Don’t say, “I can’t”


How often do we say, “I can’t?”

In Christ, “We can” because He strengthens us, but we need to depend on Him and pray for His strength.

Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I had an, “I can do anything,” attitude in my younger days until I reached age 34 and was in that great car accident! I escaped death physically, but my confidence was laid to rest. My confidence was no more, but neither was my hubris.

Most physical capabilities were taken but in their place came new ways to compensate. I was the type of guy who emphasized physical adeptness, agility, and quickness as being male. According to my one-time friend, I was considered the coolest and toughest kid in school. God put an easy fix to that problem and after being humiliated a few times, I came to the realization that I could no longer fight. My punch had all the ferocious sting of a mighty fly. I stopped fighting.

I could make a, “Bullseye” anytime on a dartboard and even made money doing so. I played the game 301 on the dartboard and doubling out was the only way to win…no problem I was always the first one out and thus the winner. I had cool control around a “Crap Table” or at a card game.

God, caught my attention in such a way that I had to listen – and poof – my finesse and dexterity were gone.  I was unable to beat the bookie…the answer, quit gambling.

My wife being named my guardian, and taking all financial gains made over those 16 years, took our children, moved and did not tell me where. I hated myself and was convinced I could not make it any longer, but I persevered.

He blessed me with a new family but after 2 years new wife couldn’t understand my spending most hours with our daughter who’d been diagnosed with autism.

Autism is a developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. It is a spectrum condition. This means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. I admit there were nights spent reading her stories, day times potty-training and reading and teaching her how to speak, and how to use PECS (In our world, P is for PECS). PECS stands for Picture Exchange Communication System and was a huge part of our lives.

Because most autistic kids need order in their lives the PECS were used to show her what would happen next. For example; Putting her to bed at night was next to impossible; she would scream, cry, stiffen like a board and have a total meltdown. With the use of PECS and Velcro we were able to show her the procedure for going to bed…pictures showing that you go to the bathroom – wash face and hands – brush teeth – say goodnight and finally the PECS showed a kid sleeping.

It was like a miracle! The first night…she was shown the sequence of events of going to bed and that was it. There was no crying. I would take her to the bathroom and after she went, I washed her up and brushed her teeth. She then kissed Mom & Dad goodnight and happily and immediately went to sleep.

Getting her involved with other kids at childhood learning center and helping her with the different therapies that had helped me with my disability involved a lot of time. Anytime we rode in the car I repeated things over & over to her until she had them memorized, her phone number and address.

I had her riding a school bus at 3 years old…not because the school was so far away (it was just across the street) but to help her integrate with others. At her school they would work with different textures, PECS, and so on.

God gave me another family and okay, so it’s not perfect. Neither am I perfect. God’s Word and I raised Stephanie. God filled me with love for this child and gave me another chance and managed to keep me busy in doing so. https://www.pinterest.com/steverichie01/autism/…

I told myself many times since the wonderful wreck that gave me a new and exciting lease on life, “I can’t do anything any more.”  That attitude kept me down. Though I am unable to do things  quickly or as precisely as before, God, has shown me how to compensate and do once again.  Yes, there truly is a God the Father, God the Son & God the Holy  Spirit.

Donald Dill Very well put Steve. Thanks for sharing this. Makes me stop and be more appreciative of all Gods blessings in my life. Also good insight into some of the things you have successfully worked through and succeeded.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 22 hrs

 

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Don. You are a good friend who befriended me even though my condition is mostly deplorable, thanks buddy.
Stevie Ricci – Richie replied · 1 Reply
Elizabeth DillElizabeth Dill Steve you are a wonderful person and have done an outstanding job raising Stephanie. Joshua 1:9 is the verse I always go to when I feel like I can’t! Our love Don and Liz.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 21 hrs

 

Thank you Liz…Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” That verse is a beautiful reassurance and I thank you for your tremedous comment!
Elizabeth Dill replied · 2 Replies
Renee BilyeuRenee Bilyeu I’m impressed by you Stevie. Your attitude is something in which I had. Thanks for sharing this. It touched my heart.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 20 hrs

 

Thank you, Renee, but you know as well as anyone that we all have troubles. I’m actually grateful for that car wreck because it did save me. Have a nice evening.
Stevie Ricci – Richie replied · 1 Reply
Donna Evans Smith
Donna Evans Smith Stevie you may not jump as high as you did before accident but your courage and drive to raise Stephaine and show her she do anything she puts her mind to do your are a blessing to lots of people glad to call you a friend
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 18 hrs

 

hank you for your kind words, Donna. You are absolutely correct in saying, “You may not be able to jump as high as you did before…” Truth is I can’t even jump, well okay, maybe an inch or two. But you know, it is much easier to deal with losses of self, with God in my life. I’m happy to be friends with you because I can respect you, and I do.
Stevie Ricci – Richie replied · 1 Reply
Pat Gresafe
Pat Gresafe God Bless you Steve you turned out very well and you are doing a great job raising Steph

 

Thanks Pat, I take that as a compliment because you undoubtedly remember me prior to the car accident. We have no idea what the future holds but with God on our side we are stronger.
Stevie Ricci – Richie replied · 1 Reply

Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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