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Purpose in the Pain

One week ago, I was was in a rollover accident in an ATV. It was the perfect storm of speed, incline, and u-turn, and down the hill we went. Truth be told, I don’t remember it. We were having a blast tooling around, and I remember laughing hysterically and joyfully closing my eyes as I felt the force of the turn we were in pulling my body to the right. The next time I opened my eyes, we were lying on the left side of the vehicle and I suddenly became aware that something had gone awry.

With the roll cage completely intact, my husband and I wove our way out of the vehicle. Assessing for injuries, it appeared to be mostly bumps and bruises; although I could not lift my right arm, which was a little disconcerting having never experienced that before. In the quickest ER visit of my life, x-rays revealed no broken bones, so I went home to rest it off.

The past week has been…slow. Only having full use of my non-dominant hand makes for lots of slow and intentional movement. Searing pain with movement will also make things slow and intentional.

I am far enough along in my faith walk that I no longer ask God “why” things happen. I have learned that if I am to know why, he’ll make it evident. But I firmly believe most of the “whys” are not for us to understand this side of heaven. Faith is, after all, the evidence of things we can’t see. So, when things happen that I don’t fully understand, I ask God, “what does this mean, and what must I do?” The difference between why and what? Personal application. I don’t need to understand “why” the accident happened. I just need to understand how to apply what has happened to my life. What lesson there is for me to learn in this particular situation.

On the surface, it would be easy to come up with things like, “slow down”, “don’t ride in ATV’s”, or any number of other things that are ultimately rooted in fear. But, one of the things I’ve learned about God is this: he didn’t give me a spirit of fear or timidity, so those answers don’t really line up with how he and I roll. So I dig deeper.

As I’ve prayed this week and asked God for physical healing and emotional renewal (because physical pain is exhausting), I’ve also asked what this means, and what do I do with it. Probably mildly concussed, my thoughts have been a little foggy, and it wasn’t immediately evident. It actually wasn’t until I started writing this post that it hit me: THAT is what this means. Taking a tumble means picking myself up, patching up the scrapes and bruises, and keeping on.

It would be easy to succumb to the fear, particularly for someone with a history of anxiety about being a passenger in a car. But that’s not what God’s got for me. As a sat down to write this, I thought, “what on earth am I going to write?? I haven’t been able to put my thoughts together all week!” I considered skipping a post altogether, under the protective blanket of ‘I’m hurting and just don’t have a post in me this week.’ But I knew God had prompted me to write about my pain, so out of obedience, I put fingers to keys and started pouring it out.

So THIS is what I do. Obedience. I put pen to paper, fingers to keys, or whatever it is that God is asking me to do, and I do it. Despite fear, despite past experiences, despite potential rejections, despite potential accidents. I just do the next right thing. God is bringing me into a season that has the potential to be quite topsy-turvy. There’s lots of potential for rejection; lots of potential for people to say, “you’re crazy!”

Nevertheless, I persist.

This accident has shown me that I can take the tumbles, come out bruised and beaten, and yet keep on going. It means there will be struggles, and that I will have to make choices to brush myself off and keep going.

And I will.

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