Around 6 months, I was back in hospital, I was having a hard time gaining weight and lots of respiratory issues. At 7 months the doctors told my mom and dad that I had Arnold Chiari malformation, which is a malformation of the brain stem. To correct it they would need to perform surgery on my neck to relieve the pressure around the brain stem, hopefully the surgery would prevent me from being fed through a tube and from being on a ventilator. Well, at 9 months I had to have a g-tube put in that would help maintain my weight. I was able to be fed through the tube and continue to eat like any other child until later years. I am now solely fed through a G-J tube for my nutrition. Doctors told my parents that my life expectancy would be around 16yrs old, but through this journey in my life, I have been blessed with Christian parents and grandparents on both sides. At an early age, I knew that I had prayer for me from all over the world. I continued to be in and out of the hospital having over 30 plus surgeries throughout my life. Part of my routine was going to therapy 2 to 3 times a week, the other days would be therapy at home. Eventually, I could walk with a walker and crutches. I wanted to be like all the other kids, and I learn to love baseball at an early age, when I was around 7 yrs old, I wanted to play baseball really bad, I worried my mom to please sign me up, she was hestisant about calling because she was afraid that I would get my feelings hurt. But, God opened up thoes doors and she made that phone call to Alan Moree, he said that he would make a few calls and get back to us. Later that night, he called back and said that I was on his team. God had made a way and I knew that he would because in Romans 8:28, he tells us And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. I was so excited to be able to play, I even got my wish granted, which was to be able to walk to first base during my years of being on a team. Alan Moree and Earl Walker were my coaches that made a huge impact in my life, they help me be able to be a part of sports all the way through High School. These guys never gave up on me and treated me like any other kid, to that I’m thankful.

Through all the years my health has been up hill, down hill, but through it all God carried me and still continues to carry me. Another person that has played an important part of my life was my mema. She would always be there with me and my mom for every appointment, every therapy and every hospital stay. The first time that she was not able to be with me at the hospital was 10yrs ago, I was in the hospital for 8wks, even though she couldnt be there every morning she would call me and have a daily devotion on the phone. I got prayer from all my grandparents, they lifted me up daily and loved sharing with me. During this time I helped lift up my mema, we had to be strong together, cause you see my mema was fighting cancer during this time. She was strong in her faith and encouraged me to never give up. I was released from the hospital, then 2 days later she had aneurysm and left this earth for her heavenly home. She was like my trainer, she encouraged me to fight. So, I decided my sophmore year I wanted to be part of sports, something that I could do myself. Deana julian help me get a racing wheelchair and I became part of the Track Team during High School. She coached me through my last 3 years of school.

During the summer beginning of my senior year, I became sick and had to have lung surgery here in Albany. I spent the summer in the hospital, instead of improving I was getting weaker and was finally transported to Atlanta where they realized that my esophagus was becoming very weak and I was aspirating back into my lungs. Things just seem to be going in the wrong direction, Doctors told us that I would need to have a trach put in, without it I would probally only live 6months to a year. But I said, phillippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. My goal was to get home so I could graduate and enjoy my senior year. I was released 2 days before school started back. During this time of being in the hospital and having to go to therapy, my papa and I became very close. Papa told me that I was his inspiration and hero he encouraged me to never give up. I became stronger and was even able to compete that winter in track. Little did I know that my papa would not be there to see me race in track or even graduate that year. You see God called papa home 5yrs ago this week, it really hit me hard knowing that he wasn’t going to get to see me reach a goal that he encouraged me to achieve. I learned a valuable lesson that day, Don’t ever take life for granted, don’t get too busy to tell people you love them, because no one is promised tomorrow here on this earth, we are only promised where we will spend eternity. I am blessed to still have a set of grandparents here on earth that also love the Lord and continue to lift me up! For that I am thankful. Even though we have sad things that happen in our life, I am thankful to know that one day I will see Mema and Papa again.

I started volunteering at the sherriff’s Dept in fall of 2012, where I was blessed to get hired on in a part-time position. But, during this time, I had accepted Jesus as my Savior at an early age, but one Wednesday night I gave my life back to him. I wanted to live for him and to be the person that he wanted me to be. I know that we will all leave this world one day and either spend eternity in Heaven or Hell. I chose to spend eternity with my Father in heaven, running the streets of gold, never have anymore sickness or pain. I can only pray that you will choose God as your savior and live eternity with him one day. I love each and everyone of you and want to be with each of you in Heaven one day. Another favorite verse that I will close on is John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not parish, but have everlasting life.

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