Several years back I took a graceful swan dive off my deck, tripped over some rubbish, tried to clothes-line myself on an extension cord, and landed in these two perfectly spaced, ankle breaking holes the dog had dug. I heard a couple of good pops, but there was no pain at all, just heat. The pain didn’t set in until a few days later.
At the time I did not think, “rejoice, praise God, He works all things for good.” Not at all, I was cursing the idiot dog, the moron who had not filled in those holes, and my husband who had left rubbish in my path. It was a definite pity party, tainted with some rage and frustration. I was also cursing the extension cord, the damp on the ground, the holiday chores still undone…
It was a memorable experience, one I’ve blogged about a few times, first because the total lack of pain still baffles me, but also because it was the first time I ever really understood and trusted in the words, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Those words popped into my head as I sat there on the grass and for the first time ever I did not respond with cynicism or sarcasm or assume God was mocking me, too. I let go, surrendered all, and simply agreed with Him. “Show me,” I whispered.
I simply agreed with Him and it changed everything. I decided I wasn’t going to pray for healing, I was going to pray to be shown the gift to be found in this particular affliction that had now derailed my life. Thank you, Lord, for the gift that is this injury. I trust there is a purpose within it.
All in good humor here, but be careful what you pray for! Sometimes God will turn that tap on and flood you with wisdom you may not really be wanting.
I stayed humble however, throughout that recovery, even when God pointed out that I was a bit of a control freak, always wanting a perfect house. I accepted the fact that I wasn’t very good at receiving and being dependent on others. I admitted to having done too much for my children. I believed myself to be irreplaceable. I believed others to be somewhat incompetent. I believed that if I personally didn’t do it, it wouldn’t get done, and the whole world would collapse. The list went on and on and on, everyday bringing a new list of convictions, endless evidence I was guilty as charged and needed to change.
Crazy I know, but stepping in those holes really was one of the better things that ever happened to me. It changed my mindset, it rendered me helpless and willing to agree with God, to agree with scripture, to trust in His word fully. Those two swollen ankles and the inability to walk really were a gift, one that triggered a great deal of self reflection, that forced me to confront some truths about myself. That gave me ample time to do so.
It didn’t end there however. My husband had to really step up to the plate, all the things he had left to me, never thought twice about, he had to do or they didn’t get done. He started to notice that the kids did very little and that perhaps they needed to do more. He also discovered he really enjoyed cooking. His perceptions of me changed, but my perceptions of him changed too, as I got to see that he was far more competent than he appeared.
Just for the record, competency is very attractive and in the midst of all that conviction and emotional upheaval, I fell in love all over again. What a perfectly timed, romantic swan dive. I could not have planned it better myself.
This is the week when we focus on being thankful, on Thanksgiving and the things we are grateful for, but really every day should be like that. When we can learn to focus on the things we are grateful for, we can develop the eyes to see even more blessings, often hidden in the mundane and banal things of life.
Gratitude in all things, and coming into agreement with God, really does reap huge dividends and give you cause for much rejoicing. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
*****Repost from 2015