I recently read about an extraordinary, 24-year-old woman named Aimee Copeland. She had cut her leg when she fell off a friends’ zip line into the water on May 1st. Initially she required 22 surgical staples and seemed to be all right. However, on May 4th, she was diagnosed with necrotizing fascitis, which is an extremely rare, flesh-eating bacteria. Surgeons had to remove her left leg at the hip. Then her parents had to tell her that they now needed to remove her right foot and both of her hands. She mouthed to her parents “Let’s do this”.
Although I last read that she was still in intensive care, she is now off the ventilator and has been reportedly cracking jokes with her parents and sister. She is also discussing being fitted for prostheses. Her mother noted that she had thought Aimee’s inner strength would pull her through. Aimee’s father, Andy Copeland, said his daughter “shed no tears, she never batted an eyelash. I was crying because I am a proud father of an incredibly courageous young lady. Her message doesn’t reside in her ability to use her hands, it’s her ability to use her heart and her mind.”
I felt so inspired by this story and marveled at the courage, strength and resilience of this young woman. She is a shining example that it truly is how we handle the things that happen to us, rather than what actually happens to us, that makes all of the difference. Also, she helps us to remember that we are spiritual beings housed in physical bodies; we are not our hands, our legs or our feet. We are so much more than that.
I hope this story will inspire you to be more than your circumstances and to rise above the challenges life places in your path. Often we are unable to control what happens to us. However, we are able to control how we respond to it and what we learn from it.