When That's Not The Way Your Story Goes

When I first met my husband in 2003, he was under contract with the WWE after just winning the MTV reality show, Tough Enough. He had moved down here from New York to train at Ohio Valley Wrestling, which is where we met.
In 2005, he was just about to "make it" onto TV with the WWE when they found the tumor in his brain that ended up ending his career as a professional wrestler. It was a devastating thing for him. He had had such high hopes and dreams of becoming a WWE superstar and had worked so hard...and then suddenly all those hopes and dreams came crashing down.


I and everyone else saw the talent and charisma that Matt had in and out of the ring-he had that "it" factor, he had the work ethic, which is obviously why he won the show. He was also so strong and outspoken about his faith and wanted to be used by God so badly, and it seemed like wrestling would be such a great platform for him to do that. But that's not how his story would go...
After finding the tumor in 2005, he had it removed and underwent radiation for 6 weeks and chemotherapy treatments after that for 2 years. His contract with the WWE eventually came to an end, which is when he got a job as a training manager at a gym, where he's been for the last 8 years.

Through all those years, I could always tell that there was still a small part of him that wanted to make a comeback in the ring, a small part of him that kept the hope that his dream of becoming a WWE superstar was still a possibility. He would occasionally talk about storylines and character ideas and finishing moves. He even submitted photos at one point and wrote to the writers for WWE. But it never happened. It just wasn't meant to be a part of his story.
And then...the tumor came back, along with delayed effects of the radiation 10 years ago that include Parkinson-like symptoms(Parkinsonism), such as slowness of moment, stiff muscles, problems with walking and balance, and impaired speech, to name a few . He has gone from being an amazing athlete and bodybuilder, to not being able to walk, dress or bathe himself. As of now, he is pretty much wheelchair bound, and his neurologist says there is really nothing they can do for it. Unlike true Parkinson's disease, it does not respond to medication.

It is hard sometimes not to get discouraged, not to question God about why things ended up the way they did. I can't help but think about how Matt could have had such a positive impact in the wrestling industry, how much he could have done for the glory of God. In my weakest moments, I can't help but sometimes wonder why. Why did God give him such talent and ability to just rip it away? Why God is taking us down this path when both of us have tried to honor Him and be an example to Him all of our lives?

But...more often than not, I don't question God. Because I know these truths:

I know that God's ways are higher and that He can see the bigger picture that we can't.

I know that God can be honored and glorified through anything, and that sometimes He uses the trials in life to accomplish things that couldn't be accomplished otherwise.

I know that God is working behind the scenes in ways we may not be able to see right now.

I know that God has strengthened and prepared me all of my life for just this moment in time.

I know that someway, somehow, something good will come from this.

I know God can work miracles. I DO truly believe that He still heals today. If that is what he chooses to do, I will praise Him. But if he doesn't, I will still praise him.

I wish this wasn't the way Matt's story had to go. This is not what I would choose for my life or for Matt, but this is the way it is, and all we can do now is cling to God and stand firm in our faith, no matter what happens. Not our will, Lord, but Yours be done.

A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.
Proverbs 16:9

Comments

  1. Lindsay I don't know you or Matt personally but I have followed you for years. My heart breaks reading these updates you are both in my thoughts.

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    1. Lindsay, sharing your updates and faith indicate how God is using you to be Matt's strengh at this time. I don't think any of our stories turn out the way we would write them. Mine would be shallow and safe if I wrote it. You have encouraged me today and I know God found the right person to love Matt. Stay strong sister. Prayers and love to you both.

      Justin

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  2. Lindsay, just before hitting the like button I Saw the numbers 1 1 1 on top for the ones who hit like, love and sad. Instantly it reminded me of Hebrews 11-1 . . . I know the family well growing up in Cal-mum along with many many others. My parents live a few miles away from the house Matt grew up in. You and Matt are a true testament of Faith and he does reward those who diligently seek Him. I'm positive the both of you have inspired many others and will continue to. Your very outwardly acknowledgment of Faith dispite the circumstances is proof He works through and it's amazing. So many prayers for the both you!!

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