———————4 Months Ago———————
I definitely took on the form of doubting Thomas. I doubted The Lord was with me. I doubted He was listening. I doubted.
In my heart, I knew He was there because His Word says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” But the “thinking” part of my brain doubted. I couldn’t feel his presence. I couldn’t see His hand. But when the doubt and despair threatened to overtake me, The Lord always showed up and gave me hope. Whatever form it took, it was enough to persevere a little longer, hang on a little tighter.
So on that clear, sunny 28th day of March, when He showed up so clearly and so awesomely, I was so overwhelmed. I couldn’t do anything but cry tears of joy and gratitude! I will never forget sitting in my car, having just pulled up in my driveway, when I noticed my phone lighting up and I answered it and listened as I received my second job offer that day! As I listened, my mind flashed to the scene in Facing the Giants, when Grant Taylor, who had just won the football championship, is told by his wife that she is pregnant. He holds his head in his hands and cries out, “God, I’m overwhelmed!” My emotions and thoughts in that moment mirrored his exactly, and my texts to my family showed it!
——————4 Months Later——————
Fast forward to the present and so much has happened since that overwhelmed-by-God’s-goodness day. I can count on both hands the times in my life that I have seen the fingerprints of God as tangibly as I did that fateful day in March. Those “fingerprint” moments include the day I accepted Christ, my baptism, my mission trip to Costa Rica, and my family’s move to Virginia.
Anyways…I never finished the blog post because life threw us a few curveballs that catapulted our lives into a frenzy. Here’s a recap of the past 4 months: Life is fragile.
—May 10th: We celebrated four family members who graduated from Liberty University with our undergraduate degrees: my dad, my brother, my sister-in-law, and me. Both sets of grandparents traveled from TX to VA to join in the celebration, and a grand celebration it was! However, the festivities came to a shrieking halt that following Tuesday evening, after the last set of grandparents said their goodbyes. My mom fell down the last two stairs in our house and broke her ankle in three places and had to be rushed to the ER. I will never forget having to call 9-1-1 on my mom…scariest moment in my life thus far, even topping MY injury that I’m about to tell you. Here, 14 weeks post-op, thanks to the faithful prayers of family and friends, my mom is recovering and our family is adjusting to a new “normal.” Read more about my mom’s experience and injury on her blog here (thecheeriotrail.com).
—July 5th– My brother married the love of his life (read about it on brandonandallie.com)! Both sides of our extended family sacrificed time off from work and summer schedules to journey out here to VA to witness and rejoice in the marriage of Brandon and Allie. It was a perfectly beautiful day for a beautiful Christian couple! But yet again, the festivities were cut short, when shortly after the last of our family (minus grandparents) said their goodbyes, I slipped and dislocated my knee, rupturing my patellar tendon. It was deja vu all over again. Except this time, it was my mom calling 9-1-1 on me. I remember thinking, when I opened my eyes after the impact, amidst the searing pain and semi-unconsciousness, “This can NOT be happening. This is the LAST thing we need right now!”
Laying there, I had never felt so helpless. So intense was the pain that I couldn’t help screaming and clenching my fists, grasping for some sort of pain control. It was at this point I knew the Lord was my only hope, as the paramedics still hadn’t arrived. So I prayed and prayed and prayed, begging the Lord to ease the pain. An hour later, the paramedics had my knee secure and loaded on the ambulance. The details about the events to follow are a bit fuzzy, but I do remember two things:
1) Morphine is an incredibly-fast acting drug, giving me instant, though fleeting, relief the moment the medic inserted it into my IV.
2) The flood of texts, FB posts, emails, and calls from family, friends, and coworkers had me crying in my ER room, overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and prayers.
A week later, I had surgery to repair my tendon. In the weeks following surgery, as I laid in bed day after day, I battled relinquishing my control. Even the simplest of tasks like getting out of bed, going to the bathroom, getting dressed, taking a shower, or picking something up off the floor I couldn’t do without assistance. Completely stripped of my independence and ability to do for myself, I was forced to rely on others for help.
**Shoutout to my amazing family who cared for me without complaint for weeks on end! Daddy, Mom, Makenna, and Sydney—THANK YOU! I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have made it through this difficult time without your sweet, helpful spirits, never making me feel bad for asking y’all to help me with so much!**
Confession: If you know me, relying on others for help isn’t exactly a strong character trait of mine. I thrive in being the helper, not the helpee, the server, not the servee. But this time, the tables were turned and there was nothing I could do about it but accept it.
For Christians, the Bible calls unexpected hardships, tragedies, and injuries like these “trials.” The natural product of a trial is a lesson learned and an individual strengthened. Once I moved past the pity parties and the “seriously?!” thoughts, I opened my eyes to the lessons the Lord intended this injury to teach me. And I wasn’t disappointed.
Once I moved past the pity parties and the “seriously?!” thoughts, I opened my eyes to the lessons the Lord intended this injury to teach me. And I wasn’t disappointed.
I’m a controller- Type A and OCD. I’m also a planner— like make a to-do list just so I can cross something off kinda planner.
Not surprisingly, then, when all manner of control was stripped from me, I was none too happy. But that’s when I realized that maybe THAT was what the Lord was trying to teach me. The Lord was teaching me that my need to control is indeed a mindset of pride and selfishness, thinking that my way is best. In reality, everyone has a different way of accomplishing tasks and forcing a “my way or the highway” mentality isn’t going to help either party. I’ve had to swallow some big pills, but this “pill” was the hardest to swallow. This is not the first time the Lord has pointed this out to me, but this time, I was forced to listen.
I am a very independent person who enjoys doing things on her own and I’d rather do things my way, instead of asking someone else to do it. As I look at 6 weeks post-surgery in my rearview mirror and I begin to gain my independence back, I ask myself this question: When do I unknowingly cross the line from expressing my independence to controlling the situation?
Stay tuned for Part II (in-the-works) on the three words that I have been forced to say way too often in my life of late: I. Don’t. Know (or I Dunno, for us southerners :)…