The Thomas Peters Story
We believe what we believe for a reason. The laws of our faith are more than just laws; they are more than just rules to keep us in line. We do what we do because we love. Only on the foundation of love does the faith make sense. When tested, like gold refined by fire, we see the true strength and beauty of the faith in our own lives.
This story below will give you courage to continue to uphold the dignity of all life, live faithfully, and remain hopeful in unconditional love.
Earlier this year, two college classmates of mine got married. When I say college classmates, remember that I went to four different colleges/universities in four years. These two lovely people were with me during my first college experience at Ave Maria College in Michigan.
To be honest, I don’t remember much of Thomas from those years – except that he was an excellent actor and stunned the audience with his superb performances. Natalie, on the other hand, I remember very well. When I first met her, I thought she was, perhaps, the most beautiful person I had ever seen.
As with many of my college acquaintances, I lost touch. It was through Facebook, of course, that I found out they were getting married. It put a smile on my face and gave me joy to know that Ave Maria had enabled yet another holy marriage.
About four months ago, it was also through Facebook, less than a year into this couple’s married life, tragedy struck. In a diving accident, Thomas sustained severe, life-threatening injuries to his head, spine, and lungs.
By no small miracle, he survived and is making great strides in recovery. Thomas is confined to a wheel chair, for now, and is still without the use of many of his muscles. He's probably not much older than me. His wife of now almost 7 months has faithfully stood by his side and used her loving power, which no doctor could simulate, to aid in his recovery. It brought tears to my eyes the day I read that, after two months, he was finally able to make the sign of the cross again.
This week, contrary to the initial belief of doctors and medical professionals Thomas was able to go home!
(If you would like to read the whole story, you can find more information on their blog. Read this piece that Thomas wrote himself with the knuckle of his pinkie finger. Truly amazing!)
We can’t even begin to imagine what Thomas and Natalie are going through. But I do know, however, that through every step of the way they have stayed faithful to God and faithful to their vocation.
After following a blog for a certain amount of time, you being to feel like you know the people. You share in their joys and sorrows, and you empathize with them in their pain and suffering; it's the phenomenon of blogging. Yet, personally knowing these people, I can tell you that they are for real. In their lives is the making of two beautiful saints.
Why does God allow these bad things to happen to such good people? He only allows it because, in His infinite wisdom, He knows that a greater good will come from it.
The reason I am telling you this story is because they are hosting a special social media-thon to raise money for medical expenses. If anything can break the spirits of a devout, young couple, it is the financial burden of extreme medical bills.
Also, quoted from their blog, "With your help, Thomas could go to more therapy sessions, and more therapy means a better chance at a fuller recovery."
Most of the time, we are not given the opportunity to directly answer someone’s prayers. But God uses us, His instruments, to bring about His plan in every circumstance.
I am reminded of a piece of wisdom that used to sit on top of our refrigerator when I was a kid: “If you pray, God will make a way.” I know Thomas and Natalie are praying for a way to make this happen. But the thing is, they don’t have to do it alone. We are the Body of Christ; when one part suffers, we all suffer. Let us show them that they are not alone.
Thomas is a writer, and as I am sitting here looking out at the snow and complaining about the cold temperatures, I am humbled. I can type this post and sip my hot coffee. I have two working arms and two working legs.
Thomas writes for Catholic Vote. Before his accident, he strove to promote the value of human life, from natural conception to natural death. He has been a strong voice of conviction and hope in this dark world. From his work, countless lives have been saved. However, I think now, by his example, even more people will come to the fullness of faith.
The value of a human being is not reduced to what he can do. Every single life has inherent value given to him by God. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about a 4 week old baby embryo or a bedridden elderly woman. Our culture is trending toward this notion that, in order for one to be worthy of life, he or she must contribute to society in a useful way. If this belief becomes the standard of law, then how would beautiful people, like Thomas and Natalie, be treated? With the dignity and respect every person deserves?
I hope that Thomas and Natalie can see the good that is in God’s plan – if not now, then maybe someday. They might not realize it, but they are positively impacting many other people’s lives by sharing their story and living as an example.
The special social media-thon was technically yesterday. I know I am a day late. But, I’m pretty sure our generosity would still be accepted. If you would like to help Thomas and Natalie, click here.
Even if you can’t give any money, you can still offer some prayers. We should never underestimate the power of prayer.
If you’d like to spread the word, share his story on your social media pages with #IStandwithThomasPeters.
Thank you for reading. God Bless You All.