It happened so quickly, I blacked out. Even now, I have no idea how I turned my foot on that last deck step. I have descended those steps hundreds of times. Somehow, this time was different.
As I woke up twisted in the grass, I was certain something weird had happened to my right foot.
Gingerly I sat up – tested my equilibrium – waited for the dizziness that never came. I scooted across the grass, hoping and praying my hips weren’t broken.
A sudden despair as I looked back at my house which has four levels – not a good scenario if I ended up on crutches.
Then trying to stand on the left foot, praying the right foot was not broken. “Oh God, oh God, oh God.”
Funny how we always cry out to God when we’re in pain. Sad how we forget to acknowledge him when everything’s just fine and dandy.
A testing of the throbbing foot. Could I stand on it? Yes. Could I take a few steps? Ouch, but yes. No nausea. Probably not broken. Hopefully not broken. The right foot, of course. The driving foot.
Immediately, the planner in me began mentally listing my writing clients. Could we do Skype if I couldn’t drive? How would I deal with the groceries? Would my son have the time to help me?
A sudden pulsing of lonely despair. The worst time to be single is when you are in pain.
Soon the swelling began, so I elevated my leg and plopped an ice bag on it. My son then drove me to Urgent Care for an X-ray and a meeting with the medical team.
Hobbling from room to room, I felt old. Hoped I wouldn’t need a cane, but looking for one when I felt out of balance.
No fracture, thank God. Just a severe sprain. Now I know how the Jayhawks feel when they land crooked after an awesome rebound. Feet were never created to twist.
A week of elevating the foot, more ice, anti-inflammatory meds and every five seconds or so a gratitude pause that nothing was broken.
Then the exercises – making the alphabet with my foot. This practice uses all the muscles, tendons and tissues. I love the alphabet. It is my writing tool from which all the words are birthed.
Then hope rebounded as I carefully walked around my cul-de-sac, hung on to the cart in Target without pain. I was healing.
God sometimes lets us fall, although I believe he is near to catch us in his powerful arms.
As we fall – either physically or spiritually – we are reminded how fragile we are. How we need God and each other!
Sometimes we fall because the world is a shaky place. It isn’t easy to keep our equilibrium or to stay the course when every foundation seems unstable.
And I think God lets us fall to protect us from further harm. Perhaps we’re heading in a dangerous direction, so God puts a temporary stop sign in front of us.
Or we’re in such a hurry, we need an occasional fall to remind us to slow down, to rest, to enjoy the best life has to offer.
Ultimately, as we take care of ourselves and return to normalcy – we begin to heal. Hopefully, we also keep that place of gratitude for how God catches us, how the fall could have been much worse.
Hope keeps us steady in our shaky world. Hope also keeps us moving in healthy directions so that when we DO fall, it won’t be so tragic.
Keep steady, dear readers. Keep moving forward. Stay in hope.