Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

Evidence of the Healing

So, I have a situation. Apparently I’m an overachiever in a medical area of one of my innards. However, in this case, being an overachiever is not trophy worthy. Dang. Having only won, one trophy from my son’s fourth-grade science project many years ago, you can imagine my disappointment. I won’t go into the details here, but please know that God’s got me and that for now, is enough. I truly have peace and know that I could easily allow my bully brain to push me around if I let it. But God’s word says this:

Take EVERY thought captive. Easy? Nope! Doable? Yes!

It wasn’t always like this for me. Many years ago, a friend of mine and our two sons decided to go rollerblading. It was her first time. It was not my first time, but to say I was still a little wobbly on my blades is an understatement. Our sons decided to ride their bikes. How smart were they?

I had asked my son to get my rollerblades from the garage assuming (you know there’s a problem already) he would also grab my safety pads and helmet. He did not grab the safety pads or the helmet, he grabbed just what I asked him to, the devil shoes on wheels.

It was a beautiful day; sunny, yet cool. We met up with our friends and the path we were on was a pretty straight shot except for the end of the path which had a pretty good incline. The boys took off on their bikes and we moms took off on our blades. It was going really well. We were talking and laughing and staying upright. All good things!

We were gliding along towards that incline and the boys were already at the top of it. My friend was just ahead of me at the bottom of the now-massive looking hill.

As the boys waited for us to join them on top of that mountain, for no particular reason (she said in her best Forrest Gump voice) I went down like that proverbial ton of bricks. Seriously, absolutely nothing was in my way. As I went down, I put both arms down at either side of me, with my hands pointing behind me and locked them in place as I braced for the fall. There was a thud when my butt solidly met the concrete and the breath came right out of me. Whoosh! It made enough of a sound that my friend turned back to look at me and then came skating back to see if I was ok.

I was not ok. I was dazed and I instinctively knew something was amiss with my being. I told her to go ahead and get the boys and I would just sit for a moment while I caught my breath and took inventory. You know, when you’re a kid, you pretty much get right back up and keep going. As an adult, you sit and take inventory.

I attempted to get up off the ground and that’s when I knew I hurt myself pretty good. I managed to get on all fours while trying to look dignified. I know, I know. It was in no way dignified. To this day, I still don’t know how I got upright on those skates. By this time, the kids and my friend were back at my side and we very slowly made it to one of the benches on the path.

Now, this part is pretty funny. Remember, this was my friend’s first time skating. We had the boys stay with me while she went back to go get her car. She had to go back nearly 2 miles to get her car. You know that saying, hindsight being 20/20? Well, that was us after she made it back with my then husband. Duh, we had bikes. I don’t think she ever went rollerblading again. I know I didn’t.

Off to the hospital we went. I had broken my right arm in 2 places. My breaks were located in my hand and wrist. You know that little knobby bone at the top of your wrist? Yeah, I broke that and I had a hairline fracture in the middle of my hand.  And it gets a bit better. It was my dominant hand. Awesome! After a couple of days in a sling to allow the swelling to go down, I picked out a beautiful purple colored cast that would extend from my hand to the middle of my shoulder.

After weeks of the healing process it was time for the cast to come off. My arm was weak. I was going to need physical therapy and my muscles felt like mush. My doctor asked me to move my wrist this way and that and it didn’t feel good.

But what he said next, rocked this girl to her core! I don’t know if this was to shock me into motivation or what, but he told me that I needed to get this arm better or it could go into Reflex Muscular Dystrophy, RSD for short, and worst case scenario they would have to cut the arm off so it wouldn’t affect the good parts of my arm. Open mouth, jaw hits floor, while mind tries to comprehend what he just said.

As I head to my car, which is a stick shift (of course it was) I’m still trying to comprehend what this man just said. With my cast on, I could push the stick shift around like nobody’s business, but with the cast now off, I couldn’t. I just didn’t have the strength. So, I would have to reach across my body and shift with my left hand.

I managed to get home and both my son and then husband was there. When my then husband asked how it went, I lost it. I started bawling, ya know, the messy, can barely talk crying while people look at you like, what’s wrong with her kind of crying.  I managed between gulps of air and a river of tears falling down my face to tell them what the doctor said. By the end of it, I had my arm cut off, my military career ended, and life over as I knew it.

