I still plan on walking no matter how insane you think I am

My temporary mode of transportation
My temporary mode of transportation
People started dropping off one by one.

Friends that used to adamantly pray for healing or talk about future interactions with the hope of my physical abilities returning to me transitioned to making it clear they believe being reliant on a wheelchair is a permanent fixture for my future.

One friend recently danced around the subject. With a voice full of skepticism, they finally mustered up, “You know how you used to say you believed you would walk again…Do you still believe that?”

You could hear the pity in their voice.

No, time passing does not mean I’ve given up hope. In fact, the more time that passes, the more I realize how little depends on my doing, but rather physical healing depends completely on God’s power to be possible.

I’ve started to sense a stigma that it isn’t godly to seek physical healing. I should be content with the fact that a perfect healing is coming one day in heaven, right?

I’m curious where this came from.

Jesus healed many. He even asked the blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?” When the blind man said, “I want to see,” Jesus didn’t scold him and lecture him on not being spiritual enough to wait for heaven. He healed him.

I’m not saying everyone gets healed on this side of heaven and by no means do I understand how it all works. But in Luke 18, Jesus teaches his disciples to continue praying and not give up. I plan to follow that model.

Does that mean I’m shaking my fist at God until he does something? Not at all. Rather, I want to follow the words of 1 Peter 4:19: “Those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”

When days get tough, I want my mindset to be on a verse like this, trusting God is ultimately using the fatigue, frustration, and pain for ultimate good. Some days it’s easier than others.

In addition, Stephanie and I are still moving forward planning a wedding. I still want to prioritize meeting with high school guys. I’m finally getting a chance to dive into some work in the field of real estate. I’m not simply sitting around waiting for physical healing.

But I heard a story about two farmers that desperately needed rain. Both prayed for rain, but only one went out and prepared his fields each day to receive it. The question is, who trusted God more to actually send the rain?

Awaiting the rain
Awaiting the rain

I aim to continue preparing my fields for physical breakthrough, and trusting God with the rest.

Join me, feel bad for me, whatever you want to do. While I’m not going to put my life on hold, you can bet I’m not giving up on the belief that Jesus will allow me to walk again. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results, I’m insane and I’m not afraid to admit it.

I want to continue to live in the tension of trusting God and pushing forward in the midst of trial instead of just sitting around waiting for breakthrough, but at the same time do what Jesus taught: Pray and not give up.

It’s always helpful to remind myself just how far God has brought me already. The video below documents my physical progress over the past 6+ years, and what I believe is still ahead:

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19 thoughts on “I still plan on walking no matter how insane you think I am

  1. Thanx so much for this, Ryan. I still remember the night we had a prayer meeting for you and mike at MCC. After praying for you I asked if you two felt anything different with your limbs. 50% of everyone there spontaneously and nervously laughed. Do you remember that? I was such a weakling. I wanted to ask everyone who just laughed to leave and we were going to continue praying but I was too nice. I believe and I’ve refreshed my commitment to pray for you.

  2. Praise God! LOVE this post! I’m with you all the way – never withdrawing faith for your physical healing. You are stewarding this process SO well. God has given you such wisdom and insight on your journey! Thanks for allowing us the privilege of being a part of your journey through your sharing!
    Bless you!
    Sue

  3. Preparing the field. That phrase strikes home. The very last thing Dr. Bowman at Shepherd Center in Atlanta told us before releasing Nick (C2/T7 injury) into our care was that we should maintain his physical condition so that when (not if) a “cure” comes available, Nick will be able to take advantage of the opportunity.

    Since then, we have learned that God will partner through prayer with anyone who humbly, and in a straight forward fashion asks Him for help. I say help, not a miracle. Although miracles are in His realm, we are much more certain through our experience, that He is a partner that will work WITH you. He waves no magic wand over our fallen world (although He might/could if it was His will to do so). He does, each moment of your existence, reach out, touch your heart and give a loving boost to your imperfect efforts. All we need do is answer His question; “What do you want me to do for you?” Our answer; Lord God, creator of all we see, all we experience, partner with us so together we can witness Your great power and majesty.

  4. Read Job. You are greater than your challenges. You are just in your perseverance in Jesus Christ. You are complete only for the moment. You are far from finished in this journey.

  5. Continue to prepare your fields for a physical breakthrough and trust in God for the rest. You have a warrior/army of people around the world praying for you and trusting in God. You have an amazing smile & you are blessing those high school boys more than you can even imagine! I can not wait to see you and Stephanie dance at your wedding!

