My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.
This week, I feel like my story is focusing on something that happened, just at this same time last year. Now, little background, in 2017, God had come into my life with a bulldozer. And proceeded to move EVERYTHING around. Literally, everything. Not one aspect of my life remained intact. And, I could see a theme. A theme of letting go, and letting God. Although, I didn’t come to the Letting God part until 2018. In 2017, I couldn’t do anything else besides react. Nothing that happened that year was something that happened by choice. They were all things that happened to us, or those we loved. And, I felt like the theme of trying to Let Go, was pretty evident. I am a control-freak. Like, in every sense of that word. But my family loved me anyway. And, not to say that I’m magically not, now, but I really have eased up, because in 2017, that was the only way to survive. I couldn’t control everything, and God was all done being nice about trying to make me let stuff go. Now, I know it wasn’t all God, because some of the stuff was most certainly Satan, but God has used it. And, the start of 2018, #Godshowedup to let me know, that he wasn’t done with using that “Letting go” lesson, and we needed to get to the “Letting God” part.
So, what happened?!?! Right?! Quite simply, I say, that I broke my back. Now, they didn’t actually find any fractures, but they were pretty sure that I herniated at least one disk, if not more. It was my lower back, right above my hips, like just those last few right on top of my hips. I was taking the trash out before we were going to have a dinner with my sister-in-law, and I slipped on the ice, and when I fell, I fell straight on my bottom. And I felt my whole spine *Squish* and I instantly went into shock. Suppressed vomit, cold shaking, blinding light, – shock! I knew that sick feeling instantly. And, I also knew that I had just done something really terrible. I laid there for a long time, just shaking and breathing, and sick, in the cold and snow and ice, just feeling everything drain out of me, and I couldn’t even scream. And, I slowly pulled myself together and walked little baby steps back inside. My husband was frantically looking for me, and when I came in the back door, he came running, but as soon as he saw me, he knew something was wrong. Now, at that time, I thought I broke my tailbone, it was late on a Friday, and I knew that the ER would do nothing for me. So, we had our awkward dinner (since everyone could see I was in great pain), and ended the evening. Then, Monday, I went to the Dr. Who listened to my story, and agreed, that’s probably what happened. Gave me pain killers, and sent me on my way. It wasn’t until my back swelled, and some other symptoms that we really figured out what was wrong. Which, honestly, was worse. Broken tailbone – 6 weeks. My herniated disks – 6 months, at best. I went from someone who could lift 80-100lbs on a regular basis at work, to not being able to lift a cast iron skillet, or stand for more than 15 minutes without feeling like I was going to pass out. I went from a non-stop employee, mom, Cub Scout committee member, etc. etc. to Stephanie, and absolutely nothing more. I was only allowed to continue working because they essentially put me on desk duty, with light errand-running (that took 5x as long as it should because I could only walk in baby steps). – Which is exactly what the Dr ordered, don’t sit, stand, or lay down for too long, keep moving, as much as you can, but get plenty of rest…. I’m sorry, have we met? But, God is good, all the time. If I had any other job, I would’ve been put on medical leave, which when you look at my “Christmas Miracle” would’ve been way worse (because in just a few short months, I’m about to be garnished.) But, here’s the deal, folks. I was the “do everything” mom. I did everything, all the time. Our days were packed with everything, Mondays this, Tuesdays that, etc. And, I needed to be still. (Psalm 46:10a, Be still and know that I am God.) To Let Go. And to let God. And, here we’re about to Let God.
The first couple weeks were rough, you know, until like April. *lol. But, seriously. I couldn’t cook supper, I couldn’t wash dishes, I couldn’t do the laundry, I couldn’t make my bed, I couldn’t put my pants on, I couldn’t take a shower. I had to relearn how to do some of the basic stuff, like putting on pants, because, when you can’t bend at the waist… putting on pants and socks is a little tricky. But, I also had to learn to let my family do it. My son had been helping with chores, but now, it was a need. My husband, who is amazing, can do everything. And, he just stepped up. He totally understood and was gracious and absolutely what I needed. But, here was the other thing. I couldn’t focus on anything except myself because the pain was so bad. I couldn’t even think about some of this other stuff because just going to work, took me out. There are some nights (a lot of nights), where I just came home and went straight to bed. Because my body needed rest, to heal. And, so many days, I just needed God. I needed God. Like, I needed him to heal me, I needed him to give me patience with others, with my body, with my mind. I absolutely needed him. And, although 2017 had started opening my eyes, 2018 drove it home. Let God do it. God has given you this family, God has given you a good job at a great company. God has given you a good doctor. God has given you everything you need. Just let it happen. Let all these people that you care about take care of it. And let God heal you from the inside out. There were quite a few days throughout those months, where I just cried. Just cried for it to be over. Cried for my dad to be there to fuss over me. Cried because it took me 45 minutes to get dressed. Cried because everything hurt. Deep down in my soul. And, God said, “My grace is sufficient, my power is made perfect in your weakness.” And, it was. I, slowly, started getting better. We went from 5lb weight limit, to 10lbs. to 15lbs., until finally no more restrictions. I took that time, to focus on me. Focus on my relationship with God. To pray, more. Every day. To start reading my bible. To start being present for my family, instead of just running. I needed to show up. Instead of my gigantic to do lists, and my not enough time in the day, and, and, and, ….. I just let it go. I didn’t have a choice. My kid’s going to be grown in less than 10 years. Where did it go? What was I teaching him? When were our moments together? My husband was spiraling at work, and I didn’t even see it. My family didn’t need all my stuff, my clean dishes, my clean laundry, my whatever. They needed me. And, so did God. And I needed Him, and them. And, you know, if I hadn’t, I would’ve never started a ladies’ bible study, never reached out to those around me, had this incredible relationship with my Lord and Savior, and I wouldn’t be here. Talking to you about it. Encouraging you, to put some of this stuff down. Let others do it, or don’t do it at all (what?!?!) Does every single load need to be put away? Do the dishes have to get done every day? Do you always have to make supper? OR —– Could you spend that time, praying? Reading your bible? Spending time with your kids, or your husband, or wife, or your friends? Encouraging them on their walk. I’m not saying, do don’t this stuff ever, just balance, baby. Are you making time for the important stuff, you know, the life stuff? Are people going to remember that you did everything, all the time, or that you were there when they needed you?
Our purpose is not to do all this stuff, it’s to share the gospel, it’s to grow the Kingdom. And, we don’t do that by checking off boxes on a list, we do that by being present. Being here, there, wherever. Being in the lives of our loved ones. In order for God to show up, you need to show up too. We were not made to the defend the Kingdom, we here to demonstrate it. God is love. Love is action. 1 John 3:18 “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” I encourage you, to start taking baby steps, pray every day, read your bible, go to Wednesday night church, join a prayer circle, something that connects you to God more. The more you’re in him, the more he is in you. John 15:4 “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” First step, Remain in me. Tap in. Plug in. Get in with God, and he’ll get into you. Let me leave you with some of my favorite lyrics that have been singing in my heart this week, “Fill me up, so all they see, is you, Lord.” There’s no where else I’d rather be. ❤ I hope you join me. He’s waiting.