Five weeks ago I was riding my bike home from work and got cut off by a car turning right in front of me without a blinker. In that moment, I had to make a split second decision. Peddle faster and try to beat the car through the intersection but risk getting run over, or slam on my breaks and risk flipping over the handle bars in order to not hit the car that failed to signal. I chose the second. At the time, I didn’t realize that I was moving about 25 mph on bike and slamming on your breaks doesn’t work as well on a bike as it does in a car. I flew over my handle bars and landed face down in the middle of the intersection. I don’t remember the fall, but I do remember what happened after. The man in the car behind me put his hazard lights on and ran out into the intersection and scooped me up. He brought me water and asked if I was okay. I was in so much shock and honestly thought I was fine and told him I was going to ride home. After trying to simply lift my arm, I soon realized I was not okay. He offered to give me a ride home and gut said STRANGER DANGER. I would normally never take a ride from a random guy on the side of the road but I figured if he took the time to stop and help me, he wouldn’t try to kill me. He dropped me off at home and even helped me load my bike into my car since we don’t have a bike rack. I thanked him for caring about a complete stranger and for giving me hope for the world. It is random acts of kindness like these that encourage me so much.
I stumbled into the house and fell on the floor. A few moments later, Jess heard me and came to find out what had happened. Since she’s a nurse, she took me to her work and Amanda, the PA, offered to stay late and look at my arm at no cost. She put a cast on it and that’s where the story begins. Being in a cast sucks. I had to relearn literally everything from brushing my teeth, to making a sandwich, to showering to putting on my clothes. It was a very challenging time for me and I had breakdowns almost every day because I felt so helpless. Jess was a huge help for me during this time. She helped me make food, get dressed, shower, put on my shoes. I honestly don’t know where I would’ve been without her. A week after getting my cast on, I went back to the doctor to find out that I had broken my elbow in not one, but two places.
I was broken. But through being broken and being weak, I learned so much. I learned that it’s okay to ask for help and that if someone truly loves you, they will WANT to help you. I learned that in being weak, we are able to better relate to those in similar situations. I learned that having two working arms is something I took advantage of every single day for 23 years. I learned that you CAN learn to live with one working arm. It does take time, but it is possible. I learned that being strong and having big muscles was much of my identity, and without my muscles, I felt weak and ugly. While I recognize that these are lies from the enemy, they were still real thoughts that were going through my head.
A dear friend of mine sent me a few words from a book she was reading. It stated “When you’re injured in one place, you’ve got to draw more strength from someplace else. It was the brokenness that actually increased my capacity. Like a broken bone that needs to be reset, God breaks us where we need to be broken. He fractures the pride and lust and anger in our lives, but He does it to remodel us into His image. And once we heal, we end up stronger than we were to begin with. We tend to see suffering as a necessary evil at best, but Paul calls it a divine favor. Maybe the problem you never thought you could overcome will turn into a five-hundred-pound opportunity.” These words resonated in my heart. Because I couldn’t use my left arm, my right arm became stronger. I began to view my season of suffering differently and rejoice in my trials. Yes, I still complained and felt sorry for myself and had many rough days. But overall, I have learned to be so grateful for the way the healing process works and that our bodies are so incredible in naturally healing themselves over time.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Whatever brokenness you are dealing with right now, whether physical, mental, spiritual or emotional, God wants to use it. Remember, you will be stronger because of this. You will learn and you will grow. Try to see your present problem as a possibility of something great to come. Your perspective changes everything.