Changes

by Upper Room Editorial on Monday, July 03, 2017

Nearly four years have passed since the surgery I was recovering from when I wrote today’s devotion. As I re-read my bio I was struck by the many changes that have occurred in my life since then!

My hip has healed completely, and I try not to take my pain-free gait for granted. Nevertheless, days go by in which I don’t think twice about walking from one place to another, an act that consumed my thoughts before surgery and during the months of recovery thereafter. As I begin my third decade as a pediatrician, the human body’s capacity for healing continues to astound me.

My children have "graduated" from Vacation Bible School and now volunteer to assist with the little kids. My role with the young people in our church has evolved from teacher to youth group leader. I guide middle and high school students as we participate in group activities and service projects such as Maureen’s Haven (a program for people who are homeless) and Samaritan’s Purse.

Writing has become a bigger part of my life. I am currently working on a novel for middle grade students about a non-athletic seventh grade boy who has to participate in a 5K race. As he trains, he gains confidence not only in his skills, but also in his intrinsic worth as a person. The message I want to get across to my young readers is "you matter." It’s a message that children today desperately need to hear. I see many young people in my practice who feel overwhelmed, unable to measure up, and unimportant. I suspect that many of us adults have felt that way also at one time or another in our lives; I know that I have. The truth is, we are all important, dearly loved and cherished by our creator. We all matter, especially to God. And we all have God-given talents that we can use to further the kingdom.

It’s easy to view seasons of change as stressful, but change is quite often a positive event. Children grow and mature, work becomes more rewarding, and new opportunities arise. Even when unwelcome changes occur in my life, I am okay as long as I remember that God is in control, orchestrating all things for my good (Romans 8:28). And I am comforted to know that, even when everything is changing around me, I am safe in the arms of the one who is the same “yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

- Susan Walker-Spring

Pictured above: Susan Walker-Spring with four of her kids (top) and members of Susan's youth group preparing to serve a Saturday morning breakfast for people experiencing homelessness (below).

16 Comments

Comment by Georgine

Thank you Susan for sharing so much. I had a similar experience of learning to walk again. Three years ago I had a cerebral aneurysm after 50 days in intensive care had a long recovery. Just the act of walking can be very painful and daunting and it is true constant physical therapy helps. I am afraid I don't do as much as I should now. By God's grace I have recovered almost completely I still have practically no sense of smell since I bled into that part of my brain but I am not paralysed or mentally deficient.
You are doing such a worthwhile work with youth helping them to feel that they matter. It is important that they know ad feel this otherwise it wraps their lives.
Georgine, Arqua Petrarca, Italy

Posted July 03, 2017 at 12:17AM CDT
Comment by Tom of Canal Winchester, OH

Dear Susan, Upon reading your post I can only smile and praise God for such care you have for the encouragement given to the young. Surely being a pediatrician has equipped you to 'see' the need in your patients and you've made that your life-long vocation to all youth. What a wonderful witness and example you've put forth. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Posted July 03, 2017 at 04:02AM CDT
Comment by Matt

Susan Walker-Spring, I expected to see someone in their 70s or 80s (surprised me). Great looking family & what a wonderful path you are leading them on (PTL). I agree as to the amazing ability of the human body to recover and improve, we live in a wonderful & amazing time, scary too (technology & medicine). God Bless

Posted July 03, 2017 at 06:12AM CDT
Comment by Patty of Toms river, NJ

Beautiful family!! You are a great example for your kids and your youth group kids. Continue to do great things and thank you for sharing. I look forward to reading your novel.

Posted July 03, 2017 at 06:34AM CDT
Comment by patricia of laurelton, NY

Thank you Susan. Very lovely photos of your family and your group. Keep up the good works. Remain blessed. ๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ˜‡๐ŸŽ†๐ŸŽ‡๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒž๐Ÿ˜Š

Posted July 03, 2017 at 06:44AM CDT
Comment by julie of Delray Beach, FL

Thank you Susan!PTL for healing you completely and for the work yo are doing with the youth!

Posted July 03, 2017 at 07:20AM CDT
Comment by Carolyn of Austin, TX

Beautiful connection--between limping along both physically and spiritually. Beautifully written, Susan. I appreciate your attitude. God be with you continue to write and to work with the young people.

Posted July 03, 2017 at 07:29AM CDT
Comment by Edd of Ocala, FL

Susan, beautiful family, may your endeavors be successful especially your book. God is Love for All!!!

Posted July 03, 2017 at 07:41AM CDT
Comment by Andre of Muriae MG, NY

It's good to see all of these young people with you.

Posted July 03, 2017 at 07:42AM CDT
Comment by Martha

Susan, I'm very glad to read that you've recovered so well! What you wrote is so true; we need to exercise our spiritual muscles in meaningful ways every day. God bless you and your good work.

Posted July 03, 2017 at 07:49AM CDT
Comment by Cassandra of Niagara Falls, NY

Susan, to God be the glory for the healing and your ministry with the youth.

Posted July 03, 2017 at 08:07AM CDT
Comment by Margaret

The book you're writing is something the marketplace needs. I'm in my 50s and I struggle daily feeling as though I "don't matter." Hopefully, the middle schoolers who read this book will take the message to heart and, when they're in their 50s, they'll know that they do matter.

Posted July 03, 2017 at 08:28AM CDT
Comment by Rich of Silver Spring, MD

In my forties I suffered a debilitating illness that nearly brought my medical career and my marriage to an end. But God's grace enabled me to struggle year after year to maintain both. I concluded I would never be well again but I was determined to do what little I could for others despite my illness. Finally after nearly 20 years a new treatment became available and I recovered and now feel better at 72 than I did at 42. I just finished teaching VBS and await my next assignment from the Lord. Great is His faithfulness.

Posted July 03, 2017 at 09:03AM CDT
Comment by Kathy

Thank you for this beautiful devotion, Susan, and the connection made between limping along physically and spiritually. The pictures of your beautiful family and your youth "family" encourage me to realize there IS hope for our future. It is so important for our young people to know they matter. In this day and ago where personal contact is lost in social media our young people need a "real" contact to connect with and know God is always with them. May God continue to bless the work you do for Him. Thank you. ~ Kathy in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Posted July 03, 2017 at 09:41AM CDT
Comment by Carole of Tucson, AZ

Thank you Susan for this follow up note. You are certainly a blessing to the youth in your church. I too struggle often with I just don't matter. I'm not important, no one really cares if I'm here or not. But we do matter, and we are ALL important to God. Thank you again for this beautiful message.

Posted July 03, 2017 at 06:08PM CDT
Comment by Jennifer of Oregon, OH

Please continue to write. You have many gifts and your inspiring words will undoubtedly help all who read them. Thanks be to God for you.

Posted July 03, 2017 at 11:28PM CDT