Yesterday was a celebratory milestone. I preached without notes for the first time in my homiletics class. More importantly, I spoke in public and recited memorization for the first time since I had my brain injuries and started my journey with seizures almost a decade ago. My speech and memory are the aspects in my life that were most affected by the brain trauma and this has been a devastating and long road for someone who spent my youth in the theater. I also did it after a rough month getting over pneumonia and it took a lot of effort to get to class yesterday. But I had to show up. I had to break through this wall.
Was it perfect recitation? No. Did I struggle with tremendous anxiety beforehand? Hell yes. The sermon actually went better than I anticipated, though. I was in a safe space with supportive classmates and faculty. Most importantly, I trusted that my Christ, God, and the Holy Spirit would accomplish what I could not. Sure enough, they came through.
The Gospel for my sermon was Matthew 25:31-46. I spoke about how we are called to serve as vessels for the Holy Trinity to accomplish the work of God's Kingdom. We have to place our human ego aside to be able to accomplish the hard work within Christian community and society. Yesterday wouldn't have been possible if it had been about me. Allowing myself to be a vessel for Christ was key.
For my friends who are navigating the waters of new found (dis)ability, please don't give up. Please keep working hard and try to find peace with the reality of your new ability. Show up even if you worry that you aren't "good enough" anymore. You and your input to society matter and are needed. You are not damaged goods. Trust that the Holy Trinity is working mightily on your behalf. Just keep showing up. Your perseverance will be worth it.
Thank you to everyone in my life for your love, support, and encouragement. I am incredibly grateful for y'all and this beautiful life. So dang grateful.