Note from the Editor: Healing is a Process of Hope

by Jen Taggart

I would like to thank the Cedarville family for all the prayers and support they’ve shown me and my family the past couple of months after my accident in late November. As you can imagine, this has been one of the most difficult times of my life.

One of the most difficult parts about my situation is not returning to campus to spend time with my friends, professors and other members of the Cedarville community who I love dearly. It is especially difficult considering it is the last semester of my senior year; what was supposed to be the grand finale of my Cedarville education. However, by God’s grace and the hard work of my professors, I will be taking classes at home and am still expected to graduate on time in May.

I will stay involved in Cedars as much as my health and distance will allow, and I am blessed to have an excellent staff to help me manage the newspaper.

A day or two before classes began, I became depressed about not returning to campus. But this phrase kept replaying in my head: “This is where God has placed me.” God has placed me in Cleveland, Ohio, right now, and I am excited about opportunities to grow closer to family as well as opportunities to become more involved in my home church.

I’m also looking forward to see what kind of writing ideas my experience will spark and other ways God will use this in my life. Please be praying for wisdom and courage for me as I seek ways to share my story.

As for my physical recovery, my broken femur is quickly healing. I am able to walk with a cane now and go out in public more often.

The remaining symptoms of my head injury are primarily dizziness and occasional headaches. Earlier in my recovery, I had many lapses in my short-term memory, but even those moments are becoming less and less frequent due to God’s healing power. Even my current dizziness and fatigue could be side effects of the medicines I’m expected to be taken off of soon.

Physical ailments don’t scare me. My broken femur isn’t even that painful. Also, my surgery to fix my right femur wasn’t even the most serious surgery I’ve ever had on my legs. Because of my cerebral palsy, I had a hamstring-lengthening surgery in fifth grade that left me in two full-length leg casts. It took me much longer to relearn how to walk after that surgery.

The most difficult aspect of my recovery is my head injury. I’ve had physical therapists before, I’ve had occupational therapists before, but I’ve never had speech therapists until my stay at Kettering Medical Center.

I have always found my identity in my intellect and communication skills to compensate for my physical disability, so it was hard when I felt that was taken away from me. Even though my doctor told me I was expected to make a full recovery, I still worried that it might become permanent or simply last longer than I would want it to. I wondered how becoming more disabled, even temporarily, would affect my job search.

Then again, I wasn’t sure if I would even be able to graduate on time. Yet God is helping my professors and me to make a way. I am learning to trust God who promises to “work all things for the good of those who love him,” according to my favorite Bible verse, Romans 8:28. He will make a way and use this as part of my testimony and story.

Like many Cedarville students, I’ve struggled with apathy and taking my faith for granted. I’ve also struggled with legalism and feeling not good enough for God to really love me. My faith has grown over the past few months because God is the only one I have to rely on. The fact that God protected me from an even worse accident and saved my life has shown me how much God really does love me. It has encouraged me that I do have an important purpose to play in this world, even when I don’t always feel like it.

I am grateful for all of the ways God has shown me his faithfulness over the last couple of months, many times through the encouragement of my brothers and sisters in Christ at Cedarville. I was also blessed to be at Kettering Medical Center, a Christ-centered facility where I was encouraged and prayed for by many of the staff. God is the only one who can truly heal me, and I am grateful for my loving Father in heaven.

Healing is a process of hope. There is a certain hope in watching symptoms you once felt would last forever fade away. Physical healing is ultimately a reflection of a deeper healing that Christ offers us ­— to make us new, as Revelation 21:5 says.

Jen Taggart is a senior journalism major and editor-in-chief for Cedars. She enjoys writing, listening to music and fueling her chocolate addiction.

4 Replies to "Note from the Editor: Healing is a Process of Hope"

  • comment-avatar
    Suresh March 21, 2017 (8:49 am)

    The positive physiological effects of hope are well-documented, most eloquently in Jerome Groopman’s “The Anatomy of Hope,” where he writes: “Researchers are learning that a change in mind-set has the power to alter neurochemistry. “Belief and expectation — the key elements of hope — can block pain by releasing the brain’s endorphins and enkephalins, mimicking the effects of morphine. In some cases, hope can also have important effects on fundamental physiological processes like respiration, circulation and motor function.”

    • comment-avatar
      Jen Taggart April 5, 2017 (1:52 pm)

      Great reminder and I’ve definitely noticed that to be true in my physical and emotional healing. Thank you for your comment!

  • comment-avatar
    Nithin October 2, 2017 (2:28 am)

    The way in which a hopeful person handles disappointment differs from those who are not. Even if the present is unpleasant, the thought of a positive future can be stress-buffering and can reduce the impact of negative events or disappointment.

  • comment-avatar
    Ashikaa October 31, 2017 (1:51 pm)

    i agree with you completely nithin

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