John Register was one of the top hurdlers in the United States. Twice he went to the Olympic trials. He had his eye on a third time. Between the second and third trials Register served his country on the battlefield and was unscathed, but when he returned home he lost a leg doing what he'd been doing most of his life - hurdling. A main artery was cut when he dislocated his knee. When the artery couldn't be rebuilt, the leg had to be amputated. Register was at the 1996 Olympics anyway - the para-lympics, as a swimmer.
"God has definitely used the loss of my limb," says Register. "I don't think it awakened me to the power He has, but I think it may have awakened a few others to God's awesome power. What I mean is, after I lost a limb, a lot of people thought that was going to be the end of my life, end of my career, and that never really entered into my mind, because I knew Christ before I had the injury. Having known Christ at that particular point in my life, and knowing He was already preparing me for something, I was able to get through that a lot easier."
Register is now preparing for the 2000 Paralympics in two sports swimming and track and field. He will attempt to qualify in the 100 meters and the long jump.
Swimming with one leg was easier for Register to comprehend but learning to long jump again was quite a challenge physically and spiritually.
"It had to do with putting confidence in this new limb," Register said of his artificial leg. "I could not figure out how I was going to land on this limb. It wasn't until I just went down the runway and jumped in the air to see what was going to happen that I had confidence. I had to take it on faith that it would work."
Register, who is preparing for full-time ministry, encourages everyone to have faith that Christ can work in their life through good times and bad.
"I never asked God why I lost my leg," Register says. "The Lord was preparing me for something. His plan is perfect. God never ceases to amaze me, but I know I shouldn't be amazed because God can do all things."
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