As you are all painfully aware (because I have mentioned it on here a million times) about 3 weeks ago little Monica broke her leg. You will remember me talking about the pain she was in as we drove to the hospital and the things that hearing one of your own wailing beside you does to a "momma's" heart. Well I never did truly finish the story. We took her into the city that night only to find out they couldn't set it until the next day. So they wrapped it and immobilized it the best they could and told us to come back the next morning so they could set and cast it. So not only did we have to drive down the mountain with her in pain but the ride back up the mountain wasn't much better. We then spent a very fitful night with her as she struggled to get comfortable enough to sleep. The next morning true to his word the doctor met us back at the hospital and set/cast her little leg. Well by the time she returned that day she still wasn't convinced that it was "all better yet." She wailed if you got close to her. She wailed if she had to move. AND she most certainly didn't want to ever have to move on her own. I'm sure you are noticing that this leaves few options. The doctor had assured us that she wasn't feeling pain anymore but from the way she was acting you would have thought she had just broken it. This continued for quite a few days. Still remembering the pain she had been in she was apprehensive about letting anyone near her for fear that the pain would return. Well she still has her pretty blue cast. We have all signed it and gone to great lengths to show her that we can knock on her cast, grab her cast, or move her leg and it doesn't hurt. She is finally moving around on her own and doing things on it again. She even figured out a way to climb up the play ground equipment and slide down again. Then just today she walked for the first time...which is a huge success since the cast goes up over her knee and keeps it from bending. She walks all hunched over like an old women because her right leg won't straighten. At times she will even only make it few steps before she loses her balance and falls on her butt. However, every time she falls she pushes herself back up onto her feet and is on her way again. It may take her awhile but she finally reaches her destination and she ALWAYS gets there with a grin on her face so big that you would think she just won a marathon.
I've been thinking a lot about our little Monica and her reaction to this whole experience. I can't say that I can blame her. I probably would have been scared to let anyone get close to me too. It made me stop and think about how often we do that in our own spiritual walks. We go through a particularly rough patch in life and come out of it spiritually crippled. We then spend who knows how long scared. We are scared of being touched. We are scared of anyone getting close. We are scared of hurting again. So we put up walls, we block out those that are trying to help, and we shut down. We focus so much on the pain that we felt that we forget about all the other moments in our walk. We forget that there was every a moment when walking or letting someone reach out to us didn't hurt. I want to challenge all of you who are currently feeling spiritually broken to stop for just a second so that God can remind you that even though it hurt for awhile that you are on the mend. That it is ok to put weight on that area and it is OK to trust again. You are going to have moments as you are hobbling along when you find yourself on your backside just push your way back to a standing position and start again. It is going to be a slow process. However, don't let that stop you from getting there with an ear to ear grin that lets everyone around you know that you made it! I can't promise Monica that she will never experience pain again but I can do my best to help her through this time. It is the same way with God. He isn't going to promise you will never have pain but He whispers words of encouragement for how to overcome those trials and tears. Don't be afraid to let Him carry you for a bit while you try and find your legs. I can't think of a more comforting pair of arms. For those of you that are doing the reaching out and finding the receiving party crying out in frustration and anguish don't be discouraged. They notice those helping hands and they need them. It just might take them awhile to figure out how to accept them. Hang in there and know that we are never alone even when we are going through the fire.