Friday, January 28, 2011

Beyond the Broken

I hadn't been sleeping well for weeks, and the sheer exhaustion of grieving for Grace left me feeling a bit off center. My sister was visiting and we were standing at the top when her little one pitched forward and started to fall down the stairs. I went to grab her but lost my balance too. With grunts, bumps and a final groan I beat the little one to the bottom. The ER doc did an x-ray, but missed checking the spot of the break in my ulna which was found on an x-ray a week later. A referral to an orthopedic surgeon yielded me a cast from fingers to arm pit. Perfect.

Turns out I need that non-dominate arm more than I thought. Without it, I struggle to do even the simplest things. Putting in my contacts, buttoning my jeans, and putting on Joy's boots have all become nearly impossible to do alone... and I am fiercely independent. There was much muttering and sputtering going on until I relented to letting Joe help me.

When Grace got sick we learned quickly that we would not be able to get through it by ourselves. It was incredibly difficult to accept help at first. We didn't want to be anybodies charity case. We tried to do it ourselves and there was much muttering and sputtering... Why are we so suborn? Who ever said we were supposed to do things all by ourselves?
Early on we were forced into accepting people's help, but over time our feelings of pride and embarrassment were replaced with abundantly thankful hearts. Trust me in that it is a much more pleasant experience.

Our bodies were designed by God to work together. The parts rely on each other to do what needs to be done. People are the same way... we need each other to live the way God intended us to, to experience a fullness in life and love. (1 Corinthians 12: 12-26) (Ecclesiastes 4:10-12) There is supposed to be joy in community in both generously giving and graciously receiving. Without our body of believers and their persistent support we would have sunk during the experiences of this last year. The fear and pain of it all would have chewed us up and spit us out. But our church families were those bible verses above to us.

Many people are critical of the church these days... and I get it. A lot of them are dead. They go through the motions but have no passion or life. They are made up of people... and people are fallible, so sometimes they screw up. But there are churches out there who get it right, and offer a community that can support you when the bottom falls out of your world, even if they are not perfect. The bible doesn't say you need to go to church to be saved, but to go without that gift of family is to miss out on the fullness of life God intended for us. Gotta say, I am grateful for Willowbrook today!

Getting beyond the broken arm should take another couple weeks... getting beyond the broken heart of loss will take a whole lot longer. I'm thankful I don't have to do either alone.


  1. Wow! What a good reminder. Don't you love how God uses events in this world to show us spiritual truths? Not always fun, but pretty helpful, nonetheless.
    Wish I could come sign your humongous cast!!

  2. Excellent post! Once you get that cast off try to have a drama-free Spring!

  3. Keep it coming, Annette. You challenge me, and I love it. I am so grateful for the oppurtunity to keep on learning from you and your beautiful family. I agree so much with the thoughts on church and am also very grateful for the body of Christ in my own life. Bless you all!
    Sarah J

  4. Love your blog Annette. Thank you for sharing so open and honestly. The impact your words and your love of God has on those around you is huge. Hope your arm feels better soon.