Someone asked me recently, if I could turn back time, would I go through this year again? The answer obviously is no way but I wouldn’t trade the lessons I have and continue to learn because of the story I now can tell about what it means to journey through adversity. I wear a wristband that simply says Transformed. I put it on back in the spring of 2018 after the Ravi Zacharias talk that Advanced Native Mission sponsored. Little did I know what this word would come to me for me less than a year later. They took it off me in the hospital and in rehab I replaced it for a bit with one that said “I Can I Will I Believe”
Not sure who or where I go it but it reminded me of what a Doctor friend said to me when I was first diagnosed. “God loves you, You will get worse before you get better, You are in the best place to be treated, and You will get better” From that moment, focused on yes i can get better because I believe. Not just because the doctors said so but because there was never a doubt God was going to be with me every step of the way. As I have written here before, I renamed my recovery the “180 Project” because I had two goals. 1) to do a complete turnaround physically while I got back into shape and 2) I wanted to my weight to once again be in the 180’s preferably 185) where it hadn’t been in a very long time. #1 has been accomplished and #2 is in sight. The Transformed wristband pictured here is back on my left arm but for different reasons than when I first put it on almost 2 years ago.
What I hadn’t spent much time on was how I would change as a person because of my Guillain Barre Syndrome diagnosis. The scripture tells us, in 2nd Corinthians 5;17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here! I now claim this verse in a whole new way. Romans 12:2 says, ” Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Guillain Barre Syndrome certainly put me through the test of accepting God’s will. As I have shared here before, I am grateful and out of that gratitude, I have chosen the word Generosity for 2020. I want to pay forward what others have done for us while I was sick and as I work toward a full recovery. Even this morning, two women in my church came up and shared how my renewed health has encouraged them in their own faith. What a blessing that was to me. That would be enough but there is so much more that is happening. My mind is being renewed and with that I am promised a new and better version of Michael Guthrie. Someone who realized how fortunate he is to be better but more importantly to have so many people in my life who truly care about me and my family. That fact is not lost on me and as the writer of Philippians shares, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it” and my own finish to this verse, but because of my own suffering and the adversity I faced, I am moving toward that ultimate goal of being the best version of myself through God’s grace and His mercy. As my brother Kevin reminds me often, “a little bit better each and every day”