Just Like a Turtle


My friends used to say that if I was any animal it would be a “bunny”– hop hop hopping away. These days I’m being compared to a turtle! But I am learning that’s not a bad thing! Turtles are perseverant. Because they move so slowly they have to be. I think that turtles “see” more of life around them because they aren’t capable of running, or “hopping” all over the place. They actually observe what’s in front of them right now… that’s what God is trying to teach me. Step- by- step just like a turtle. I don’t need to be running from or to anything, but just be right where I am.

For those of you who don’t know me or haven’t read my previous blogs, I was in a car accident 2 years ago that resulted in a brain injury. After living in pain for 1 1/2 years, losing control of my legs and arms, and being forced to live my life in bed, I found out that I have “Lyme Disease”and “P.O.T.S.” on top of the brain injury. So now I live my life at a very slooooow pace, much like a turtle.

Recently, my amazing sister Bethany bought me a stuffed-animal turtle to remind me that even though the turtle moves slowly he is the one that “won” the race in the story of the “tortoise and the hare.” I love that turtle and keep it in my bed near me for a good laugh and a cute decoration.

I went to a specialized clinic for extensive treatment for Lyme Disease this past October. The treatment was to help lower my symptoms in hopes that one day I would be able to walk, see, and live life out of my bed.… Yet I’m here, still living in my bed, wondering how long it will be until my pain improves and I can sit, or be strong enough to stand without losing control of my legs.

I don’t know the answer to that question… but God does. There’s a reason He didn’t give us the ability to see into the future. He didn’t give us the ability to know when, why, or how things are going to turn out. I think it’s because He wanted us to be focused on what is right in front of us, right now, today!! There’s a scripture that says,

“The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

I always thought it was peculiar that it didn’t say “God plans our future but we decide our steps”… but now I think I’m starting to understand.

God is IN our steps. He is with you right now as you take this step today. He’s more personal than a God who sits in heaven, gives you a few “plans” for your life and then sees you once you die and get to heaven. He wants to be IN our steps. That means every day…all of the time. That’s very personal!!

He just continues to amaze me with HOW much He loves us and HOW much He wants a relationship with us, right now, where we are at… not where we are going. Once we get to “where we are going” He’ll be there with us guiding those steps.

So here I am waiting to see improvement in my body…. Waiting, waiting, waiting. When will I be able to walk normal again?? When will I be able to handle light and noise?? I have many more questions, BUT I am trying to be focused on today, on what’s right before me.

I am seeing improvement in my brain. I think faster and clearer and I can talk faster than before. My difficulty breathing is also slowly improving. But the healing is slow, and since I have sooooooo many symptoms I tend to notice all of the symptoms that haven’t improved. But I need to be focusing on what IS improving, and thank God for it.

For me focusing on what I don’t yet have doesn’t help me. But focusing on my small improvements and being thankful for where I am at does!

Each of you has your own path, your own trials you’re going through right now. Maybe you wish you could skip the now and get to “where you are going.” You want to get passed the trial and get to the place where things get better. That will come. But right now I just want to encourage you to focus on where you are.

God’s not waiting to meet you down the road, He wants to be with you today as you trust in and lean upon Him. God continues to teach me that our trials can be the most holy and intimate places with the Lord… if we let them be.

In our fast-paced “bunny rabbit” lifestyle I hope you can be encouraged that being a turtle doesn’t mean you are falling behind. It means you are really embracing the day in front of you. As you take it day-by-day you will one day wake-up and the race will be over… and you will have persevered and got to the finish line.

So embrace today, and let God grow you because you are never going to get this day back. 🙂

God bless you my fellow runners… though I guess turtles don’t really run ;).

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2 Responses to Just Like a Turtle

  1. Grandma and grandpa says:

    So appreciate this post. We have been anxiously waiting and praying for news on how you are feeling but were waiting until you were ready to share. We love you and you are never far from our thoughts and prayers. love, your grandparents

  2. Deb Burket says:

    Thank you, Rachel. Just when I think my struggles are getting the better of me -I read your updates & then I cry & ask God for forgiveness for complaining about my Cushing’s Disease …though extremely painful & sometimes even bedridden -I’m still doing better than a lot of people. I just need to be reminded that someone else is hurting more than I am & even amidst my own pain I can stop, pray and possibly help somebody else who is in need. I will continue to pray for God’s blessings upon you, as He prompts me. Your testimony is powerful & glorifying to Him. If it becomes too difficult to type yourself, then maybe someone can give you a voice interpreter that types for you on the computer or they can type it for you. God will provide ways for you to continue to share your testimony & glorify Him. Bless you in abundance. In Jesus’ precious Name! AMEN!

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