Life from a Wheelchair: Derrick Grass

Derrick GrassSeptember 20th was a warm, sunny Saturday; one that I will never forget. I had a lot of things going for me. I just turned 18 a couple days earlier. It was my senior year. I was the soccer team captain and having a very good season. We were in Indianapolis playing one of our rivals, Heritage Christian. I was pumped to play that day, as usual, I was ready to go. Little did I know that this game was going to have a very different outcome than I had anticipated. About ten minutes into the game, a normal soccer play took place. However, this normal soccer play had me on the ground screaming in agony. I knew instantly that this was different than the various minor injuries I had in the past. Many thoughts of worry were flooding my head. X rays would later show that I broke my leg in four places. I was in a state of confusion and trying to find the positives.

I was able to find comfort in my family and friends who were very encouraging. I had many people come visit to encourage me and check on my family. I had even more people send me texts of encouragement and prayer, which helped me get through the first night. However, this process was going to be much more than surviving one night. This was the first major time in my life when I had to refocus my life and put my full dependence in God. I had put so much focus into sports throughout my life, that I felt like everything had been stripped away from me. I was reminded very quickly that I was not in control of my life, but God was very much in control and knew exactly what I needed and could handle. I found myself in a constant state of prayer, talking to God to get me through my current situation. My time spent doing nothing became a blessing as I was able to focus and talk with God, the One who was in control of the situation.

These times also gave me a new perspective on thankfulness. I realized how blessed I was to be a member of such a godly, loving family. My parents were my biggest supporters during this time and sacrificed a lot in order to take care of me. My friends at school have also been some of my biggest supporters throughout the entire process. They visited me at the hospital and my house, helped me around school, prayed for me, encouraged me, and have helped me remain positive. These outside factors have helped develop a heart of thankfulness, as I have made many lists of things that I have to be thankful for. I also realize that my situation could be worse than a broken leg, as there are people who are suffering from more serious diseases and physical challenges. I have a bigger burden to pray for those people more, now that I have had just a small taste of what physical challenges are like.

I have also been challenged to have a spirit of patience throughout this trial.  Going to the doctor and seeing that my leg still isn’t healed can be frustrating at times. But, God does not include frustration as a Fruit of the Spirit, while patience is. I have realized that God’s timing is often different than ours. While we think that we know what is best for our own lives, we have a God that knows better than us and will always provide. I have constantly seen God’s provisions throughout these times. A verse that I have gone to over and over throughout this trial is Isaiah 43:1-3, which shows how powerful God is and how He is always watching over us. “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;”

No matter what the situation is, God knows that it is exactly what you need in your life, even if it hurts. His timing is better than ours, and He is in full control. I am thankful that God gave me this trial, because it has drawn me closer to Him and I have depended on Him like never before. I have also developed stronger relationships with my family and friends and have had many opportunities to be an encouragement to others.

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