The journey: We all walk this thing out called life and pray that the journey takes us to our most desired destination; we have this big idea of what it should look like and when it gets messy we get angry & we get crazy frustrated because we feel like we aren’t getting there fast enough – sometimes we even quit because we get sick and tired of waiting.
We want answers! We want it NOW! We want the marriage, the promotion, the house, the car, the perfect kids, the ministry & the healing. We want deliverance, complete deliverance without the process. NOW God, NOW!! But then what happens when we GET those things before we are ready for them?
Now let me be clear: I believe God IS ABLE. I believe that He can give us whatever He wants to give us and take away whatever ails us whenever He wants to take it away. He can deliver us. But He knows us; better than we know ourselves – He knows what we NEED, to get to our purpose here and the eternity that awaits us .. and it is far more important than what we want right in the moment – I think that often, if we are paying attention and staying connected to Him we hear when something isn’t for us at that time … we know in our innermost being, but we (as fallen, imperfect, fleshly human beings) are prone to temper tantrums.
I have had SO many people ask me since my amputation “Gosh Amanda, don’t you just wish you would have done this to begin with??” The answer to that question is always a resounding NO. No, No, No. I was nowhere near ready to give up my leg. The amount of loss in our lives at that time was so tangible that it felt as if I could touch it. A pile of charred ashes in front of us – ashes that were supposed to be our life. In that time I don’t think I could have withstood one more loss. God knew way before me that His little girl needed the fight that was ahead to survive all of that loss.
I will never forget my first day of physical therapy in a PT office OUTSIDE of home or a hospital. I knew I had a long road ahead and I barely made it through the appointment. At the end of it, as I lay on the table getting ice – I wondered how in the world I would ever walk again; just then Elijah’s favorite song from Rock Band came on The Eye of the Tiger. I barely held it together – these lines of the song stood out in my mind:
It’s the eye of the tiger
It’s the thrill of the fight
Rising up to the challenge of our rival
Not sure I was ready to talk about the thrill of the fight; but one thing is sure – I know how to fight – I knew I had to rise up to the challenge of my rival. He wanted to take me out – and a declared defeated foe (Colossians 2:15) was not getting ANY Glory from our story! From that point forward I put my all into it – I set goals and worked hard. I was determined that I would WALK on the beach come June of 2014 if it killed me. I struggled, I had days where I was completely overwhelmed by how much of my life the accident had consumed … I got frustrated and angry at times, but that goal kept me going. I HAD to get there and I DID! I learned to walk again. I WALKED ON THE BEACH. I did it!
Then one day I was having a really tough day with pain – we had to go to the store and I was in my wheelchair .. a woman was in line in front of us and she was an amputee. The moment stands out in my mind – I can even remember what she was wearing because I had been praying for answers – I was in so much pain .. I had been pleading with God Lord, how will I ever do the things that you have put in my heart to do if I am still struggling in this way. If I’m on pain medicine in a fog, dragging my leg behind me? She walked beautifully. She didn’t appear to be in pain at all. She was wearing SHORTS & SHOES! It struck me at that moment – this was not to be my future; able to walk sometimes or confined to a wheelchair in agony. Still not ready I pushed that feeling aside; after all – I still had my leg right?
Roughly 3 months later the pain had gotten far more intense; I went to see my surgeon and he confirmed my worst fear: the rod in my leg had broken. It was snapped in half and literally floating in my leg. “Amanda, we are going to need to reconstruct. We can schedule you for surgery this Wednesday (it was Monday).” Well, the hell you can! Nope. Not today Satan. I was NOT going through that again and certainly not this week! I needed to PRAY, I had to do research, I needed to know my options. My option were 2 (and I already knew them): 1. Reconstruct AGAIN, again, again, again, again or 2. Amputate. Go back to my last paragraph. When I saw the woman at the store I knew. I already knew what I needed to do. Can I tell you that I walked around every single day putting my life back together on a broken leg for about 6 months? I did. Do you have any idea how hard it is to tell someone to take your LEG off? I prayed and processed and cried and I knew the answer the entire time. God was with me. He never left me. He told me, He showed me. He didn’t push me. I NEEDED THE PROCESS. I am known. You are known. Sometimes other people’s processes are easier than ours. We don’t get to know why. It’s really none of our business. Worrying about it is just a distraction.
My leg was amputated August 24, 2015. I recovered, I healed. The FIRST time I put a prosthetic on, I WALKED. When I say I walked I mean to tell you; I walked like I didn’t have a prosthetic. When I re-started physical therapy they couldn’t believe that I was walking so well – but I started anyway and I walked even better. I was off all medication by the beginning of December of 2015. I signed up to walk a 5k exactly one year from the day I had surgery & I completed it! Don’t get me wrong – of course being an amputee is not easy… but most days as the day moves on, I honestly forget. Other people do to. It’s been a process. But a process that He knew I needed, even more He allowed ME to know I needed it.
Trust Him. Embrace your process, remember that Our God is Faithful, He is good. He wouldn’t allow us to see something painful and leave us there, His plans for us are Good. (Jeremiah 29:11) Know that on the other side of it you will be better. You will be stronger. Persevere Beloved. It will be worth it. (James 1:12) Today, I’m STILL in the process …. and I’m ok with that.