Thursday I went to my first post-surgery check-up and was warned hand therapy would be immediately after. The surgeon loved the x-rays and how my wrist looked. He got rid of the stitches and ordered a new splint. He called for the therapist and told her point blank, “Her body is naturally resisting. You need to work on her mind as much as her wrist.”
My previous therapist came via a doctor script. My new therapist explained that when this happens, both the doctor and therapist believe all is well and they go full throttle, and that happened with me. What no one knew was that the bones were moving in reverse. The pain was indescribable, but my reaction to tense up in this new situation is natural.
This time around, this is a specialist working hand-in-hand (ha, funny) with the surgeon. She knows my story.
My first session was more about renewing my mind and gaining my trust than anything. It took several attempts to assure me my exercises didn’t need to be fast, with weights, or with a ton of mobility. By the end, she noted how my back relaxed.
This is a lesson that far transcends my wrist. I’d say the last 8 years I’ve come up against circumstances where the first time around, things went awful. The pain was deep and my natural reaction was to never, ever go through anything that looked like that again. And not because He’s a meanie, but because He loves me enough to want me to grow, God would create circumstances that looked near identical to the first. I’d fret, stew, whine, cry–and eventually give in.
And I learned through renewing my mind in Christ and trusting God that it was going to be okay.
Can you relate? I have a feeling someone out there can. I’m going through it, too. The therapy example helps me, and so does the cardinal.
Yea, the bird.
For nearly two years there was a cardinal in my path. In my driveway, dive-bombing my car, walking up to our patio, chirping to get my attention. It was during a time I was struggling to trust God because He was putting me in situations that looked far too much like ones I’d already been through, and I was scared.
It took me time to realize there might be something to the cardinal. I read up on it and guess what I learned?
The cardinal is a loyal defender.
I realized all those cardinal sightings were God’s encouragement that He had not forgot me, and that He was going to be my loyal defender. I entered those situations and not only were they not like the first, they went way, way better.
If you are scared, trust God. He truly is your loyal defender.
Even when I have to trust Him with my wrist.
I can’t help it but I have the song “I’m Henry the Eighth I am” in my head. Specifically, the part where Peter Noone shouted out, “Second Verse, Same as the First.”
I noticed the last two years there are life events popping out that look really familiar. It’s almost like Groundhog Day with Bill Murray where it feels like the alarm goes off and I’m living the same thing again. Thing is, I didn’t like those events the first time around.
Woundedness I received
Woundedness I dished out
When I first noticed the similarities I felt a gentle whisper assure me that although things looked the same, they were not. They were opportunities for me to trust God for a different outcome. It was not the proverbial Lucy from Peanuts holding the football moment. In some cases there would be redemption, justice, revelation, and just flat out better experiences than the first go-around.
Not easy, but better.
I’m blogging this today because this pattern continues with me. I’m seeing things that look so familiar. Names, places, circumstances. My first reaction isn’t what I know it should be. Instead, fear. Dread. Anger. Everything inbetween, including my mumbling things like, “Second verse same as the first.”
Yet in the middle of my personal GroundHog Day I’m experiencing something so different than I expected and I know it’s only the start.
People looking at the full picture, not just the small glimpse
During the first set I had experiences with literal dive bombing cardinals. Friends shared the same thing happening to them. I prayed and did research and found for me, one of the definitions I walked away with was that a cardinal is a loyal defender. To this day when I see a cardinal I claim it as a promise. God is my loyal defender.
These issues and circumstances appear like things I’ve battled before, things that nearly snuffed out everything alive and hopeful in me. But they are not the same. I’m not the same. Because of those things I’m stronger, wiser, and more discerning.
God willing, I’m surrendering to be more trusting if not of people, than of my God who loves me.
If you’re going through the second verse looking the same as the first, embrace your Heavenly Father as your loyal defender.
Because He is.
Do you love to read? I’d love if you would help us spread the word.
I guess what I’m experiencing is a little like the phrase “Glass half full” concept. While working through the Made to Crave DVD Lysa TerKeurst takes a negative word and exchanges it for a positive one. From deprivation to empowerment, guilt to peace, that kind of thinking. She mentioned that it is a switch, a turn in thinking.
We’re on our seventh snow day. You read correctly, seven. I tend to be a person tied to my schedule. It wasn’t that long ago I’d be completely unglued because between holidays, report card days and snow days they have been off ten days since Christmas. They have had one full week of school since December. Not that I’m counting…
I can’t control the weather and overall the kids are hanging in pretty well for being home so much. I’m trying to concentrate on the positive.
Instead of the snow, I see the brilliant cardinal.
Instead of the to do, I realize there is also an already done.
Instead of loneliness, I embrace the exclusive time with God.
Instead of what I’m missing, I concentrate on what I have.