Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint; heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony.
Welcome back to the conclusion of “Be Still.” I was so excited to get to go home from the hospital! It was such an amazing answer to prayer. I was ready to get home and begin healing! My theme verse for trusting God with the healing of my leg was Malachi 4:2. It says, “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.” We loaded the car up with all of the new “gear” I would need for my recovery. I was like an elderly patient I had my wheelchair, walker, shower chair, potty chair and TED hose (to prevent blood clots). It was truly awful, but at the same time really hilarious! We were able to laugh often about all of these things!
Leaving the hospital relieved a lot of problems and stress I was feeling, but it also opened my eyes to new challenges as soon as I got home. George did not understand why I couldn’t be the mommy he had always had. He had a hard time for many reasons. I couldn’t feed him, bathe him, change him, put him to bed and do all the other things that only I had ever done. You moms understand it was even harder for me to have to sit back and watch! He was in wonderful hands though. Between my mother-in-law, mom, brother, sister-in-law and countless friends he was more than taken care of!
I came home on Saturday,
November 18, 2006. We celebrated Thanksgiving with Doug’s sweet mom and dad at Cracker Barrel. In the next 2 weeks we had to pack up our entire home to move to our new house. When I say we packed, I really should say my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, with me as supervisor! J We moved successfully into our new home and the last of the renovations finally fell into place. It was great to be there in our new home, but I struggled with the desire to set up my new nest and the reality that my body was not capable of accomplishing that.
We set up our bed in the dining room because it was so difficult for me to get up and down the stairs. During the night seemed to be the worst time for the pain, both physically and emotionally. I think I cried and/or prayed myself to sleep most nights! One passage that I clung to in particular at night was Psalm 34:17-18, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
In the midst of all this pain and craziness there was peace. God was continually reminding me that I was safe in His hands and that he was in control. We were blessed tremendously to see the “Body of Christ” in action. From the day I came home and then for months we had delicious meals brought to us. I am so thankful for the dear friends that came along side of us and truly lifted us up in every way possible! I love doing life with people that are willing to get involved in the messiness of life. In doing this we are being Jesus to each other!
It became very clear to me that there were some valuable lessons for me to learn during this time. The Lord was speaking…was I listening? Was I going to “get it?” There were a few verses that were huge to me during this time. Two of them were:
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;” Psalm 37:7
For the first time in my life I had to be still. I had no choice. At this point in my life God was teaching me to stop…be still…and listen. He spoke to me, “I am God. I made you, I love you, I am in control…you are not!” I was so busy doing that I was missing the being, resting and abiding in Him! What I was doing wasn’t bad. On the contrary it was good, but I was so busy “doing” that I was not giving God the opportunity to speak. So I began to sit quietly and patiently wait for Him to speak. Looking back this was one of the sweetest times I have ever had with the Lord. It was a transforming time in my life that I am so thankful to have experienced. At the time I would not have thought I would ever be able to say that!
After all of this my precious baby girl made it to full term! Mary McCaleb Ragan Gilland “Mary Mac” was born January 28, 2007 at 39 weeks, healthy and happy! What a beautiful gift she was in the midst of difficulty. God is so good to do that for us! To provide us with glimpses of His glory when we are so burdened with life. Sometimes they are not as obvious as the birth of a new baby, but they are always there we just have to look. I was still using a walker to walk when we brought her home from the hospital and continued to until she was almost 3 weeks old when I began using a quad cane. I walked with the use of a cane for about 6 weeks and then was on my own! Yippee!!! I had a terrible limp which continued for almost another couple of months, but I was walking on my own! To God be all the glory!
Throughout this whole time I was having physical therapy two days a week. I had two therapists that alternately came to my home and helped rehabilitate my leg. God blessed me greatly with these two women. They were both women who loved the Lord and they were huge encouragers to me both with my therapy and spiritually. Looking back it’s obvious that this was an unexpected gift from God!
I would love to be able to report that then my leg returned to normal, but that is not the case. Even now my leg is not the same as it was before I fell. It may never be. I am not sure that I will ever run, ski, jump or even just trust my leg like I did pre-accident. Thankfully the pain on most days is totally gone. But just like all the elderly equipment I had, my leg is more like an elderly woman’s than a 32 year old woman’s. I can tell you when the weather is changing by the pain I feel in my leg. Very impressive, right?
Writing out this story of my fall has been both hard and rewarding. It is often that unless I go back and revisit a past situation I’m not fully aware of all that God did during that time. As I have reflected on this time I have been so encouraged in just remembering the details of how the Lord carried me and provided for my family. I want to be very clear in that God did not cause me to fall, yet in his sovereignty he allowed me to fall and endure this hardship. We all face trials. It feels like almost every day I hear of someone I know or a friend’s friend dealing with cancer, miscarriage, death, divorce, etc. We live in a sinful, fallen world where horrible things happen every second. But we love and serve a God who is sovereign, good, loving, powerful, just and in control! His plan for our life is always good and perfect (Philippians 2:13, Jeremiah 29:11)!
Some of you maybe in the midst of a trial right now. Be encouraged… God is for you and he takes great delight in you (Zephaniah 3:17) and his purpose for your life is good! He is faithful and trustworthy and he’s more than enough to get you through whatever you may be walking through today!
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8
Ultimately everything we go through is an opportunity to rest in God, to trust him, to experience him deeply, to watch him move, to allow him to teach us/change us and then to give Him all the glory. It is my heart’s desire and I pray that above all else when you read my story of pain, patience and peace that you see God high and lifted up!