I'm Caroline. The person behind these blog posts. I'm truly honored that you're here and reading what I have to say! But before I get started, I need to get one thing out in the open: I'm not a writer and I don't really know how to be a "blogger." In high school, my english teacher wrote at the top of one of my papers that I would fail college english (so sweet, right?). The good news is that I didn't fail; the bad news is that I'm now making my writing public!
My story is different than most and, unfortunately, having a unique story is never something I wanted. Blending into a crowd and being just like everyone else always seemed way more appealing to me than standing out. (Probably every teenage girl can relate to that feeling.) I definitely wouldn't have labeled myself as a "follower," but I desperately wanted to make sure that I could always label myself "normal." Well, that ship has officially sailed!! Now, I stand out like a sore thumb in any crowd.
Above: My family's last "normal" picture together exactly 24 days before my accident
Below: Family picture exactly 2 years post accident. A few things have changed.
In 2018, my life was officially perfect! I had graduated from the University of Georgia with my masters in Early Childhood Education, landed my dream job and, to top it all off, I was engaged to the love of my life! We had our whole life planned out. I was going to remain in Athens and teach, while Scotty continued his education in law school. We were going to be broke and in love!! But this wasn't God's plan for us. We could still be broke and in love, but we were going to be broken in more ways than one.
One month before both of our schools started, I had an accident trying to relax one Sunday afternoon. When I went to sit on a hammock, the tree that it was attached to fell on top of me and broke my neck. This accident resulted in a spinal cord injury that left me paralyzed from the chest down. Life today looks a lot different than how we imagined. We don't live in the city we imagined, our careers aren't what we thought they would be and we aren't even "on our own" yet, but we are clinging to the hope that Christ's kingdom will come and He will take away every tear and pain and bring in His perfect love, joy and peace.
2 Corinthians 4:8-10
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”
This verse is one that I have to constantly have in the forefront of my mind because it is a reminder of God's strength in me despite my human weakness. I don't have to remind myself of my human weakness because life does that for me. I know that I'm not protected from life. I have been afflicted, perplexed, persecuted and struck down, but I haven't been knocked out! That's what this blog is all about: learning over and over again that I haven't been knocked out. I'm learning to navigate a new world with a new disability, but I'm also learning that everything doesn't have to be about my injury because this disability doesn't define me.
This is my journey and I would love if you decide to follow along!