Sunday, August 9, 2015

Victory and pain

I have come that they may have life, 
and have it to the full
John 10:10

Over the past two weeks there have been two major events that Victoria has participated in that have clearly shown us that indeed she is living life to the full. The first event was the Riding for the Disabled Regional Mounted Games at Raymond Terrace. 

The horse Victoria normally rides each Monday was sick, so she had to ride Becky for the first time. Both horse and rider did well, getting a first in the Barrels (pictured above), and a third in the Bending (riding around poles, slalom style). We are grateful to all the volunteers and people who donate to RDA to give people with a disability such amazing opportunities.

One of the best things about the day for Victoria was the wonderful amount of support she received from family and friends who made the trek up to the riding centre. It was great to have some school friends there to see where Victoria goes each Monday morning. She has been blessed with a lovely group of friends.

On Friday this week Victoria was given the opportunity to compete at the Zone Athletics competition in the 'multi-disability' category. When asked if she would like to participate she immediately said yes and decided to go in five events. With some extra coaching the day before the competition from her very supportive PE teacher, and her friend Jessica, she was ready to compete.

Victoria was the only child in the 'multi-disability' category, so she had the choice of running the 200m and 100m with the other eight year olds or running by herself. She chose to run by herself. The photo above is of her starting the 100m. 

As she ran, alone, down the straight there was plenty of cheering coming from the grandstand and most probably not many dry eyes.

Jessica, a very able and gifted athlete was there, encouraging Victoria all the way, just as she did three years ago during one of Victoria's hospital stays.

In fact, it was wonderful to see the support Victoria received from all her fellow school students, teachers and parents (even if we did all have our sunglasses on to hide the tears). We are so blessed to be part of such a loving school community.

And guess what - as Victoria was the only competitor in her category, she won all her events! 

So now she will go to Sydney to compete in the State athletics carnival, at which there will be other competitors in the 'multi-disability' category. Victoria had a fabulous day, in her words, 'the best day ever'! We are very grateful to her PE teacher who made the opportunity possible. 

The day before the athletics carnival, one of our children asked me, Mum what training has Victoria done for these events? My answer to that was simple, "For the past 4.5 years your sister has, on an almost daily basis, done some sort of physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and occupational therapy to keep her body functioning, that is more than enough training." We are grateful too, to all the therapists who have helped Victoria over the past few years enabling her to compete as well as she did. 

As you can imagine it has been a very emotional few weeks, still trying to get our head around the scan news, and then seeing Victoria enjoying life so much. God has been speaking to me this week about letting myself feel the pain of the scan news, and not just pushing it aside, ignoring it. And at the same time, living with hope and faith. I was so encouraged when I read this passage, regarding the story of Job in The Bible, in the book 'Emotionally Healthy Spirituality'.

He shouted at God. He prayed wild prayers. He told God exactly what he was feeling. For thirty-five chapters we read how he struggled with God. He doubted. He wept. He wondered where God is and why all this had happened to him. He did not avoid the horror of his predicament but confronted it directly. (page 143)

After a week of starting to learn how to 'embrace' the pain, I am feeling stronger and my faith and trust in God seems to have gone yet deeper again. Watching Victoria compete on Friday, showing such courage and determination, among such a loving and supportive school community, again reminded me that God has equipped her with all she needs, both from within herself and surrounding her. She is loved.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for her, especially for the anxiety. It appears to have settled, there are still tears, but they are no longer daily.

So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word. Hebrews 10:23 AMP

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