Lynda Ellington’s faith was severely tested when her step-daughter had an accident and was told she would never walk again.
Just over 20 years ago, I was blessed to marry a man who came as a package deal; I instantly became step-mum to Aaron, with his shock of ginger hair and the best smile, and Sarah—blonde and very shy. We settled into life as a blended family. Four years later, along came Ben—the last in the litter but tallest of the pack!
I have always loved Jesus—ever since I gave my heart to him, dressed up in Mum’s Salvation Army uniform at nine years old.
Life has been murky. There has been sadness, loss and shock. Through it all, I have said that I trust Jesus with my life. He has never left me, forgotten or given up on me. Yup, I trust him with my life.
But in 2015, I had to ask myself, ‘Do I trust God with my kids’ lives?’ I got a shock phone call: Sarah—now a young adult living in Auckland—had fallen out of a tree and broken her back. She had a one to two per cent chance of ever walking again.
Ben—who was 14 at the time—declared, ‘God made her, he will fix her’.
Barry drove immediately to Auckland, but I was due to preach at our Dannevirke Corps—teaching about God’s love and faithfulness, and how we can always trust him. As a corps family we prayed. It was the first of many Salvationist prayers for Sarah, that day and ever since.
When we got back from church, Ben and I sat on the couch and thanked God for the testimony that would come from this—that Sarah would recognise God truly had his hand on the situation and that she was safe.
Well, nothing happened overnight. It felt like we had landed in a foreign country and no one was speaking a language we understood. Sarah was so incredibly vulnerable and we felt inadequate.
The next few months were a blur of hospitals, operations, bed baths, wheelchairs and rehab. Our shy daughter had become a broken sparrow and we were scared.
But Sarah was determined. She worked hard at rehab, and we all worked hard on prayer. An initial rehabilitation term of two years became a matter of months. Sarah re-learned to walk, despite having minimal or no feeling from the knees down. She was determined to walk again—and she did!
She was also determined to meet a few of the All Blacks and Prince Harry while in rehab. And she did that, too!
Sarah’s first love was running, but she could no longer do that. One day, she went to a Paralympic open day. She was intrigued with the cycling, and decided to hop on a bike. A new passion was born.
Our shy little girl has now been accepted into the New Zealand para-cycling team. She went to South Africa last year to compete in the World Championships. In March, she is off to Rio in Brazil, for the Paracycling Track World Championships, racing in the 5000m and Pursuit. We can indeed trust God with all of our lives.
by Lynda Ellington (c) 'War Cry' magazine, 10 February 2018, p11
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