(For those of you who are not aware, at the end of February I fell in the back yard and broke my femur at the hip. X-rays showed an impending fracture on the other leg. So I had 2 surgeries in 4 days and now have a lot metal in both legs. In all of this it was discovered that my body had reacted to medication and my skeletal system was compromised. This means healing will be much slower and medical treatment to restore bone loss is required.)
This blog post has been a while in coming. Every day as I process recovery and what it looks like, I vacillate between wanting to say “Yay! Look how far I have come!” and “This sucks.” My daughter tells me reality and honesty is good in blogging and Brene Brown says be vulnerable. Well there you go.
Two nights ago I tried to return to a very normal activity. I just wanted to pull things together in the kitchen and prepare a meal. Yes, I get around on crutches and I required a bit of help with pans etc, but it did not seem like an impossible task. Yet halfway through, I simply could not. From the waist down my body felt like lead and exhaustion overwhelmed me. Most days I reach the end of the day completely exhausted. Yet what have I done? What have I accomplished? Compared to what I was able to do, very little! Let’s combine this with the prognosis that not only do I have weeks if not months of continued healing ahead of me, but my normal fun activities will be greatly restricted for 6 months to a year.
Each day, I ask God, “What would you have me do/be in all of this?” A friend once told me that I could spiritualize on dish water! I have tried to think “spiritually” about all of this, but my spiritual and emotional brain shuts down as I try to push through the exhaustion and discomfort. So here are the very simple things that repeatedly have come to mind through this experience.
1. Gratitude…..and more gratitude. And when gratitude does not come easily I very literally count the things that have blessed me in the past 6 weeks. There are so many! I was not alone when I fell. I have had great medical care. I have insurance. There is medical treatment to help me heal. I have such a host of folks who have rallied around me!
2. Community. It would have been utterly impossible to have arrived to this point without the scores of people who have come alongside us in one way or another. The showering of help, love, encouragement and prayers has been the best medicine.
3. Time. Patience has never been my strong suit. Giving myself the gift of time has been hard. I am learning to rethink time and to better choose what really needs to get done. Those sticky notes on my desk of what needs to happen are much fewer in number. Giving myself extra minutes throughout the day to just think, pray, and rest has become a necessity. Planning and laying out the future with all of its goals and objectives is how I operate. Learning to deliberately set that aside and take one day at a time is for me revolutionary. (Not sure I am succeeding at this one very well!)
4. Ministry. I love my job. It is why I have done it for 30 years. Some of the most precious moments in this process has been letting those I have ministered to, minister to me and teach me.
5. Perseverance. I have had for decades my schedule and my routine for regular exercise. It is just what I did on a daily basis. Now that exercise takes infinitely longer and I must factor in rehab, there are days (today is one!) when I just want to throw the towel in and say, “Enough.” That is when the lessons of gratitude and time kick into place and I go get on my yoga chair or use those murderous resistance bands!
6. Idolatry. This last one may sound strange I know. Early on in the recovery process I started reading a book by Kyle Idleman, Gods at War. Paraphrasing, at one point he says that if something is a terrible discouragement to you then perhaps it was too important to begin with. Was good health an idol? Were the activities I enjoyed idols? Were my job and accomplishments idols? Was being in control an idol? Maybe……He makes the point that God does not want to be at the “top of your priority list.” God is the list. He is everything. He is not appointed a place. Well darn, I obviously have some work to do!
So this is not my typical blog where I talk about some aspect of ministry or missions. Nevertheless, I hope it encourages someone. I know what I am experiencing is nothing compared to so many. So take from it what ever is helpful. Maybe comment about what you have learned in your own journey of recovery and help me (and others) move farther down the road to recovery.