In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Notre Dame Swim Team bus accident (referred to as simply, “the accident”), I am hoping to share 25 Things I Have Learned In 25 Years. The goal is to post once a week; but since I have a year to post, I will consider once every two weeks a win.

God Is Good

This seems simple enough, but it actually took me a while to figure out. I remember being in the hospital and hearing my mom say, “If God only gives you what you can handle, I want to be weak, because I can’t handle this.” Those probably weren’t her exact words, but I think she was tired of hearing this sentiment.

I also remember receiving a letter from my aunt shortly after I first moved my toes. Again, I won’t get the wording exactly right, but it read something along the lines of how lucky I was to feel God’s love in such a powerful way, at such a young age. Lying in a hospital bed after two back surgeries, wearing a bulky body brace and not yet able to walk, I didn’t feel very lucky. But my aunt was (is) a woman with a very deep faith, and I know her intentions were genuine, even if I didn’t believe her words to be true. At least not back then.

But I have learned how right she was. God is Good, even when life is bad. In fact, that’s when we need our faith the most. I just didn’t have a strong enough faith 25 years ago to see and feel the wisdom in my aunt’s words.

A quick internet search defines faith as a “strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.” Most people of faith believe in a greater being (God or otherwise named) of which they have no proof actually exists. And yet, my healing – my toes moving – is about as close to proof as one can receive.

My aunt was right: I felt God’s love in a powerful way at a young age…so young (in years and in my faith journey) that I didn’t even know it. Thank goodness I have the wisdom of time (and age) over the past 25 years to learn.

Happy Birthday Aunt Nancy.