People call it your “Alive Day:” the annual anniversary of the day you survived a massive accident and/or injury. My Alive Day this year is an even more significant one. It’s a “Decade Day.” June 15 marks ten years since my family’s car was struck by a distracted driver and I sustained a spinal cord injury.
This Decade Day hasn’t come easily. Ten years down the road, we’ve dealt with broken bones, life-threatening complications, internal organ collapse, and invisible health crises. But in the midst of it all, we’ve continued to see something far more important: God’s faithfulness. “Thus far the LORD has helped us” (1 Sam. 7:12b). A Ph.D., ten books, speaking opportunities, 3,652 days, and countless other literal miracles and blessings later, I am thankful for the Author of life, the wonders He has done, and the family and friends He has granted. Every breath is a gift, and I want each one to count as much as they did when I was struggling to take them ten years ago. Life is precious.
Every breath of your life is also a precious gift, and there’s no time better than the present breath to reflect on the bigger picture of your life. You never know what could happen in the next ten seconds, much less the next ten years. And the next ten seconds matter! What makes you ready for them? What do you believe about the future, and why? Do you have a firm source of hope beyond yourself, this day, or this moment? These are important questions to ask, with even more important answers.
Whatever your past, wherever you were ten years ago, and whoever you are today, this is a special day for you, too. After all, as long as you have air in your lungs, it is a day that you are alive. Stop today to take a breath, be thankful, and think about what — or rather, Who — has brought you this far. “[F]or I now whom I have believed” (2 Tim. 1:12b).
Note: Yesterday, June 14, was Flag Day in America. While it has spread into the SCI community, the term "Alive Day" was originally used to celebrate the survival of veterans. Thank you to our veterans, heroes whose lives we celebrate every day.