No, this is not my opportunity as an extra for Star Wars.
Yes, I did fall at the end of November and God could have prevented it. But He didn’t.
Yes, God could have healed the 3 bone fractures and the bone marrow bruising (who knew?) and the profound spraining of the ligaments. But He didn’t.
Yes, I missed the time of year I love to attend Christmas specials and craft shows and teas with friends, etc. – but I couldn’t.
Here is the beginning of a new year and I am looking at possibly months of therapy to restore what occurred in my 3-second moment when I missed the last step in my home.
This is the state of my life. This on top of a year of loss.
But, please hear this …. I don’t write this for sympathy. I write this to acknowledge what is before me and not dismiss, stuff or wallow in pity and frustration. It is merely an assessment exercise. Counting losses. But acknowledging is not the same as hyper focusing. And I am choosing not to focus there.
My focus? I raise a Hallelujah. A declaration of God’s goodness when that could come into question about His goodness and love and even ability. And doesn’t the accuser acting as prosecutor who loves to instill doubt against God want to use this opportunity to stir it into the mix. But I refuse.
I refuse because it is also an opportunity for the Spirit of the Living God to use to teach, to comfort, to apply grace and expand my capacity to tune in to a broader purpose.
Opportunity denotes a choice.
And I choose to raise a Hallelujah.
And so I choose to begin counting gains, while acknowledging losses and limitations. So what have I gained? Here are some of the many gifts of grace –
- I am leaning more on Him as I see how many things that normally have distracted me have no hold since I am limited in response to them. No, I can’t just run out to an after-Christmas sale or to the store for a needed grocery item.
- I am learning more of the humility of dependence upon others for my needs. I can’t even get myself a cup of water. Don and I literally have reversed roles. Interesting place to be and I don’t like it. I don’t like inconveniencing him; I like to be the one to help. And yet here I am. I live it. And in living it, I am learning much about myself. About the grace of God that I might not see otherwise, a grace I would literally miss.
- I am seeing how when one member suffers we all do. Though my ankle is greatly supported, my back aches because the reinforced boot is a different height than my walking shoe. I have to adjust my normal walk to fit the needs of the affected part but it adds stress and imbalance to the other parts.
- I have more space in my life to listen and enjoy a simpler pace. Time and limits have been imposed by a loving Father who knows my desire to see a need or a wish and start running (nope, no running now!) either in my racing fix-it thoughts or body to fulfill it. (This is not a treatise on whether God ’causes’ bad things to happen; that is not what I am saying. I am saying He will use anything that comes upon us in this broken world for good. And choosing to look for, and see, His goodness is a grace). But a pause is needed. A time to consider. A time of rest that God knows I need more than I would admit. How very gracious of Him.
- Are all needs meant for me to fulfill? At this point I can ‘only‘ pray instead of running (hobbling) ahead to fix it. Why do I use ‘just‘ and ‘only‘ before I talk about prayer? Wishing I ‘could do more‘? Do more than what? Do ‘more’ than listening to God’s Spirit communicate with mine so I agree on His will on earth as it is in heaven? Do ‘more’ than trusting God to either create an opportunity for me or others to be involved, or to handle it as He sees fit? Do more than calling upon the Spirit of the Living God to intervene in a situation He has made me aware of or placed on my heart? Yes, prayer is always needed (and primary) and so is action, based on the response to the prompting of God. But if my action is limited, HE is not limited to His response to the need as I am. HIS arm is not too short, though my walking may be at present. So though I would pray before when I was aware of a need, my prayer carries the full bulk of faith in how He will meet what is needed, with or without my action. There is a time for everything under heaven…
- This is an opportunity to celebrate the joy of first steps, baby steps as I step out. Not running. But stepping into a new day, a new goal. I am much more aware of what it takes to step and walk.
- Taking this opportunity to adjust expectations. Taking life one day at a time. And breathe….
- Taking this opportunity to be present in the process, whatever it is. Taking time to do things I have left behind. Taking an online class. Reading. Playing piano. These are things I don’t always give place to, but they are things that restore my spirit.
- Taking this opportunity to exchange loss for gain. Exchanging busyness for respite. Exchanging noise for quiet listening.
- Taking this opportunity to practice contentment and gratitude. Of course practice is the operative word. But there is such joy in that. What a beautiful grace we have been given.
So in this process, I get to see grace all over this. Thank You, Lord, for Your creative works of grace. How You can take the challenges and reveal Your goodness is truly a grace.
May I never miss the graces You have for me everyday.