A wide path {a story of hurt, home and hope}

'Kyoto Temple Front' photo (c) 2008, Tatyana Temirbulatova - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

“You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping.” {Psalms 18:36}

Although I had multiple fractures in my left leg and an incision ten inches long from my sternum to my belly button, held together with staples, they sent me home from the hospital with a walker, not a wheelchair.

For almost two weeks, my only job was to begin recovery; my days were filled with pain management, morphine hallucinations, a constant stream of beautiful friends and family, and the excruciating  initiation into physical therapy.

The day came when my lung (once crushed and residing near my shoulder) was healed to the point that my oxygen intake levels were declared “a-ok” and I was told I could go home. Home.

Home is where we were heading when the drunk driver failed to stop at the sign and blazed across the highway.

Honestly, I was scared to go home.

I was so weak, so plagued with pain…how could I go home? Home is where I take care of my family, cook dinners, do endless loads of laundry, clean things I never thought I’d be so undignified to clean; home is where I work. This work shapes so much of my identity, my value and purpose. Could I really rest at home?

I had only hopped with my walker out of my room and down the trauma ward hall about three feet before I was overcome with exhaustion and had to return to bed and the ice packs that hugged my legs. How could I “walk” into my house, down the hall and to my room?

How could I do anything? How could I do home?

My sister picked me up from the hospital. I knew a ramp had been constructed by good friends and people from our life group with materials supplied by a local hardware store. When we pulled into the garage and I saw that long, long uphill ramp, I nearly locked the car doors and insisted I be returned to the hospital, but home also held everyone who means the most to me.

On this late August afternoon, my family anticipated my return, because to them, home is me.

Each hop burned through my abdominal muscles and I had to stop three times on my trip up the ramp and then navigate the threshold of the laundry-room door.

When I took my hop into our family room and saw all that had been done for us, the cleaning, the arranging, the widening of paths for the walker to fit, my kids and cards and flowers, I stopped and sobbed.

My cry caught in my throat, raw and rasped, the throat that had held the tubes that kept me alive, the oxygen that my body needed, and came out low and loud and uncontrolled. And I stood — I stood — on one good leg and grasping hard the handles of my walker and thanked God for home, for the wide paths that my caring people made for us, for wide open arms that welcomed me and the wide open space of this wild life and the chance to keep living it.

My husband and I were both broken, both using walkers for a while. We had to take turns moving through the kitchen or journeying down the hallway. Sometimes we laughed at the slow train we made together, us with our broken legs and plates and screws and walkers, but sometimes we cried. For we passed through a narrow shaft of destruction and found ourselves pulled through into wide, wonderful life again; and when I think about that, really think about what a gift, a glimmer of the miraculous that life is, well, it always makes me cry.

***

Dear Friends,

Thank you for sharing a bit of my story. When I think about the verse above, I am humbled by the care our Heavenly Father demonstrates to prepare our way to keep our feet from slipping. I’m not the most coordinated person, sometimes I trip over my own feet. It doesn’t take much to trip me up in faith, either. Sometimes we face tremendous challenges, like the one I wrote about today, but sometimes we trip up in our walk with Jesus even when nothing’s really going wrong. Is it just me, or does that happen to you, too?

God is intimately concerned about your journey, about your spiritual safety, so to speak. Our paths may converge with danger or wind through uncertainty or dip into depression, because life is challenging, not a cakewalk. But despite the twisting and turning, we can always trust that we walk a steady, smooth, wide path of faith because Jesus himself broadened the road for us. He wants to keep our feet from slipping, he is concerned with our safety and our ability to keep on going. Even when every move was painful for me I remembered that no pain that I suffered could be greater than the pain my savior suffered for me. My sinfulness compelled him to make a way for me to know God.

In ancient times, when a king was planning to travel to a city, a contingency would go out ahead and build up the road, smooth it and make it ready for the royal caravan. Often roadways made of dirt would get deep ruts from the traffic and the weather. I saw roads like this in Ethiopia — unfit to drive a car upon and dangerous for the walker. We had to pay close attention to our footfalls to ensure we didn’t lose our footing, and our balance. God is showing us in this verse, just how much he thinks of us by making our road smooth and wide so that we can keep on this journey of life toward eternity with him.

Jesus thinks you’re worth the effort it took to make the path to him smooth and wide. Won’t you join him in the journey?

Blessings,

Alyssa

 

linked with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday , this week’s word: Wide

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10 Comments

Filed under Faith, life, relationships, Spiritual Encouragement

10 responses to “A wide path {a story of hurt, home and hope}

  1. Tanya Marlow

    Hey there Alyssa – coming to you via Five-minute-Friday. Oh Wow. Thank you so much for this powerful story- i was gripped by every word. I can relate a little – I have had my own adventures with hospital and health, and it’s that feeling of ‘I can’t do home’. You express it so well. As you said it was August, I’m hoping you’re better now..

    Great to meet you!

  2. katinarice

    Thank you so much for such a powerful story!

  3. Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece. I’m so blessed by the picture of God widening the path before me/us. May He complete your healing and richly bless you, your family, and your wonderful friends.

  4. Sweet blessings to you dear.

  5. this is an amazing story – and i just love how you used the word wide and the image of God and others who love you widening the path. makes me think of another Bible story – the friends who brought their paralyzed friend to the Lord to be healed.

    sometimes, there is no better way to have a hug from God than in the arms of a dear friend…

  6. jerralea

    Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you continue to heal as He makes the path wide for you.

  7. This had me tearing up as I read. Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog so that I could discover yours. Your writing is rich and deep and I’m going to enjoy getting to know you through your words here :)

  8. You have such a beautiful story. I love the way you have been able to share spiritual truths as a result of your pain. Praying for continued healng!

  9. To think…He’s preparing my way. This narrow road….widened.

    what a beautiful write, friend. So grateful you’re willing to share your story.

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