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How Watching 'The Shack' Movie Helped in My Stroke Recovery

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I went to Redbox today to rent the usual DVDs: one for the kids, an action movie for my husband, and at the last minute, I decided to pick one out for me. I wanted to see “The Shack” for a while so I thought, why not. I have to sit through all those action movies with my husband, it’s my turn.

I honestly didn’t think my husband would get into it. I thought he’d be passed out in 30 minutes. But he stayed awake the whole time. So I knew the movie had to be good if he found it interesting. By the end of the movie we were both blubbering with my son asking over and over why we were crying. This was a great movie in my book.

Now, one may think, what do a movie and stroke have in common (those who know me understand I have a stroke connection for everything). I’ll give you five reasons:

1. Out of body experience

I remember leaving my earthly body and watching them work on me. No bright lights, just everything got fuzzy like I was in a long tunnel. It was like I was hovering over the ceiling, watching them work on my body. I didn’t  go to a shack, but I do remember thinking about my family.

2. Time to reflect on what’s really important

While not being able to talk or move for several weeks, trapped inside my body with only myself to talk to, I was able to think about priorities. I would hear nurses complaining about their work or family life and I’m like, I wish I was just able to worry about my disobedient kid instead of trying to relearn to walk. I wish I could work. The little things I used to worry about didn’t seem so important.

3. Having to handle your inner demons: why me attitude

There was a point where I would just cry and think, why me? Why do I deserve this? What did I do wrong? Then finally I came to the point of asking, why not me? Maybe the big man upstairs had bigger plans for me…

4. Trusting in others to take care of you

When you lose all mobility, you become very humble. From bathing, wiping your butt, dressing you… more people saw me in my birthday suit than when I had my babies. But these were the same people: nurses, doctors, therapists who were trying to make me reborn, so to speak. I had to learn to trust that they knew best and just wanted to see me get better.

5. Acceptance: will I accept this and fight like hell, or not?

When faced with adversity, we are all given a choice: just the easy, comfortable way and give up or take the road less traveled. The journey is harder, but the destination is so worth it.

There’s been a lot of controversy over whether this movie is a good example of Christianity, whether it portrays God in the right light, etc. Whatever your opinion, “The Shack” is a great reminder that life is full of adversity, it’s unfair and doesn’t always go as planned. It’s how you react to it as to what determines the type of person you’ll be. Stroke survivors: yes strokes suck but you can choose the road less traveled. I promise, it’ll be worth it.

Image via “The Shack” official Facebook page

Originally published: March 1, 2022
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