The Big Lesson

Praying for myself never seemed like something I should practice. After all, God stays pretty busy taking care of so many requests for people who can’t help themselves that it really seemed selfish to bother Him with my pain and problems. I was trying to learn to pray for others and not be full of self-pity. There are people with real pain and real problems that far exceed my limits. Did they exceed their limitations? Three weeks ago I decided to climb on my countertop and rearrange things on the shelf above my kitchen cabinets.  Having done this many times before, I had no issues with the precarious position I put myself in. On the other hand, my husband had issued a severe warning about abandoning this ill-advised practice to his 69-year-old wife…me! I was in sock feet and up about three and a half feet off the floor.  The job was almost done and I was ready to step to the small step stool that stood waiting for my left foot. I had moved since climbing up on the counter and the stool was farther away than I remembered and that did it. Losing my balance and with nothing to grab, I knew it meant falling onto the ceramic tile floor. There is a way to be smart and a way to be dumb. Honoring this body is smart and taking on a task beyond my ability is really dumb. I am a chronic loser when it comes to balance. The joke was always that I couldn’t chew gum and walk in a straight line. My troubles had just begun when my body fell straight back onto the floor. The motion of a split second fall was observed in slow motion as the sound of my head cracking on the floor alerted me to the end of my descent. I pride myself on taking care of my diet and my skin. Oral hygiene is a must. I honor this body as though it were a temple. No smoking or not a drop of booze for twenty-six years, but I do not respect my physical limits. There are medications I take which cause a bit of dizziness, but the side effect shows itself as unbalance. If you didn’t know me and you watched me walk, I often sway around like a drunk. So where was this respect for my body when I made such a blatantly stupid move? Professing that accidents happen when concentration is lost, I guess I am a genius. Learning my limitations is another lesson. Lying on the floor and unable to catch my breath, I wondered if this would be the end of me. Where was my second chance?  Struggling to call for my husband, I was on the verge of tears. When he arrived on the scene of the kitchen floor he asked if I had learned a lesson!  Through breathy tones, I said yes. The pain that has followed this lesson has been excruciating and I have learned to pray for myself. Nights of no sleeping and an unbelievable inability to ease the pain, I have asked God to find it in His mercy to bring me some relief. The first bit of knowledge imparted to me was to search for a better doctor. The egomaniac doctor who first saw me was very rude and uncaring. God told me that His care is what I can count on and that I must be patient with myself as the healing would take a long time; however, He did mention something about learning the lesson of my limitations. I have begun therapy and continue to pray for myself but with each hour of relief, I give God thanks. If I am going to pray for myself, I had better be grateful when I get results.  I am grateful even if the pain goes on through a day because I know that God saved me for a reason and I can pray that He shows me what He needs from me. I actually learned two lessons: 1.) No more climbing on the counter or up on ladders beyond my ability and 2.) It is okay to pray for myself. Being a child of this God I so love, I must learn to honor this body He gave me. I know I am not perfect, but being human means learning lessons…even lessons about what I cannot do!

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