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Friday, May 18, 2012

Lessons From a Broken Foot...

Lesson One: Dependence

We set out for a relaxing, renewing getaway to Hocking Hills, and it resulted in me with a broken left foot and sprained right ankle. I could barely walk on my right foot, and cannot bear any weight on my left. This has become my primary mode of mobility...

I have spent the past three weeks in dependence. Fully reliant on someone else. My husband, mostly. Oh, it has been a lesson in swallowing my pride, patience and faith. This situation has also taught me about the harsh reality of losing your independence.

The first few days, I couldn't do much of anything for myself. I couldn't bathe, dress or even use the bathroom without help...I could tell some pretty funny stories about that! Thankfully, I have gained some independence, specifically in that area! If I want a glass of water, I must wait for someone else to get it for me. As a mother of three small children, it has been especially difficult, I have found that at times I am asking my four year old, or even my two and a half year old, to bring me something or do something for me (they are such wonderful little helpers - such giving spirtis!). But, talk about role reversals!

It is hard to surrender control...to surrender self. Hmmm...doesn't that sound all too familiar? As Christians, so often we struggle with the same - surrendering control, surrendering ourselves. Fully depending on God in our lives sounds wonderful. It even makes sense, why would I want to control my life when there is an all-knowing, loving Father who wants the best for me? And yet still, we try. We always seem to think our ways are better than His. "I know God will take care of me, but He is just not doing it the WAY I want, in the TIME I want...It hits home for me. How many times have I gotten ahead of God, believing that my will was better than His - or even believing that my will is His. That is the scariest part.

And so as I firmly grasp my husband's hand, to maintain my balance, as I hop my way into the wheelchair...I realize that I am not in control. That if he let go, I would be down for the count. Of course, I trust my husband to never do that. Do we trust God to never let go? Do we choose to pull our hand away believing we can do it on our own? If I pull my hand away from my husband's support, I would surely fall...is it any different if we pull away from God's grip?

1 Peter 5:6-7 says,
"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,  that He may exalt you at the proper time. Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you."

We know that God cares for us, we are His children. He wants to help us, heal us, prosper us. We simply have to let go...

I so badly wanted to get around on my own, that my wonderful husband indulged me in building a knee walker for me (a.k.a small ironing board across the bars of the walker). It worked! It allowed me to rest my left knee on the ironing board, and walk with my right foot, pushing the walker forward. I made it out to the kitchen and I was feeling pretty proud of myself. I removed my knee from it's resting place so that I could turn the walker around. As I began turning it, I completely lost my balance, landing hard on my broken foot. Twice. My husband caught me the second time and yelled for our daughter to bring the wheelchair. Tears were rolling down my face as I cried out in pain. I fell into the wheelchair, as my foot throbbed.

If only I had been more patient, and waited until my foot was healed more, I would have blessedly missed out on this painful experience. But, I wanted...well, that is all that really matters here - "I wanted". Relying on my own thoughts & desires, rather than trusting God. What had I gained from this excursion to the kitchen? A few moments of independence, followed by a whole lot of pain and misery...not to mention possibly a set-back in my healing. That is exactly what happens when we decide to venture out on our own strength. It is often followed by pain and misery, and sometimes there are far worse consequences than that. And what do we gain? Is it ever worth it?

And so I am learning, to be content and joyful in this time of dependence. And, more importantly, to be content and joyful in always depending on God. For His ways are higher than mine!

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than yours and my thoughts than your thoughts."
                                                                                              - Isaiah 55:8-9

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