State of the Church – Greg Rohlinger & Ryan Nunez Closing from Palm Valley Church on Vimeo.
This weekend I did one of the hardest things I’ll ever do. With the progression of my disease, and my upcoming surgery, we’re not sure what the future holds. Fortunately, we know who holds it. We’re excited about the Deep Brain Stimulation procedure, and the possibilities it gives us, but there are no guarantees. Whatever happens, we trust the Lord’s heart for us, and we know He will use it for our good.
Lori & i have always held leadership loosely. Leadership is about stewardship. So, this weekend I prepared the the church for the possibility I may not return. Don’t get me wrong, I want to with all my heart to remain as Pastor, but it’s not about me. As the Pastor of Palm Valley Church, it’s my responsibility to ensure the body is cared for, well fed and led to fulfill the mission God has given us. I have to do what’s best for the church, not for me.
I said “good bye” to the church Lori & I founded14 years ago in our home; the church we’ve watched grow & flourish. It’s not our church, it’s His, but it’s our church family. We love the people of Palm Valley Church. They mean the world to us! It was an emotional service as we showed my video, and then went on stage. i held it together pretty well through the weekend, which for me is a miracle. As I rolled off stage last service, I looked back at the crowd and it hit me… this may be the last time I’m on this stage, leading Palm Valley Church. I wept, and worshipped, and took it all in. I have a great peace. I remain confident in this, I will see the goodness of the Lord, while I remain in the land of the living. I’m excited for whatever’s next; and I’m planning my Easter series!
Originally my Deep Brain Stimulation surgery was scheduled to be done in 2 parts. Part 1, to place the probes in my brain, was to be done on Monday, January 27th. Part 2, to place the battery & control unit in my chest & wire it ago the probes in my brain, was to be done on February 6th.
There has been a change in the schedule; one that Lori & I are very excited about. The surgery will now be done all in one day, on Thursday, February 6th. This will also qualify me to be able fir rehabilitative care. So, after i recover from the surgery i will be able to check into a rehab center for one week. They will do physical and speech therapy.
We’re very excited and filled with hope for the potential of this surgery. Our hope is in the Lord and we remain confident in this, that we will see the goodness of the Lord, while we reside in the land of the living. We appreciate yor prayers as we take this next step..
Greg Rohlinger – C3 Clip from Palm Valley Church on Vimeo.
Three years ago when I was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy, doctors warned me what would happen. My brain would begin shutting down my body, system by system (in my case, they predicted quickly) until I died. My life expectancy was 2 to 9 years, and it wouldn’t be pretty. I took into consideration what they they told us, and pondered it. Don’t get me wrong, I really want to live, but i don’t fear death. I’m not excited about the process, but i have the promise that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”. I know where I’m going, and why. Jesus gave me eternal life, and I can’t lose it!
In the midst of this, the doctor told me one of the first things that would happen is that I would lose the use of my legs. For some reason, that became my focal point, and fear. I wrestled with it, worried about it, and pondered how bad life would be if I couldn’t use my legs. I’ve heard the acrostic for fear…False Evidence Appearing Real. It’s true. Fear causes us to stress and worry over things that may never happen, and that we can’t control anyway. The thought of losing my legs haunted me… I want to run with my kids, I want to walk with my bride, I want to coach my ‘lil Raiders, and who wants to listen to a preacher in a wheelchair? Satan tried his best to discourage me and make fear the dominant emotion in my heart and mind.
I asked those close to me to pray for me. I dove into what the Bible says about fear and replaced satan’s lies with the truth of God’s Word. Lori continually reminded me that God’s got this, and that His grace is sufficient for us. After months of this, I finally came to the conclusion that whatever God allowed into my life had passed His heart, and He would take care of me and help me through it. Then God’s peace; the peace that surpasses all understanding, began to reign in my heart.
Last week, I faced what used to be my greatest fear, I woke up Tuesday and began my morning routine…work to get the eyes open, struggle to get the fingers moving, eventually wiggled the toes and started thinking about what I had that day. This morning though, I couldn’t get my legs moving. After hours of trying, it became evident that this was the day i had dreaded, my legs weren’t going to work. Lori called for help, guys came and helped me into my wheelchair, and the day began.
Here’s the amazing thing (and a huge lesson from God)… I faced my greatest fear, and it wasn’t that bad! I went through the day; met with my staff, went to physical therapy and even went to my son’s basketball game. I required some help, but I was able to do everything I would normally do. The things I had been so afraid of didn’t even happen. False Evidence Appearing Real. I’ve learned that I can still go for a walk with my bride, I can still enjoy my kids, and there’s actually a lot of people who would’ve never listened to me before who will actually listen to me now because I AM in a wheelchair.
I don’t know what your fear is today, but I do know someone who’s greater than anything this world can throw at you. His name is Jesus. He loves you! Think about that today and trust Him, He’s got this! By the way… I woke up Wednesday and I was able to stand up and walk. God’s got this!