what recovery feels like

I have an idea for a new series and the title is going to be: ‘the dumb stuff Staci does.’

I swear to you I would have at least two entries a week because, well, that’s just how I roll friends. And let me tell you, last week was a doozy. I actually told a couple friends that the week could ‘suck it’. I know. This is a PG-rated blog and I just said something bad. But really, it was unpleasant.

So, anyway, one of last week’s entries would have addressed Thursday night’s soccer practice. We got there in good time (which is always a win in my book), but of course I hand’t had time to change from work to picking up CJ but I was comfortable in my dress and flip-flops.

I heard the coach asking Jon if he could play and Jon said that he could and I thought maybe he needed help. But then he made a comment to another parent about playing and all of a sudden I had that lightbulb moment … ‘oh, that’s right! it’s parents vs. kids night at soccer and you forgot. idiot.’

So because I am nothing if not a true competitor and model parent, I removed my flips and pranced (note: not prancersized) out onto the field. We were having a great time. I scored a goal (my first real soccer goal … ever) and we were into the third quarter when I ran towards mid-field to pass the ball. I saw one of the kids running at me (with cleats on, because duh) and so I stutter-stepped as I went towards the ball and felt a bit of a snap when my big toe drug across the ground … under my foot. Ouch.

I decided to sit the fourth quarter because I was quite certain that the snap and ensuing pain shooting through my foot wasn’t quite normal. By the end of the evening, my toe was pretty swollen and well, now, it’s a few shades of purple and green and only half as swollen as Friday.

Since Friday, I’ve been moving around pretty gingerly on it. I have no idea if it’s broken or sprained but I don’t think I need an X-ray and extra doctor visit to tell me it’s going to take time to heal. I went for a walk last night (the first time with full-on shoes on) and I realized after I got back that I may have pushed it too far.

I guess that’s the way it is in life, too. First of all, everyone has some level of ‘brokenness’ that we can’t see. Some of us are dealing with broken bones (big toes, even!); others broken hearts; and still others, broken spirits. Regardless, all of these things take time to heal. I posted a long time ago about time and how difficult it is to be here, but that sometimes here was so important because of what I was learning in that moment that I didn’t want that time to pass too quickly.

Today, I am recognizing that here is necessary and that here is that period in which recovery takes place. Recovery can be very rough. (Please don’t think that I’m referring to my toe here; it’s simply a metaphor in this case.) But over the weekend and last night on my walk I was reminded of what it feels like to be broken. It freaking hurts. But it’s necessary.

But why? Why is it necessary, you might ask … broken toes hurt! (Again, dumb.) It’s like Doug H. (a fellow leader going to Guatemala) told us in his lesson the other night as we gathered in preparation for our mission trip. We have to go through this process of brokenness to fully realize the holiness of God. To realize His grace. To feel His love. Many of the most influential figures in the Bible were completely broken just prior to becoming individuals of greatness. And I would dare say they appreciated those opportunities. It reminds us of just how small we are and how big our God is.

My big toe is very small (well, I guess it’s small in comparison to the rest of me) but really, that simple injury can be quite crippling. But, it does cause me to pause and take things a bit more slowly, to appreciate what is right and well in the world and that even in my brokenness God still loves me infinitely more than I can ever imagine.

I don’t know how long it will take before I’m recovered. I’m hopeful it’s soon (and honestly, I went for a bike ride tonight because I’m just that crazy and desperate to get on my feet), but sometimes we just have to give our bodies/hearts/spirits the time necessary to mend. But when I think about the recognition of brokenness and feel that overwhelming sense of love as a result, strangely, being here feels much more manageable.

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