"No matter how much we may love the melody of a bygone day or imagine the song of a future one, we must dance within the music of today, or we will always be out of step, stumbling around..." May Crandall, Before We Were Yours
The new slalom ski sliced through the water spraying water all over my face. I laughed and vigorously shook my soaked head to see better. It was fast and it was fun. Little did I know that in a few minutes, my summer would be flipped upside down.
My daughter continued to give me the thumbs up as I cut back and forth, seeing what this new ski would do. My hubby moved his arm up and down to warn me of big waves coming. I wasn't worried. I had hit plenty of those doing water sports through the years.
The waves hit. My ski pushed right and forward but the stiff new boot I had laced tight would not allow my foot to move likewise as the wave continued to push as I went down. I knew it was not good.
Back on the boat we quickly took off my ski and sped home. A neighbor ran down the hill and helped get me from the boat to our deck.
Several days later I learned I fractured three bones in my ankle and tore my tendon off my heel.
Most of the big plans I had for the summer got eliminated in a few second's time. And the way I did life on a daily basis got a whole lot more complicated, not to mention much more painful.
I know you've had something similar happen. Sidelined or forced into a new direction unexpectedly. You can't live life without that happening. It can really throw you, can't it?
When this happens, there are always new nuggets we can gather though; new lessons, growth, values, reminders...
Here are a few nuggets from my latest sideline.
It's okay to walk through stages of grief when a major twist happens: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Sometimes in order. But often in a zig-zag fashion. As someone who likes to avoid emotion, I tried to skip this. But then those pushed-down emotions would sometimes spurt out like a pipe leak. This wasn't good for anyone. When I was honest like David in the Bible about my feelings to God and those I trusted, it helped bring me back toward peace.
Keep moving and seek best health. I'm an active person, and I soon realized that those feel-good and calming endorphins were not releasing. Again, not good for anyone. So I figured out a new modified exercise routine. I also got pretty creative at getting things done. (Riding a scooter while holding a broomstick in a laundry basket on the floor gets it to the washing machine;) A health coach friend helped with what I could eat to help heal.
It's okay to let others help. This was really hard at first. The doctor that caught the first fracture told me I would need to be non-weightbearing for six- to eight-weeks. I replied, "But I can't. I have company coming all summer, and I wait on everybody. I do most of the work at home. I never sit." And being a godly friend also, I appreciated the truth he spoke. "Well, maybe that's a problem. Maybe you and other family can learn from this. Ask God what he wants to teach you during this time. And if you want to get full use of your foot back, you WILL stay off of it." It has been an amazing blessing to have friends and family help. And I know God will bless them for their kindness.
Listen to those with wisdom, especially when not in a good place. Because I did it again. When an orthopedic surgeon told me I needed surgery ASAP, I said, "I don't think that will work. I'm heading out of town for my niece's grad party." Thankfully my daughter was there and spoke wisdom.
God cares about us as our Father and walks with us. Some would call it coincidence; but when a complete stranger approached as I was waiting outside the orthopedic clinic and started sharing her story, I recognized it as a God-moment. She had the exact surgery I later found out I needed. She shared her hard journey from the similar injury and the surgery. Then she finished with, "But look at my ankle now!" She flexed her foot in various directions from under her long flowing blue skirt and flashed me a big smile. "Good as new!" "That is great! I'm so glad," I replied. She wished me the best and assured me the doctors were good. I had a similar incident happen the day before surgery.
Thank God daily for blessings and for who He is. Especially during trials. Gratitude lifts the spirit, and as God's child, I have much to be thankful for.
Recognize spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:12). I knew spurts of sadness were a combination of pain, lack of sleep and watching others do things I no longer could. But at one point after going on a third-day stretch of feeling like I was under a heavy cloud that wouldn't lift, I finally realized it was more than that. I spoke out loud, "I bind the spirit of depression by the powerful shed blood of Jesus." The Holy Spirit in me continued from there as I spoke out the binding of many more to my surprise. I felt an immediate lift, and I followed up with worship music. Soon I was able to focus genuinely again on blessing others.
Believe in healing and speak words of life. Science shows that our bodies listen and respond to what we speak. A positive attitude helps us heal. And Jesus told his disciples to heal others. This requires activating faith. I have experienced immediate healing and have watched others experience this as well. Often though, this doesn't happen in the time or manner we want. I had to continue to believe and know that God is good regardless of my experience.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
"We are not to retreat from life, pinning our hopes on elsewhere, but to know that we will come to that final destination best by living fully here and now, be it through joy, or pain, or a mix of both." Madeleine L'Engle