Last Friday night I ended up someplace no one wants to be, especially on the first night of the weekend. My sons have taken a keen interest in BMX and learning tricks, which has already led to some scrapes, bruises, and sore limbs. I thought what happened Friday was among one of those minor incidents, so when my eldest son came home and posted a video of himself falling backwards off his bike, I just told him to be more careful. I got an eyeroll, an admission that his wrist was sore, and a weak, “Yeah, there’s risks to everything”, and off he went to see Spiderman at the theater with his father and brothers. Three hours later, when he came in the door looking pale and sweating, and in a very bad mood, I knew that we were going to be taking a trip to the local emergency room for an x-ray.
There are times when we look at small hospitals with a bit of disgust, believing that they can’t offer the same quality of care as in larger centers, and in most cases, this can be true.
On this particular night I was thankful for it, knowing that it wouldn’t be busy and we wouldn’t have a long wait. Anyone who has taken a teenager to an appointment of any kind will appreciate this fact as they have zero patience when it comes to waiting. Add in the extreme pain factor and it was a pretty miserable five minutes waiting to be assessed! After an x-ray and some poking around, the doctor decided it would be a good idea to put a cast on his arm, fearing that there may be a fracture that they couldn’t see.
At that point, I was thinking, “I get at least a week of not worrying about what injury he might bring home” and was actually looking on the bright side of this. Fast forward to Saturday morning when a refreshed, and in significantly less pain, 15 year- old proclaims, “I can still ride my bike! The cast is on in a way that I can still hold on the handle bars!”. Not going to lie, my heart sunk for a few second – no sabbatical from these stunts. Something that struck me though was his lack of fear to face the situation that had caused him pain.
We’ve all faced situations that have hurt us, physically or emotionally. As parents, we face situations that aren’t easy. Comforting our children when they’re hurting, especially when we have no answers for why they’re enduring them, enforcing consequences when they’ve broken the rules we have in place, especially when they show no remorse. As spouses, we face difficult times. It could be financial, betrayal, complete severing of the marriage through no fault of our own. In our work place we deal with problem people. In any relationship on the planet there will be times when we’re left reeling, feeling too hurt to put ourselves out there any more.
As a pastor’s wife, I’ve seen the best and worst side of people and let me say, it isn’t always easy to forgive and move on, let alone put yourself back in the line of fire. More difficult is to see your husband or children the target of the firing squad. But you know what? We must be strong and courageous, we must dare to love one more day. Just as my son got back on the bike and rode down the road, we too must ask God to give us His heart, fill us with enough grace for today, and dare to risk the hurt for the broken. Not only that, but when we find that we’ve messed up, fallen off the bike, we need to get back up and choose to try again. There’s never a point where we can’t start over. There’s never a time on this side of Heaven that God says, ‘Enough, no more chances for you!’
Just as He is patient with us, we must be patient with others and ourselves. There may be times when you need to walk away, something may be unsafe physically, or may be making you emotionally weak, but pray that God shows you the situations that are worth taking the risk to rebuild.