Many of you know that I got injured in January of this year (2017). I dislocated my left ankle, fractured my fibula, & tore two ligaments in an obstacle course race. I fell off the last obstacle, got my foot stuck in the mud, kept falling & the rest is history. During that time I underwent two surgeries & spent about two months completely non weight bearing. I even moved back home & spent all of my time with my parents & grandparents because it wasn’t safe for me to be alone.
There are a lot of things that I can say I learned from my time recovering but I can definitely save that for another blog & another time. I feel that this specific topic deserves its own post, & its own time dedicated to it.
I feel like we all have heard people say, or even have said to people, that “God works in mysterious ways” & I completely agree. There are so many things in life that happen & we can’t help but wonder why things happen the way that they do or why things happen to certain people. But there is always a trust that everything happens for a reason & there is always a lesson to be learned.
While stuck in bed I did a lot of reflection on my life & I thought about what lessons I’m supposed to learn from being injured so badly – but in the end it all came back to one thing: Patience.
My mom repeated it many times while I was crutching around, wheeling myself in a wheelchair, & even when I was learning how to walk again in a boot – she always told me to “be patient,” “be patient with yourself.” & at the time I always took it as my mom telling me to be careful so I don’t fall or hurt myself again. But looking at it now, after being on my own again for a few weeks, I feel like that will be one of the biggest lessons that I take away from this experience. Patience.
I have always been one to push the limits, my limits. My mindset had always been that life is a competition & if you’re not the best, then you need to work harder. I had always pushed myself & always worked as hard as I could to be the best that I could. I take pride in being a hard worker & in knowing that with the help of God I am capable of anything that I put my mind to. So, naturally, when I got injured it had to be a pretty bad injury haha just kidding. But basically, I’m competitive. I have very high standards of myself & in everything that I put my heart & mind to do. I’d like to say that, for the most part, I am independent.
That would be a huge challenge for me when I got injured. It was frustrating to be completely dependent on my family members for help. I needed help to do basic day to day tasks like changing my clothes, showering, getting & preparing my food, & I would even ask someone to watch me crutch to the bathroom just in case I fell again. I relearned how to put on pants, get into a car, & even how to walk up sidewalks/stairs so I don’t hurt myself. It’s definitely safe to say that my life is different. I need(ed) my family to survive.
For the first few weeks I was very frustrated. I was impatient when it came to anything that I had to do. My body was weak, my muscles had atrophied, I was always tired, & at one point I was in so much pain that all I could do was sleep all day, only waking up to eat when my grandma reminded me. But at the end of the day after my parents both got home from work & spent time with me, my mom would always remind me to be patient – be patient with my recovery & with myself.
I prayed & I prayed that by some miracle I would be healed at that very moment, hoping that after I was done with my prayer I would be able to walk. Or that I would wake up from this crazy dream that I broke my leg & I would be fine, run a mile or two, play some volleyball, dance a little. But that’s not real life – it happened. I’m injured.
So after a few weeks of these unrealistic expectations of myself I accepted it – I needed help. I needed to be nice to myself, my body, let myself heal, & that’s what I did. I asked for help when I needed it. I slept all day because that’s what my body told me to let it do. I surrendered to the helplessness that was my situation. But always, in the back of my mind was my mom’s voice telling me to be patient.
Weeks passed & I had my second surgery & was officially full weight bearing. I was able to slowly learn to walk (more like waddle) again & I was even able to do things that I wasn’t able to do for myself just a few days before.
Fast forward a few weeks: Now I’m walking again in my boot, I’m back at my apartment, I leave my crutches at home, I drive, I can get my own food, go to work or out with my friends, & I can be independent adjacent. I was able to make it through the “hard part” & can now really focus on getting my life back to where it was pre-injury. But in the back of my mind when I’m walking around very slowly behind my friends, I hear my mom’s voice telling me to be patient because complete recovery takes time.
I would be completely lying to you if I said that I don’t think about the why of it all anymore – I still think about it a lot. But recently after attending a worship service I was at home trying to figure out my life & it hit me – Patience… I prayed for this.
For a really long time before my injury I prayed for patience. I prayed that God would give me the patience I needed to be able to become the person that He wanted & needed me to be for Him. I prayed that God would give me the patience with myself, with my abilities, & my circumstance in life to become refined enough to be worthy of being called His servant. I prayed that I would be the best woman that He could help me to be & that He grant me the patience to allow His will to be done in my life.
Instead of God just simply handing me the patience I prayed for & letting me go on with my life, He gave me a situation where I was able to learn what the trait really meant & how it could be applied in my life. He blessed me with a chance to experience the patience of those who love me & the opportunity to go home & learn from them. God knew that I needed & wanted to learn a lesson that is hard to teach, so He gave me a situation where I would be able to not just learn but to live it.
The road to recovery is far from over & I’m sure that there are going to be many more lessons that I’ll realize when I look back on 2017 as an entirety, but I’m thankful for my struggles. I’m thankful for the understanding & love from my family & friends. I’m thankful that at the end of the day I am able to say that God listens to my prayers even when I feel that I am not worthy to be heard.
Being patient, especially with yourself, is hard sometimes. But when you are given the opportunity to learn a lesson in your life, you accept what you have been given & learn that lesson & internalize it the best way you know how. I am learning & I am thankful.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12 NIV
One step at a time. One lesson at a time. Be patient. #trust