But then this! Out of the mouths of babes, my son says, “mom, do your sign language”. Halt the brakes on my hysteria, head up, sniff, wipe the face, what? He reminded me, “You know how to do sign language, just start there”. You see my son was watching. He knew I was stronger than the sobbing mess on the floor, already giving up before I even started.

When I started I could barely touch each finger to my thumb let alone try to make a fist. But, I kept going. And each day, my wrist, my hand and my muscles got stronger. I went to my PT appointments and what I learned there, I did at home and at work.

Eventually, while my arm is not 100% like it was. It’s healed. Now, let’s wrap this up, shall we?

What I didn’t know then, is the love, the hope and the healing power of Jesus. What I knew how to do, was solely rely on me and the faith I had, was the faith of what I was capable of. It’s no wonder I was a balled up crying mess on the floor predicating doom and gloom over my life.

So back to my most recent medical diagnosis. I know all the things, the worst case scenario and the not so worst case. If I was still relying on me and my strength to get me through this, I guarantee I would be a balled up mess on the floor predicating all the gloom and doom because, clearly I know everything about all things. Worry would be my companion until my next appointment which by the way got rescheduled.

But what would my worry accomplish? What would it look like to those around me who now know I put my faith and trust not in my circumstance but in Jesus? The One who has healed me each and every time I’ve had a hurt, an illness, or a brokenness?

I know what it looks like to trust me. It’s not pretty. I can go to all the bad places easily and quickly, but, why? There’s no room for hope in that. There’s just darkness and when the darkness envelopes you, you sink into it. I don’t have time for that. I have a life to keep living right now! Despite what could be. And since I don’t know yet what will be, I trust the One who already knows. The one who numbered the days I would live and the hairs on my head.

Worrying covers my faith with my circumstances. That’s not faith. So, I pray, and I worship and I let God know I trust Him…even if. I don’t let worry consume me. I still have a job to do. I don’t have to beg God or make deals with Him. Oh, puh-leeease! Like you’ve never bargained with God before! Ha! Let me show you what I lean on now:

Psalm 147:3 – He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

John 11:4 – When Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness will not end in death, but (on the contrary it is) for the glory and honor of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.

Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Psalm 3:3 –  But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.

Isaiah 53:5 – But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds, we are healed.

Do you see that? The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him. He took the punishment so we could have peace. Why? Because He loves us.

There are countless more verses I could share with you. And I bet you have a few of your own you rely on as He carries you through each and every day.

The evidence of my physical healing when I broke my arm will show up on an x-ray. You will be able to see how it healed. But you can also tell from the way my hand and wrist function.

The evidence of my spiritual healing shows up in the way I represent Christ by believing all He says is trustworthy and then living it out.

The evidence that Christ lives in me will be reflected in the way I live my life. It won’t be a talk the talk thing; anyone can flap their lips. It will be a walk the walk thing. Not just in the good times, but in the not so good times too. How awesome is that?

And now, just for fun, here’s a picture of me and my son; me with my purple cast and him with his newly chipped tooth. (used with his permission)

Broken arm with Justin

So, what’s a verse you rely on daily to get you through?

Have an amazing day my friends!

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The Wrong Shoe

I’m a hypocrite, I’m a sinner, and I’m a child of God. It took me A LOT of years to become un-christ-like, and putting expectations on myself to be an instant Christian is both defeating and unrealistic. I’m learning to walk this new daily journey with my Savior. I’m learning to savor the moments as I wait in expectation for Him to show me as I’m ready, when I utter the words, “What’s next, Lord”? I’m learning to trust on a whole other level in faith over fear. To be more connected in the way I should go.

The other day, even though I looked at my shoe, I still put it on the wrong foot. If you’ve also done that, you know it’s a pretty awkward and uncomfortable feeling. I laughed at myself, because well, 56 years old and still putting the shoe on the wrong foot. Ha!

As a child, I wouldn’t have cared. Just watch any child learning to put their shoes on and see what they do. Typically, they’ll put them on all willy, nilly and despite them being on the wrong feet, they just take right off. Me? I’d probably look like one of those dogs someone just put booties on before I fell over.

My point here is, I know better. I know what it feels like to have the shoe on the wrong foot. I know there would be consequences if I wore that shoe on the wrong foot for hours, let alone, days. It would most likely, result in some type of pain, somewhere.

Doing things against our grain, when we know deep inside “this is not for me,” will always end in some type of pain. Maybe not right away, but it’s coming. The longer we entertain the “this is not for me,” the harder it will be to end it. We do nothing more than prolong the agony of the inevitable. We sit in dread, we have conversations in our head that will most likely never come to pass and we second guess our very existence and worst yet, we settle.

