I know what you’re probably thinking. You’ve probably heard this a million times, seen it in memes and pictures all over the internet. As a lower-limb amputee like myself, you’ve probably spent lots of times on your knees. But what I’m talking about here isn’t just literally. If you or someone you know has fallen victim to worry and doubt, hear me out.
In the last two years, I’ve had two different surgeries on my right leg (one for a broken knee, the other as an amputation revision) putting me off of work for a total of 8 months. Though my job has amazing benefits, we don’t have short-term disability. As a single woman with a mortgage and car payments, student loans, etc just like anyone else, it was…. a nightmare. There were days I was angry, sad, feeling hopeless, sorry for myself. I blamed God for my troubles and wondered why I couldn’t just have been born “normal”. Wasn’t it enough that I had had to endure all that I had as an amputee through childhood… a young girl.. and a woman? Now I had all this on top of it?
As a Christian, I know that this is nothing compared to the HUGE debt that Christ paid on our behalf and I feel guilty when those thoughts and feelings start creeping in. I could feel the weight of the stockpiling bills stealing from my attention, my sleep, my joy in life. I could sit at home for hours, wracking my brain to try and figure out how I was going to pay the next month’s payments with the pennies I had left in my bank account. If you’ve been through something similar, you know all that was going through my head.
I’ve been back to work now for about a week and am STILL overcome with the pressure of making ends meet. BUT.. I know I’ll make it through this. God brought me through last summer and I know He’ll do so again. While I debated on going to church this morning, I am more grateful than ever that I went.
I listened as the preacher spoke on how during our tough and weary times, it’s so easy to fall victim to feeling sorry for yourself, letting small things and thoughts overtake the important parts of our lives. I could feel goosebumps rising on my skin as he talked.. as if I was getting answers to so many recent prayers. One verse he mentioned, in particular, came back to me from my days in Sunday school:
Romans 8:32 King James Version (KJV)
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
God didn’t even spare the life of His own Son. Instead, He gave His life through Christ that we would have eternal life and be granted the glory of heaven. Why would He not give us all things? I sat sorting through this verse for a few minutes as I continued to listen. Hope. Peace. Comfort. It all came to me from this verse.
I had let the devil take possession of my thoughts and turn them into worry and doubt. Anxiety and frustration were taken out on others that I loved. Through this verse, I was reminded that I needed not to worry. Everything will be okay. I just need to trust God in all parts of my life.
Matthew 17:20 New King James Version (NKJV)
20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief;[a] for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
a. Matthew 17:20 NU-Text reads little faith.
My faith has been the one part of my life (as I know it has been for many other amputees) that has gotten me through so many rough patches. It has given me the strength to carry on when life seems too tough, though sometimes it takes me a while to give in and let it all go. I’ve not always maintained the closest walk with God, though I continue to work on myself as a Christian. I will need regular reminders to step back and let God work in my life.. To let Him use my story to bring His love to others. But, He always has a way of speaking to me and giving me gentle reminders that He’s in control. When times are tough and it’s too hard to stand.. It’s time for me to kneel.