There are moments which pause your life and the path traveled. Moments which send you reeling, forever changed.
As I type these words I am reminded of a precious conversation I had with a dear friend who experienced a major pause and life-shift. She said, "I am not the same person I was the day before... and I will never be that person again."
How often can we say that as we look back on the landscape of our lives? No matter the length of path traveled, the pain and discomfort... The pause and divert buttons carve out who we are and who we become.
I can look back at my tiny minuscule life and see several of these paused and diverted segments; some more monumental than others... The loss of a baby, the result of an early miscarriage. Years of infertility... The daughter of an alcoholic parent. Leaving a beloved church home, beloved family of believers to start something else, a job change...
Some pause and diverted moments surprisingly subtle and the impact to the curvature great.
It's almost 2 years since I broke my ankle on a family vacation visiting friends in Utah. I can still remember, frame by frame, the events of the break, the feeling and absolute certainty of the injury. My stoic 6 year old boy who just wanted me to go on a water slide with him. My daughter who saw me in a wheelchair with medics, refusing to leave my side. Or the doctor who, with tears in his eyes - explained to me in exact detail how bad my break was, requiring immediate surgery... Vacation over!
In less than a 24 hour period my life changed and with it my life's-landscape.
I've learned it's not what you do with the moment, rather all the subsequent moments that matter... All of which mark, shape and carve.
I could go back and talk about each process... Partial cast, surgery, multiple casts, more pain than I have ever been in... Physical therapy... Complete and utter dependence on everyone around me and my complete inability to do anything for myself.
What I want to talk about... Is the night I prayed for incomplete healing.
Alone in bed and laying awake in the middle of the night, with my foot propped up on pillows I was in so much pain... So much. I knew I couldn't make it to the kitchen by myself for my pain medication so I laid there and cried.
I wanted the pain to be gone... In those desperate moments you imagine all sorts of crazy things... I closed my eyes and prayed. I remembered the miraculous healings in the Bible and just started speaking them aloud, like a crazy person and followed in prayer; "Lord, Father --- forgive me. I know my pain is not as great as it could be and I know you have spared me from a lot of things in the process. You have produced miracle after miracle as you answered each and every prayer I have had during this season. But I feel alone tonight. I cannot help myself. My husband is not here and my kids are so asleep they will not hear me call to them. Lord, I need you... Give me a moment pain free... Give me rest in this time. Let your healing hands come down..."
As I asked for that, my leg began to warm, it felt different. My eyes opened at this and I began to weep harder... The immediate answer to a prayer and I sang aloud... Amazing Grace... He deserved so much more. There was no more pain for the rest of the night...
I closed my eyes again and prayed... In praises and thanksgiving.
So incredible is our God who takes care of those who believe in Him, in His time. And that is when... I asked to be healed incompletely. This incredibly hard journey has taught me so much about me, about my faith and my God. I have never felt so close to Him and so unlike myself. I know I am forever changed by this. I never want to forget these lessons... The lessons which have not only scared my physical body but my soul...
I praise God every day for His blessings, His mercies, His provision and great love.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I bow down before you, humbled at your feet. I praise you for another day to breathe, to see the sunrise, to feel like rain on my face.
I praise you for your goodness and grace. I praise you for your immeasurable love and divine life interruptions.
I praise you for bringing me up from who I was and giving me a new life in your Son... That you use me for your good, within your perfect plan. That you have molded and fashioned for me all the days of my life and have protected my steps. I praise you for lessons and scars. I pray I never forget where you've walked with me through and I pray I never forget the moments I have felt closest to you.
I pray I use who you have made me to be and do what you have asked of me - worthy in your eyes alone. The world may mock, people may turn away, I may lose those I love but... I know the way, the truth and the life... I pray I am only faithful to that. Amen.