As I write this entry, I find myself in a small town in Ireland, with a sheep dog at my feet, a fire in the hearth and a cup of tea in hand. How I love this country of rain, rolling green hills, public houses, and overflowing hospitality.
Preparing for and embarking on this trip, however, was less than serene or peaceful. I, a world traveler, with zero fear or anxiety, entrusting all to God, found myself in a nearly constant state of anxiety and panic about this venture. It seems I am constantly faced with my limitations as I strive to regain wholeness following the assault.
Reflecting upon this yesterday, amidst the serenity of my host family, I found this comparison most fitting. Like someone who’s been in an accident or suffered a freak medical crisis and in an instant lost the functionality of their limbs. On one side of that tiny moment in time, they were a person capable of walking around on their own two feet, fully autonomous…on the other side of that millisecond, they find themselves suddenly physically unable to accomplish the same tasks. Mentally though, they remain aware of what their body was previously capable of, knowing what it should be able to do and yet cannot now do.
Let’s say that over time, physical therapy will allow them to regain the movement of their limbs. Perhaps completely, perhaps it will never be quite the same, or perhaps they will end up better than before. Either way, it will be a long and arduous road to get to that place of mobility and one that will require a great deal of patience and steadfast persistence. And will undoubtedly, at times, be infuriatingly frustrating.
This is where I find myself in the healing process. I have internally lost certain mobility. It is frustrating for me to know that I am capable of so much, as I have done it before (traveling independently, exploring a village on my own free of anxiety, preparing for a trip with great excitement and precision). Being patient with myself that I literally can not accomplish those same things at this time, and focusing on celebrating every milestone. Just as I’m sure the first time, someone paralyzed is able to move their pinky rejoices. It may seem a small victory in light of their remaining immobility, but the movement of that pinky is a sign of a greater hope, a sign of healing to come. And so, I must celebrate what I am now capable of that I wasn’t directly following the assault and wait patiently for the rest of my mobility to return. Choosing diligently every day and in every moment to push the boundaries of my limitations.
I am broken, but I will not always be broken, and in God, I know for certain, I am being beautifully remade.