I untangle myself from the titanium poles that carried me through the street like a free bird just moments earlier. My cheeks are still warm from the midday sun.
The childlike joy I felt overcome with before falling now splays invisible across the asphalt under me. I don’t know how to pick any of it back up. I know I should be thankful there were no cars on the road, and it wasn’t worse. Was it my helmet that hit the ground in a loud crack? My head doesn’t hurt. I stretch my body upward, brushing loose dirt, noticing an unfamiliar pulsating in my left hand. Lawn machines buzz. Unbridled laughter rises somewhere close but out of sight. I imagine the laughter weaving down the spiral of a slide or swelling forwards, then back, on sticky rubber swings. Lawn maintenance and recess go on as usual; I’m stopped short.
I examine my left hand. It’s misshapen, twisted, and scraped. My fingers feel disconnected from the rest of my arm. I try to push my palm back into place. I want the fix to be quick, but my hand won’t stay where I think it should be. Pain sirens through my arm like a stern warning for my efforts towards a microwave-ease mending. I ask myself why I’m so clumsy, and why I assumed I was worthy of feeling joy from my nose to my toes on such an ordinary Wednesday in the first place. I scold myself for being so upset when it could’ve been worse — when so many others have it worse.
I think I hear more laughter. There’s no one in sight, but the presence is unmistakable. I stand on the sidewalk for a moment, frozen, feeling foolish, suddenly hoping no one saw me fall. I decide to walk home, pushing my twisted bike frame forward, one slow step at a time. The bike frame, bent like my spirit, moves with reluctance. I gather shame like penance for my moments of unfettered joy.
As I stumble forward, I try to put words together to pray but can’t. I sing instead.
In whispers off-key, I plead by song with the one who says His help is ever-present and not limited to cases bigger and seemingly worthier of need. I do what the song says and lift my eyes up from the crooked metal between me and my way home. My voice rises as I ask where my help comes from and agree that it comes from the Maker of Heaven, the Creator of the Earth — the One who is there with me, who knows full well the crushing weight of broken bones and a cup that won’t be taken away.
At the urgent care, hours after the initial break, I learn that my wrist is too broken for their care. At the hospital later, I learn that even though the orthopedic surgeon will perform a closed reduction, I will likely need hand surgery. And when I meet my hand surgeon days later, she gently draws a picture of just how bad it was and describes how much mending I still need.
The intricate breaking of bones in my wrist feels deliberate and measured. The chasm between what was, what is, and what should be, is wider than my optimism.
Things like buttoning my pants, putting my thick hair into a ponytail, opening my kids’ water bottles, trying to get my contacts in my eyes, and washing my right arm stack up into a long list of things I can no longer do on my own.
I remember the One I belong to in joy and pain, in brokenness and healing, in grief and gratitude. I remember the One who chose limitations, weakness, and dependency to come near to those as prideful, fearful, weak, and prone to wander as I am.
Pride tells me that my burdens and need should be a source of humiliation, but God says they are a seedbed of healing and resurrection.
There has been healing alongside hot chili, vegetable soup, and thoughtful gifts brought by friends. Floors cleaned, our kids cared for, dirty dishes washed, prayers prayed, and a husband who sleeps on the floor to make sure my arm has all the room it needs — these things stack up like resistance to the lies of the enemy, protests against shame, weapons wielded by the Bride of Christ to defend the miracle of mercy.
I wince as I try to move my stiff wrist and exercise the muscles like I’ve been told to. I’m healing, but my muscles can’t remember how to move after all they’ve been through. Frustrated, I grieve what was while being no less grateful for what is.
My son frowns and furrows his thick brows, asking me, “Why can’t you move yet? Why does it have to hurt? And why did it happen at all?”
I tell him I don’t know the answers to those questions but invite him to do the exercises with me. We laugh as we count out the exercises, and bend our fingers in tandem. In that moment, we carry each other through the pain of what we don’t understand. We surrender to the mystery of song and laughter that still rises from broken things, and I remind him that we have an ever-present Help who will not be thwarted from making all broken things new.
Pride tells me that my burdens and need should be a source of humiliation, but God says they are a seedbed of healing and resurrection. -@tashajunb: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I have continually had to switch around the cushions on our sofa. After six years of one major surgery after another, my backside had created a permanent indentation on the right hand side (my favored spot for weeks of immobility). When you can’t do even the basic things for yourself, you are forced to rely and depend upon others. That’s been a tough lesson for this self-sufficient gal. It’s also been a beautiful time of learning that God loves me just the same when I am able to do absolutely nothing but take up space. I have struggled with thinking that I have to earn, and strive, and perform in order to be worthy of God’s love. Nothing could be farther from the truth. God loves me because He created me and because He CHOSE to love me – just for being me. My recuperations have been a seedbed for these truths to begin to flourish in my soul. Sometimes we do have to go through pain in order for God to continue molding us into the likeness of His Son. Beautiful!
Yes, he loves us just as we are. Thanks, Bev!
