Oh, not today, Lord. Pleee-eee–ase, not today.
If only we could be pain-free on the weekends.
I lean over on the bed with my arms and try to bend and unbend the knee as my husband snores. He got home from work sometime around midnight. It was a deadline day. It was an impossible deadline. He worked 15-hour days all week and still didn’t make the deadline. He will have to go back into work today, Saturday.
I try putting weight on my foot again. Wince. Moan. I try to vocalize my pain quietly. I limp to the living room. Chair. I need a chair.
Why does it look so far away?
“Josh,” I say to my son who is already up watching cartoons, “Can you move the stuff from Mommy’s chair so I can sit down?” He ignores me.
I get to the chair and try to balance, putting the weight on one foot while I toss the Playstation controller, the hot wheel cars, a empty DVD box, the granola bar wrapper. It’s only 7:45 and my house is getting trashed.
Eventually I limp the kitchen. I need medicine. . . and food. I go into rebellion mode–which means I will make a nice breakfast even if I have to stand on one leg to do it–scrambled eggs with bacon, peppers, onions, and mushrooms. I feel like a normal mom on a Saturday morning. Except I can barely reach the bowl on the bottom shelf.
Okay, Lord, I’m not going to let this irritate me. I won’t let it get to me.
And I drop an egg on the floor.
It’s the third egg in three days I have dropped. I hate my deformed hands.
Sigh, what a waste.
I finish scrambling up the eggs, I make up a plate.
“Josh, go tell Daddy there are hot eggs.” I repeat myself about 4 times in the next 5 minutes. “Please, Mommy can’t walk that far right now.”
I limp to the patio and sit down to eat the eggs.
A beautiful morning, so peaceful out here. I wish I had my coffee. It’s by the chair.
My husband sticks his head out, “Did you need something?”
“No, I told Josh to tell you there were hot eggs.”
“He told me that you needed something,” he chuckles. “He knew that would get me up!”
He gets his eggs and then joins me on the patio.
“I have to go into work today,” he says apologetically.
“It’s okay,” I reassure him. I am glad in today’s economy he has a job. I never try to make him feel badly about having to work. “I just hope my knee starts to work. I don’t know what Josh and I will do today if I can’t walk.”
This is not going to be the fun family day I’d been hoping for. . . Either my body or circumstances will mess is up. Likely both.
He finds me a menthol pain patch and I stick it on my knee. Now I just wait an hour and I will know what I can plan for the day. The menthol helps reduce the swelling so the piece of bone may move back to the right place. Sometimes.
I go back and sit down in the living room. My son is building a hot wheel track that starts 4 feet off the ground.
I am exhausted. The pain is exhausting. I feel like I’ve just come from a work out at the gym, only there is no adrenaline high. There is just pain. And dread. Is this what the day will hold?
There are only a couple more Saturdays before school starts. I wanted to do something fun for him today.
He is building the track near me.
“Mom, here is a pillow for your foot.”
Ah, how sweet!
“It’s okay, honey, it’s my knee that is hurting, but thank you.”
“Put your foot on it,” he says.
“That’s not really going to work,” I explain.
“I need it to work. My track is coming over here and I don’t want the cars to hit you.” (He speaks from experience of cars flying off the track into my foot.)
I am an obstacle that he is trying to avoid with his track.
I am an obstacle in my husband finding peace today–peace that he can go to work without guilt. He has to go, but he will feel badly about leaving us on a day I am in so much pain.
“But Jesus was matter-of-fact: ‘Yes—and if you embrace this kingdom life and don’t doubt God, you’ll not only do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over huge obstacles. This mountain, for instance, you’ll tell, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it will jump. Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it a part of your believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God.'” (Matthew 21:21, The Message)
I am an obstacle in my own life more times than I would like to admit.
Take a deep breath. . . you are choosing to be that obstacle. You can see only the negatives, the can’t dos, the I wishes, or you can see that God chose for you to wake up today with this knee and see what He plans to do with it.
Sometimes the biggest obstacle in my life are my own thoughts.
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and she lives in San Diego with her husband and son. She is gradually learning how to balance motherhood, family, illness, and ministry, but she still knows it will be a lifetime lesson. You can see the books she has written, including, Why Can’t I Make People Understand? at the Rest Ministries shop.