Through all of my attempts to make sense of the events of this summer, I feel like what I've really been searching for is someone to forgive. I've been trying to figure out who's fault it is that I couldn't go to Honduras so that I could forgive them, because I know that in other situations where I've felt hurt like this, I don't feel better until I forgive whoever caused the hurt. The problem in this case is that I couldn't figure out who that was. It doesn't make sense to blame the doctor, he found a problem and it's his job to fix it. I wanted to blame God, but I honestly felt silly asking God to help me forgive, well, God. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that the only person to blame was myself.
What were you thinking, I asked myself, believing that you were capable of going on this mission trip again? You are a person with a physical disability, and you know that it knocks you down as soon as you let your guard down. It's happened so many times before, and you kept your guard up for so long this time. But you were so preoccupied with your excitement about the trip that you forgot to be scared about this appointment. God let you go on this trip last year, why couldn't you just be thankful for that and not expect it to happen again? Why didn't you realize that that was just sympathy playing time so you could really feel like part of a team for a moment before your return to life on the bench? I began to question everything, and was inwardly very angry with myself for what seemed to me like letting my faith blind me from the harsh reality of life.
But finally, through all of my questioning, I have seen a little glimmer of light. I finally realized that even the sidelines have a purpose. Maybe God is coaching, like any good coach would, with the game as a whole in mind. Instead of only seeing this summer and all I missed, he sees all the way to the end of time. He must know something I don't that is causing him to put me on the bench right now. Maybe instead of complaining about not getting any playing time (in this case not going on a mission trip), I should be working on being prepared for that time when I am called into the game again. That means paying attention to what is happening in the game so that I know what to do when I am called back in. In this case that means keeping my faith strong even when it doesn't feel like it's being used. God as my coach wants me to stay alert and focused so that I can hear that call when it comes, and my biggest hope right now is that it will.