Beth Williams says
This world thrives on perfection. Anything less & we should be humiliated & work harder towards that end. Failing-falling off a bike whatever is not acceptable. They glorify all who achieve the most, have the most money, etc. God cares for us so much more than we can imagine. Even a broken hand is prayer worthy. He wants to restore us back to health & wholeness. He uses each trial/tribulation for our good to grow & mature us. Kick the sin of pride to the street curb & tell it good riddens for ever. God wants all our burdens & needs lifted to Him no matter how small. He cares for us like a mother hen & her baby chicks. He is interested in all of our lives. Take each prayer concern-broken wrist, lack of sleep, school tests, etc. to Him. He will use them as a seed bed to restore & resurrect what once was. He will answer those prayers & bring about His will.
I love that image of God like a mother hen. Thank you, Beth.
Michele Morin says
Yes, all the broken things will one day be made new, and I hold onto that truth like a life raft, but I’m grateful today for your words about the pain that accompanies the breaking AND the healing. After all, I wouldn’t need a life raft if I were standing on dry ground.
Dry ground is coming. Thank you, Michele.
Brenda M. Russell says
I am a thankful witness that God can and will mend and make all things new, that includes everything! Please remember that we don’t like interruptions and we are selfish and prideful also privileged. God knows exactly what it will take to get to our tender hearts so He can shape and mold our hearts anew. Thank you Lord for loving Your children so well. You remind us that we are ambassadors for You. When we get to heaven, we will finally be at home.
I’m grateful for the way God that holds our heart at home in him, even now. Thanks, Brenda!
Betty Spreen says
Thank you ,Tasha,beautifully and realistically written in faith directing us toward Him. <3
Thank you so much, Betty.
Denise Pass says
Beautiful, Tasha! Loved your story. It is so true that pride is closely connected with the shame we feel: “When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2).
Yes! Sometimes it’s hard to see it for what it is. I’m grateful for when we do, and that we can go another way.
Denise Pass says
Kat Leon says
I had thumb surgery a year ago and was in cast for 6 wks. It was my right hand. I’m right handed and I was not able to drive during that time.
I live alone and so many things were a challenge. Learning to ask for help and allowing others to step in to our world is difficult but it can be such a great blessing for all. Becoming dependent on others can open our eyes and our heart on how we need to be dependent on the Lord. It definitely causes us to slow down and refocus.
I’m now facing sciatica on both sides and other back issues. This body is breaking down….
The Lord is faithful by providing great friends to pray and help me out.
I hope you have helped and been blessed by many.
I have been blessed by so many, and it’s bern such a gift. It’s wild how such a small area can impact so much – and this is true in many situations. Thanks, Kat!
Carol Leonard says
Thank you so much for sharing! I broke my right hand in June, a fall while cleaning my bedroom. Imagine that, I felt so foolish. I too had to have surgery and am still in OT. Along with this, my mother went to be with Jesus. Then in Sept. I had to take early retirement.
I too had wonderful friends and my adult children came along side to help. Such a blessing!
I still really miss my mom. I’ve had time to be in the Word and have made some new friends. God has consistently told me to Be Still and know that He is God! He truly is the love of my life.
I’m so sorry about your broken hand. It’s surprised me just how hard and long recovery is. I still have a long road of OT left, but I hope yours is almost done.
And Carol, I’m so very sorry for the loss of your mom. I will pray for your grieving heart.
I cannot help but to say you’re a mighty warrior for His kingdom. Your Joy is in the healing process. I can see you 🙂 through your writing. It drew me into your space in such a vivid way. I cannot help but respond! perhaps a part of it is growing up in rural setting with unpaved roads etc. Blessings of Joy, Comfort, Peace and Speedy recovery.
Carlyann, thank you so much for saying that. What an encouragement it was to me!
I have a pinched nerve on my left shoulder which now they say its frozen too I want to unthaw!! I am doing everything I can to heal quickly but its a slow process BUT I know healing is coming cuz the Lord has healed many times and his healing is unlimited. I too think some have it worst and I pray for them BUT I still cry and pray for myself. Thank u for this today it was uplifting. Prayers for u
Diana, that sounds painful. I’m so sorry you are going through that. I hope for many helpful hands to lift this burden as you wait. And for the space to let your needs be known!
Autumn Macarthur says
Hugs, Tasha. I’m praying for your healing. THank you for bringing beauty and joy from the pain and brokenness, and for sharing that beauty with us.
Autumn, thank you for these kinds words. They have blessed me.
Kathleen Burkinshaw says
Tasha, I’m so sorry to read about your complicated injury. I hope that your pain lessens and healing takes place with each day that passes. Thank you for sharing this with us and how you remind us that we can “carry each other through pain of not understanding” as well as having Jesus who carries us all. Especially when we think we can’t hold it together any longer,HE is there to catch us with the Holy Spirit as our safety net. Keeping you in my prayers and sending a gentle hug ❤
Thank you, dear Kathleen. You bless so many with your kind words and gentle presence here.
Kathleen Burkinshaw says
Becky Keife says
Tasha, for all the beauty of your words and deeper hope I know you cling to, somehow reading this again today makes me cry. And maybe that’s what we’re supposed to pain attention to. That Jesus is with us in the pain and tears even when He see that He is working and still good. Love you, friend. I’m sorry for the pain of your mending. Trusting you to Great Mender. xx