Monday, April 18, 2011

Sometimes we are merely the anvil...

By the time I post this update, it will be 14 days – to the day – since Gates’ life changed.  We’ve observed miracles, marveled at his progress and we’ve been touched by your words (in fact, I was told of one family who sat to read your comments, requiring a relay of readers, as a consequence of tear flooded eyes).

Currently, this blog has been viewed 24,557; by the time I post, I suspect another 100.  Gates’ Bishop, when talking to me about the sheer numbers this page has been loaded brought to light another impressive thought when he said, “[My youngest children] don’t read this blog, yet they pray for Gates multiple times daily.  I knelt by the side of [my three-year-old daughter] and listened to her as she plead with our Father in Heaven for Gates’ health and comfort.  Think of the thousands and thousands of prayers offered up, every day, for Gates and his Family.”

Dovetailing from the concept of a previous post; “Sometimes that which we are doing is correct enough but simply needs to be persisted in—patiently—not for a minute or a moment but sometimes for years. Paul speaks of the marathon of life and how we must “run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). Paul did not select the hundred-yard dash for his analogy!” – Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Gates and Bishop Nelson
Gates was given the “green light” to move from the ICU to rehabilitation.  Monday morning he woke to clear lungs and strength enough to take the next steps in his recovery.   Gates’ schedule will change drastically in rehab.  It was explained to me it would be as if he were in school; he’ll wake early, learn of which muscles he has use and then repeatedly labor to build those muscles.

Rehabilitation is no easy task.  However we know, “Patience permits us to cling to our faith in the Lord when we are tossed about by suffering as if by surf. When the undertow grasps us, we will realize that even as we tumble we are somehow being carried forward; we are actually being helped even as we cry for help!” – Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Though its application appertains to Gates, the relevance of the concept, understanding how our own trials will bless the lives of others,  is worth sharing.

“In the process of life, we are not always the already-tempered and helpful hammer; shaping and pounding another.  Sometimes we are merely the anvil.” – George MacDonald


  1. This is the best news I've heard all week. Keep it up, Gates. You were an inspiration to me in high school and continue to be so still. I'm praying for you, man. Keep strong.

  2. Gates, wow what another mile stone. You are so amazing. & too see how many people who have viewed your blog. That is just a glimpse of people offering there love & support because not everyone has the internet. That is just people on line. We are praying endlessly times a day for you & your family. We know you have a wonderful family but as I read your daily blog I read of your "WARD" family who also loves & cares about you & your family very much. I feel the spirit so strong as read daily of your blog it bring's many tears. Keep up the good work & we love you so much!

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  4. not a day goes by where I don't read the blog... Gates, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. I've only met Gates a handful of times, he was good friends with my little sisters in High School, but my husband and I pray for him often. We are thrilled at the accomplishments and tender mercies that are coming for Gates and his family. We love you Gates! Stay strong, you can do hard things.

  6. Hi Gates-
    My name is Sydney. I have not ever met you... but I want you know that you have inspired me and my family.
    We are long time friends of (your favorite Uncle & Aunt.. haha) Jeff and Angie. We also took a trip with your parents years ago- We love the Hunsaker Family... you are all such amazing people!
    We have children the same ages as your family, in the same order; boy, girl, girl, boy. We have all followed your story with much interest and amazement. We share your story (usually with tears in our eyes) with many of the young people in our ward and friends that visit our house. They too have been touched and inspired by your strength, courage and your attitude. You help people want to try harder and be better. Your influence has been far reaching in just a few short weeks. You are truly a "Missionary for Hope and Miracles!"
    My parents are temple workers in the St. George Temple. It has become a regular occurrence for me to hear from them, telling me, that are sure to put "Gate Hunsakers" name on the prayer roll. So many people are praying for you and your family... we have faith in you.
    Brian and Cherie you are amazing parents, we all admire your strength.
    Thank you for this blog, I am yet to read a day without being touched to tears. With much love and admiration,
    The Matthews Family

  7. Hi Gates-
    You don't know me, but I wanted to post and tell you that you are doing amazingly well and you are going to continue to do so with all the support you have! I experienced a similar trial when I was 18 yrs. old. I was scheduled to leave for college (BYU) and a week before my departure, I was in a car accident that left me paralyzed from the waist down. I am now a 45 yr. old mother of five children and I am able to walk, although I still have some paralysis in my legs. I use leg braces to help stabilize me when I walk and life is definitely different for me than I had imagined it would be, as I was hoping to play college basketball. But I am truly happy and know of many others who struggle with this same trial and whose lives are full and joyful and meaningful. It's hard work and sometimes very frustrating but you will find strength you never knew you had. Rely on the Lord and never give up hope! You are doing great!

  8. What wonderful news! I think of and pray for you daily. What an incredible example you are to me.

  9. Hi gates, I'm drew. I'm a junior at viewmont and i heard of this blog from a friend in seminary. i think i was more curios about it, but i definitely feel like i've gained from learning about your trials. I'm amazed at how your handling this, i can almost relate a little bit because 2 years ago a broke my back on a ski jump too. (not nearly as bad as yours, and fully recovered). looking back there are lessons i've learned that i wouldn't have otherwise, so I'm glad that your approaching this with a learning attitude and looking for help from Christ. good luck and thanks.

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