Saturday, September 11, 2010

To Err Is Human, To Forgive Divine

So, at Institute, every Friday, there's "Religion In Life." This past Friday, Nathan Ogden and his wife came to share their story.  Over 8 years ago, he was injured in a skiing accident, breaking his neck, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Then, shortly after that, he was in the hospital for chest x-rays when his wife couldn't wake him up one night, and the Doctor's broke his neck again, paralyzing him again, leaving his upper body almost completely paralyzed too.

As I was listening to his story, and him sharing his memories, I couldn't help but have flashbacks of my own accident. It took everything I had not to cry and break down right there. Not because what I have gone through the past 9 months has been so horrible, but because I was witnessing first hand, what my life could very easily could have been. My neck didn't break, but my back did, and where my back broke, and where his neck broke, is a matter of inches apart. I know that I should've died from my accident. I know that the only reason I'm here, is because I'm suppose to be. It really doesn't make sense why I'm here, but I'm sure glad that I am. Also, it's heart-wrenching to hear his story, and then, you hear about how the Doctor's mistake made it that much worse... It's just insane. I'm so incredibly grateful that I am still here, and I'm so very grateful, MY Doctor's mistake wasn't permanent. Yeah, I'm "paralyzed", but my nerve should regrow, but even if it doesn't. No one can really tell anymore because of my brace. And, it's only the bottom half of my leg, it's not like it's the bottom half of my body.

(For those of you who didn't know about this... there's a link to the right, titled, "The Accident" that explains everything.)

I've just been feeling very grateful for what I have. For those of you who were there on Friday, you know what I'm talking about when I say how touching this story was. But, for me, it struck a different chord. I think it goes to show, that the experiences we each individually go through can greatly effect those around us. In both positive and negative ways. Every choice we makes has an effect on many. Not just one. But, instead of focusing on the negative, it's always important to focus on the positive. I know that me going through this, will help many people. Don't get me wrong, it completely sucks, and I wish I had my old life back, but it could be worse. Brother Ogden, quoted this, (it's MY favorite quote, and is the thing that has gotten me through a lot this year) "Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more. He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain." (...I suggest you read the whole talk, Trust in the Lord, Richard G. Scott. November 1995, Ensign)

I just wanted to say how grateful I was for this experience, and all experiences I've gone through. I'm so very blessed, and I never mean to take advantage of it. But, I'm human, and I do, so I apologize. I hope that I can be the person the Lord intends me to be. After all, that's the only reason why I'm still here, to do his work and to accomplish the tasks that only I can do. I'm scared, because I feel a lot is required of me, but it's also nice to be trusted that much. But, thank you all for being a part of my life, and to the many, many, many of you who have helped me this year, I owe you more than you'll ever know. I love my Savior, and I feel so blessed to have him in my life. No matter who you are, or what you believe, we all need extra help, and I have found that through my faith. Without it, I would be nothing.

I hope you all have SAFE and happy life's. Please, learn from what I've gone through, because I don't want anyone else to deal with this. I'm working on getting over it still, but, the simple fact is, I have a daily reminder of what I lost, how much pain I've been through, and still experience, and how long my journey is ahead. But, we all also have daily reminders of the blessings and tender mercies that we all individually receive. If you are going through hard times, remember to have faith, hope and to look forward. It may be overwhelming, and you may feel like you can't handle it, and you can do no more, but you can. I promise. You can.


  1. Thanks so much Nichelle! I was also thinking of you the whole talk, and am amazed at how strong you've been. You've grown so much in such a short time and will continue to grow as time goes on.

  2. I love your positive attitude. You are such an inspiration!

  3. I am glad you are still here, too. I love your blog and the thoughts you share.

  4. wow so i just wanted to say a couple of things. first and most important i am so grateful that you are still here because i love you and losing you would have been more horrible than i ever want to imagine! two i have been contentedly nursing my anger and frustration toward everything going wrong with my life and even though i know there is a silver lining somewhere i'm not sure where or what it is so i'm just angry. but then i look at you and i am so inspired and grateful to you because your kindness and love and the pure goodness of you makes everything seem ok. even with the incredible difficulties you have to overcome you always show me what it means to be Christlike. thank you, i love you!

  5. WOW! And Nichelle, don't be so hard on yourself for complaining and having bad days. It's ok to complain! You pick yourself right up again after wards and grow from it!