We become comfortably, uncomfortable in the yuck. We say things like, “this is as good as it’s gonna get,” or “it is, what it is,” and my favorite, “I guess this is what I deserve.” All of these statements rob you of hope and any expectation that anything good can happen.

We become numb to our surroundings and wonder why we keep lashing out irrationally at the tiniest of things. It’s as if someone put an invisible pebble in your shoe and no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to stop the pain or locate the source. You wonder, “Why is this happening to me”? You yell at God, “Don’t you see me writhing in anguish?” “How could you let this happen?” You may even say, “psshhtt, some god you are”, and then turn your back on him, forgetting the only reason you’re here is by His grace, mercy, and great love for you.

God gave us all free will. It means, we always have a choice. You put the shoe on the wrong foot and you either kept going, or you corrected it. Sometimes our biggest messes come from choosing to keep the wrong shoe on for far longer than we should.

Was it God’s fault you made that choice? Or is it too bitter of a pill to swallow knowing the only one to blame is you for ignoring all the signs?

Friend, God didn’t let you down, you let you down. Ouch, I know. Been there, done that, faced that, beat what negative crap came with that back down into the ground from which it came.

Obviously what I’m talking about here is what you choose, not what others choose to do to you. Having lived a great deal of my life with the shoe on the wrong foot, I know what it’s like to disregard all the warning signs. Why would I do that? I’m so glad you asked. Quite frankly, I wanted, what I wanted. The unfortunate thing is when I make my choices based on what I want, it may not be at all, what I need. I choose my feelings and comfort over necessity because I want, what I want when I want it.

Here’s a simple example. I love to craft and make my own hand made cards. There are hundreds of crafting companies out there vying for my attention. I could literally go broke buying all the glittery things.

But, let’s say I’ve decided to get out of debt. Getting out of debt is a good thing! It’s a necessity if I want to avoid paying high-interest rates or ruining my credit rating; pretty much just giving my hard-earned money away to someone else.

Again, because I want, what I want, when I want it, I impulsively buy way more crafting supplies than I need and I charge it, completely disregarding the fact I said I wanted to get out of debt. I can pretty much rationalize any choice I make, just ask me.

Confession time. I’ve actually purchased the same exact things, forgetting I already had them in my possession. And sadly, I’ve done it more than once. Ugh!

I made a choice. I got the stuff, but I also got the buyer’s remorse that came along with it. That’s not a good a deal. There’s a saying, “A fool and his money are soon parted.” Sound familiar?

But was it God’s fault? Ummm, no. There are plenty of warnings in the Bible about the way we should go. As an example, let’s look at 1Timothy 6:9-10:

“But people who long to be rich soon begin to do all kinds of wrong things to get money, things that hurt them and make them evil-minded and finally send them to hell itself. For the love of money is the first step toward all kinds of sin. Some people have even turned away from God because of their love for it, and as a result, have pierced themselves with many sorrows.” (TLB)

These warnings are not so you won’t enjoy your life, they’re warnings to help keep you from regretting your life and stealing from the good and abundant things God so freely gives.

How can we get the good and abundant things God so freely gives? Great question!  You have a choice. Who didn’t see that coming? Ha!

Let’s go back to putting the wrong shoe on and how awkward and uncomfortable that feels. That’s how a wrong decision will sit with you.

It won’t bring you peace. It will make you question yourself, your morals and integrity. You may feel the need to hide or be sneaky in what you’re about to do. You’ll try to justify the wrong feelings away, but it will keep eating away at your peace. You’ll no doubt hate that you compromised yourself, and you’ll mentally beat yourself up for not having any self-control. And, it will most assuredly cause angst. None of these is a good thing.  #Yikes

When you make choices based on the leading of the Holy Spirit, (putting the shoe on the right foot) we produce the good abundant things that God promises; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. – (Galatians 5:22-23)

All of those are good things. And when we do good things, we feel better and are able to help others feel better. Peace and joy are infectious and you’re worthy of them.

So, the moral of the story, make good choices and put that right that wrong shoe. And even if things don’t turn out the way you thought or wanted, at least you will have done what you know good to do. And no one can take that away from you!

Have an amazing day. It’s brand new and if you’re still here, you have a purpose, you matter, and you’re already all you need to be!

Thanks for stopping by,
Trish

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Jillian Lancour

Championing Godly Womanhood

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