Episode 99 - Surviving the Unthinkable: Wendy Wallace's Path to 'One Exceptional Life'
What happens when a flesh eating bacteria invades your body and leaves your life hanging in the balance while you live in a coma for months? In today’s episode we are welcoming another special guest, Wendy Wallace. She is here with us to share how she learned to thrive and even laugh in the face of adversity.
A flesh-eating bacterial infection resulted in a coma, a 3-month hospital stay, and amputations of both hands and both feet. What you might consider this one of the worst things that could ever happen to you, Wendy discovered it was actually for her good and God's glory. By God's wonderful grace, she is living "One Exceptional Life" where, in true form with 2 Corinthians 1:4, she is sharing God’s comfort with others to encourage and lead other women through their times of suffering.
Wendy is the most positive quad amputee you will ever meet. Her story takes us back to 2011. She was a busy mom of three, running a home, business, and taking care of the household.
And in one of her many children activities, she started to feel flu symptoms. She had this unusual swelling on her leg. After a couple of days, her husband took her to the hospital. They diagnosed that swelling as a flesh eating bacteria, meaning a bacteria that eats away at your body.
They put her in a coma for 3 weeks while the doctors worked to heal her. Finally, the doctors told her family to prepare themselves because she had less than 1% of chance to survive this.
“My husband said: You do your thing doc, but you don't know my God. You don't know what he's capable of. You just do what you do. And I'm going to rally the troops. We're going to pray.” - Wendy
And that's what he did. The family put out the call for prayers at church. And Wendy is with us today, grateful for her husband never giving up.
She had a big decision to make when waking up from her induced coma: having her arms and legs amputated or saying goodbye to her family.
Wendy shares that after waking up for the surgery, she thought about Proverbs 3:5-6.
“I can't do this on my own so I'm going to trust you with everything I have, and I'm not going to lean on my own understanding of this because what do I know? How do I do this? I don't know how to do this. I'm going to trust you and I know you will not leave me.”
When you have a relationship with the Lord, you put your trust 100% onto him, that's where we get our peace.
“When you lose your hands, it's just different. There's so many things that you get taken away. All of the things that I thought made me who I was: mom, wife, cook, cleaner, running of the kids to their stuff. I lost that and I kind of lost my identity and, oftentimes we think, well, what did I do to bring this on? What was my major sin?”
Why do bad things happen to good people? After going back home, Wendy forced herself to dig deeper into God's word to answer this question. She had a relationship with the Lord previously, but this was an opportunity for her to build her faith.
Ultimately, it's not always something that we do. But it's something that the Lord chooses to use for the benefit of others. God comforts us in our struggles so that we can use that experience to comfort others as they go through theirs.
It wasn't until later when Wendy started a blog and shared her story that that all came full circle where she was able to understand the whole purpose behind it and how God was going to use her as a lighthouse for him.
Wendy had a grieving period, but she was always positive. Her biggest question was “What to do with my life now?” She lost interest in the business. But she knew God had a purpose in this. As long as she was sitting there feeling sorry for herself, there was no movement.
It was all the preparation, growing her faith, praying and working on her gratitude that put her right where God would need her to be one day.
And a lot of times we can feel like our lives are mundane or we're not making a significant contribution or what's the purpose of X, Y, Z. The Lord knows what He has planned for us each step of our lives, each year, each month, each day.
And when we are faithful to the day at hand it sets us up. Wendy decided to share her adventures through her website, One Exceptional Life.
When we focus on what's wrong with us, that's all we think about. But when we focus on other people and helping them, it makes all the difference because we're bringing the other person up and then there we've done the same thing for ourselves.
As believers, we know that God doesn't waste anything. If he allows something into our lives, it is for a purpose. And the purpose is a good one. The purpose is a noble one. The purpose is ultimately going to be what we would ask Him for.
As Christians, we have no business being hopeless out of everybody in the world. We can be upset about things that are happening in our lives, but we still have the hope of the gospel. We have the hope that our God is sovereign and that He makes all things new.
We have to continually be exercising our faith. And it's not faith in ourselves. It's not faith that something someday will work out. It is faith in the goodness, the wisdom, the sovereignty… all the characteristics… of God. That is where our faith rests.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Meet our Special Guest
Wendy Wallace is a wife, mom, Memaw, Christian Living & Positivity coach, Inspirational blogger at One Exceptional Life. She is also a quadruple amputee. She loves spending time with her family, talking to her flowers, and eating lots of ice cream.
Her mission is to help women rediscover God’s joy and peace amid the trials of life by becoming more intentional with Him.
You can find her at One Exceptional Life, where she writes about overcoming challenges, spiritual growth, joy, peace, gratitude, and positivity.
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