  6. We say YES and AMEN JESUS!!! Thank you Ryan for always being vulnerable and real. Love this video! God is still in the business of miracles, signs, wonders….I know you agree with this 🙂
    Ryan, you are a testimony even now of what a life surrendered to God looks like…the faith and belief that you demonstrate everyday in a good God is what courage and strength look like. Rejoicing now for the (soon) moment when faith becomes site on this earth 🙂

  7. Hold tightly to your hope! Believing we serve a good God and that His plans are to prosper you! Looking forward to your glorious day! <3

  8. Insane? NO WAY! We know that we serve the Great Physician! I don’t understand it all, either, but I have seen our Lord perform miracles, so why not on Ryan Atkins? I will keep praying and believing with you for your complete physical healing, Ryan, including walking again!

  9. Ryan, be healed ,in Jesus’ name and authority.! ( check out JGLM in Richardson TX, to bolster your correct belief in healing. They and I, are already praying / commanding healing in your body. ( I went to high school with your mom. I, like you, had a high drama coming to Christ). God bless u.

  10. I can simply hit I agree with this person who has already commented. I know you believe! I believe as well. You are ‘walking the talk’. I decided to shorten the phrase and how fitting. 🙂 You continue to inspire me as well as many others. I think of you often and how you don’t sit around having a pity party. I continue to learn from you as well. I have been a student of God healing – now – here – even right before my very eyes as I prayed for them. I have come to realize that I just need to be a surrendered vessel through which Jesus will do the healing. Simply put: I am a conduit from heaven to earth. I am NOT bragging. I am speaking from personal experience. Praying and being that conduit I have found to be SO fun… how can one NOT get jazzed to see a person healed?

    The point is I am completely with you! I am reminded of when I was first trying to learn about the background and the basics of how to pray for God’s healing. And I received a ‘word of knowledge’ (needs to be explained, but I am fading fast here) during one of the teaching sessions. I was BRAND NEW to all of this and I hear (not audibly) these exact words ‘severe paralysis on the right side’. At first I brushed it off. But I heard it repeatedly when I was singing and not thinking at all about it. And then I was like ‘You must be kidding’! Really? How about we start with something like a hang nail’. Suffice it to say, I was freaking out. So the students had lessons all day long for 3-4 days. The evening sessions were open to the public. There would be some teaching and then the students were asked to come forward if they had a word of knowledge. The congregation was instructed to raise their hand after the word given was about them. Then the students would be released to pray for those who had raised their hands and we were especially try to pair up with those who responded to the word we delivered (i.e. the name Carol and diabetes or broken ankle which hadn’t healed properly from surgery and has caused you chronic pain). I wanted to just sit in my chair but I felt a strong pull to be obedient and deliver the word. When I did, guess what? No one responded. I thought ‘hmm, I must not be too good at listening or tuning in to Holy Spirit’.

    The following evening before anything, the teaching Pastor invited anyone who had a severe condition, sickness, disease, blind, deaf, etc. to come forward. This man in his 30’s speaks into the microphone stating that he and his wife had made all of the arrangements to before full-time missionaries. The DAY BEFORE they were to leave he had a stroke and has ‘severe paralysis on his right side’! WHAT?!?!? I felt like electricity was going through me. Those words went right through me like a bolt of lightning. I sheepishly began walking with my trembling body along the outer aisle of the church. It seemed to take me forever. I had no idea what I was even going to do. I simply told one of the staff that I had delivered those words ‘severe paralysis on the right side’ the night before. That person runs over and tells the teaching Pastor who immediately says, ‘come over here and pray for him’. The teaching pastor has already began praying for this young man and others by the time I made it to the front. And the young man was slain in the spirit / blasted and laying on the floor on his back. I knelt down beside him and prayed silently for a moment. I placed one hand on his right arm and the other on his right leg and then this boldness came over me and I spoke aloud: ‘paralysis GO in the name of Jesus’! Immediately than man’s right arm and right leg begin moving straight up and down from the floor. They kept doing that – in unison! I mean they moved with incredible strength and flexibility! It was wild! The teaching Pastor was moving around praying for others and he looks back and says ‘well that certainly does not look like paralysis! Thank You Lord!’ I continued to feel electrified and was bawling….

    How wild is that?!?! Praise God! Talk about something that builds one’s faith! So…. I am with you Ryan!!! God still heals paralysis!!! (did I already tell you this story?) Wooooohooooo!!!! Thank you for sharing your journey!! 🙂 I hope that this spurs you and others on…. giving or increasing the hope that we have in Jesus!

    I sort of hijacked your post, didn’t I? Sorry….. sort of…… not really…… 😉

    You rock, Ryan!!!

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