The day is finally here
My eyes open slowly as a sliver of light cuts across my dark bedroom at promptly 6:00 a.m. My nurse enters the room, and I hear her footsteps padding softly toward the closet. Though I am only able to stare straight ahead at the ceiling, I know she is gathering the supplies needed for the morning ahead. I have become accustomed to this routine for the last seven years, ever since my body was left battered and paralyzed after a life-altering car accident.
Every morning is the same. Lately I’ve joked that my life feels like the movie Groundhog Day, with each day similar enough that I can anticipate exactly what comes next, moment by moment.
It suddenly hits me, though: today is different.
Today is my wedding day.
As my nurse begins to transfer me out of bed using a full-body sling connected to a motorized ceiling lift, I brace myself for the agony of the ensuing muscle spasticity that ratchets up a notch each morning after an entire night of lying in the same supine position. I grit my teeth as I am lowered into my chair and rolled into the wheelchair-accessible shower in the bathroom adjacent to my bedroom. I close my eyes as the warm water drips down my face, and I begin to think about the day ahead.
A jolt of realization brings a shiver of excitement: this could be the final time I am reliant on the help of a nurse to start my day. Everything has been building up to this day. My soon-to-be bride and I agree a miracle is certain.
Life with quadriplegia will soon be a thing of the past.
My thoughts are interrupted by a painful convulsion as every muscle in my body reacts in unison to the water droplets hitting me, despite my not having any topical sensation of the water rolling down my chest and back. The allegedly permanent damage to my spinal cord interrupts the signal from my brain to my body, forming an invisible line across my collarbone that serves as a marker where movement and sensation abruptly ceased years ago. The disconnect causes my limbs to involuntarily and violently spasm from something as insignificant as being sprayed by the showerhead. As I helplessly wait for the uncontrollable shaking to pass, I can’t help but wonder how I will possibly transition from this situation to walking independently by the end of the day.
As confidently as I am believing for a miracle, hesitation and doubt are still bubbling beneath the surface. My sense of excitement intermingles with worry and anxiety, and I remind myself to focus on the mounting evidence for a supernatural healing, which has seemingly been pointing to this exact day. To my fiancée and me, it seems clear that for the last several years God has been sprinkling his clues for us to piece the puzzle together.
My mind drifts to our guests joining us at our wedding later today. Specific friends and family members flash through my mind as I envision the excitement on their faces when they witness the miracle. I have already gotten a taste of what it will be like, as countless people have reached out to me in the years following my accident to share their vivid dreams of my healing. I contemplate the twenty-three–page document on my computer that contains my detailed chronicle of these dreams, the document I have frequently revisited in the preceding months to stoke my faith. Nearly every dream has consisted of the same theme: I am on my feet, moving around with ease, just as I did for the twenty-one years prior to the fateful night my car flipped off the highway.
The deadline has arrived. The temptation arises once more to do away with all our faith-filled plans that began taking shape over a year ago. I do not want to look foolish. I do not want to speak incorrectly on behalf of God. But the events of the past few years have felt like a movie trailer, teasing me to imagine the possibilities of what might lie ahead. There are the descriptive dreams. The boy at the park. Pages of unmistakable confirmations that we have been tracking in a journal. The small team of praying friends with whom we have discussed our conclusions, who have partnered with us by agreeing in faith that I will be dancing with my bride at our wedding.
Today is the culmination of it all.
My nurse rolls my wheelchair back out into the bedroom and once again transfers me through the air and into my bed. I grimace as she maneuvers my tuxedo over my spastic limbs. The nagging pain in my shoulders renders it impossible to put the jacket on. Unless something changes drastically before the ceremony this afternoon, I will have to go without.
Once the morning routine is finally complete, I close my eyes, hoping to rest before the events of the day unfold. But my mind will not stop racing. I have meticulously reasoned through all factors, yet one lingering thought continues to thrash through my brain: Are we just setting ourselves up for massive disappointment by believing for this miracle? I think of my fiancée, already hours into her morning getting ready with her bridesmaids at the church. I think of the Caribbean honeymoon I booked months ago, our flight departing in less than forty-eight hours. I feel relieved that very few people know the extent of our plans and just how audacious they are.
For many long years, I have missed countless events, milestones, and opportunities, culminating in prolonged discontentment and an increasing difficulty to stay connected with my peers. While my friends finished college, started their professional careers, got married, and began growing their new families, I could only look on from my status as a longtime resident with my middle-aged parents, continually feeling as if life is passing me by.
But not anymore. Each step of the journey has simply been laying the groundwork for the moment at which I have now arrived.
After all, the story of this impending miracle began almost exactly seven years earlier.