Thursday, September 29, 2011

First Outreach Injury

Well, our third day into outreach and one of the team members has sustained a serious injury....but wouldn’t you know it, that team member is yours truly!! I survived a week of NIKO for crying out loud and now this???? It was stupid in how it happened, too.

It was during our time in the beautiful province of Heredia where we spent two days at the Heredia base where I fell in love with the country feel and lifestyle there. They have all kinds of livestock, their own garden, a huge fire pit and a country like home where students and staff co-mingle each day. Everything is done with an eco friendly purpose and when you are done eating, you wash your own dishes! They fed us very well and treated us like royalty while we were there. It was very difficult to leave. :D

Anyway, back to how the injury happened. We had a ministry activity planned in a national park doing a prayer walk while praying for the people of Heredia. We had a time of preparation before going out, which was located on a miniature basketball court set on concrete. Just as we set out, I was the first to step off of the concrete surface and on to what I believed to be flat surfaced grass, which turned out to be grass with a sharp dip in it. By the time I realized the slope of the grass, I had already felt my foot turn and as I fell to the ground, I heard an audible pop in my foot.

Thankfully, it was not my ankle but I didn’t really know what the ‘pop’ sound meant. In any case, my left foot was completely immobilized while I tried to assess what type of injury it was but the pain became too much too fast and I just had to get my bearings from falling before getting to my feet. Once I came to stand, I couldn’t stand on my left foot at all. It was far too painful. So, while the rest of the team set out on the prayer walk, I stayed behind with two of the leaders and managed to find some ice to put on my foot. Just by the feel of the injury, I just had a sense that it was not good.

Well, today I just had a prompting by God to get my foot checked out after hobbling around all morning. I set out with two leaders and a fellow team mate who was kind enough to translate for me and we came to a Christian hospital called Jerusalem. It only took moments before I was being ushered into the x-ray room and positioned by the tech to have ‘pictures’ of my foot done. After she finished, the doctor was called in and he took a look. I spoke briefly with him and he determined that it appeared to be a tendon issue but wouldn’t elaborate. He also said that he didn’t think there was a break or fracture but that he wanted a second opinion and we began to wait for a specialist to come and take a look at the x-rays.

A long wait and a bit of miscommunication later, we took the x-rays and headed to another hospital, Hospital a la Catolica that was further downtown. There I was ushered in quickly and only had to wait a short while before being taken into another wing where the doctor would first look at my x-rays from the other hospital (yes, I was allowed to walk out from one hospital with my x-rays and take them to another hospital). By this time I had also paid several hundred dollars to see a doctor and to have x-rays taken, nothing else, not even a diagnosis.

So we’re at a second hospital and God blesses me with an English speaking doctor. Thank you, God!! He knew exactly what was needed! :D So, the doctor had a look at my x-rays and noticed that because of the extreme swelling and bruising of my foot that I had sustained a serious ligament rupture. Treatment? Three weeks in a cast or a walking boot that would completely immobilize the foot (I chose the walking boot). Along with plenty of rest, icing my foot three times a day and keeping the walking boot on all the time with the exception of icing and showering. At least my foot was kept stable and I could walk, unlike earlier today when I was hobbling with crutches. Extremely difficult to do in a place that is not handicap or wheelchair friendly. After the three weeks are up, I have to return to the hospital to see the doctor to have my situation reassessed and if all looks good, I’ll have to start on a regimen of rehab. Can you believe it???? A stupid little injury turning into all of this???

But, to everything under heaven, there is a purpose and God did not let this happen to me without a specific purpose. He made it very clear to me why the injury happened to me on Wednesday morning. See, before outreach had even begun, I was feeling quite sure and confident of my spiritual strength within our group and while I was fully surrendered to God’s will on our outreach, I still had some distinct pride about what I thought I could do during outreach and the people I could reach through my spiritual strength.

But when my injury happened and I was taken away from the action of my team members and had quieted myself to resting in the van with my foot elevated while applying ice, God spoke. I had been questioning God as to why this was happening now. Why after a week of NIKO nothing happened but on the third day of outreach I was now out of commission. My first round of questioning was met with God saying, “Be still and know that I am God.” “But God”, I said, “I’m prepared to do whatever it is you want me to do on outreach. I feel strong to do great things for you, why now?” “Be still and know that I am God”, is all He said in return.

At that moment I was humbled and I quieted my heart and was just still. As soon as I did that, God spoke further to my heart, telling me that sometimes He takes those of great service, completely out of service only to have them stand on the sidelines while watching others go out to serve. Wow. I felt as though I had been put firmly in my place by God. My confidence and strength regarding outreach had been revealed to me as pride and in these few moments of rest and pain, God was now dealing with me and my pride by taking me away from service.

I didn’t realize how prideful I had become and I was met with shame and embarrassment at what God was now telling me. So I spent the remainder of the day at the Heredia base while icing my foot, just being still before the Lord and interceding for my team and reading the Bible as God prompted me to do. I have to say that it was the best time I ever had with God out of all my quiet times with Him. God keeps speaking to me about so many things and now with this injury, He keeps speaking. Telling me things about the team, telling me things about His ways for me regarding outreach and just drawing me ever closer to Him which I am completely okay with. :D

So you may be asking, what now? Will I be going on outreach? Well, I don’t even know the answer to that question yet. So much happened in the last couple days, that I really want to honour God in all of my decisions, making sure that they are His decisions, not mine. So I will continue to seek Him each day and wanting to know His next steps for me. If that means me hobbling through the next couple weeks of outreach, then so be it. If it means me sitting even further on the sidelines while my team mates encounter God in outreach, then I will do that. I just want to get rid of this stinking pride that I have, even though I didn’t think it was pride. I serve an awesome God and He always has the perfect way of getting my attention and teaching me what it is He wants me to learn and know because He loves me that much!

So please pray with me for both myself and my team. Pray that God would strengthen all of us, remove any pride that exists within our team and that God provides me with the full restoration of my left foot in whatever way that looks like. Whether out with my team mates in outreach or here, at the base in San Jose.

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