How fitting that my very first blog post would be about healing and hospitality. Let me first start by saying that I broke my ankle on February 27th. It was an ordinary day of picking up my eldest daughter from preschool and grabbing lunch. I was walking down the steps at home carrying my son in his car seat. I missed a few steps and twisted my ankle. I felt it pop beneath my weight, but thankfully my little man was left unscathed. There I was in agony on the bottom step right beside the baby gate(the irony I know).
The girls ran and got the first aid kit and flung band aids at me. Suddenly I felt like I was going to pass out. Everything was spinning and I tried all I could to prop my ankle on the baby gate. I was too afraid to even look at the damage done to my ankle. It all seems like a blur now as I called my husband at work telling him what had just happened. He was home within 30 minutes, and was shocked at how calm I was. I remember telling him that the pain was gone for the moment and my whole foot was just numb. After what seemed like an extremely fast er visit I had my answer. My navicular bone was broken apart plus cracked, with a piece of the cuboid bone chipped. I also managed to sprain it. I was sent home in a splint, with crutches, meds, and a follow-up slip for orthopedics.
I was crushed when we got home. I don’t think it actually hit me that I had broken my ankle until late that night. I woke up with the most excruciating stabbing pain. I wanted to believe it was a bad dream. The days to follow were extremely challenging. We have two sets of long narrow steps in our home, and getting down them on one foot is not pretty. My youngest son was showing no mercy as he did his usual rummaging around the house. Our dog had an accident in her crate because it took me longer to get her outside.
I remember just sitting on the couch with my crutches, in tears as my toddler informed me she was ready for breakfast and the baby was unravelling a new roll of toilet paper throughout the living room. Luckily ortho was able to get me in the same week of my injury. They did another x-ray and a ct. The orthopedic doctor informed me that due to the crack in the bone he couldn’t do surgery to pin it back like he wanted to.
I was put in a boot and for the next 6-12 weeks I wouldn’t be able to bear weight on it. He also wrote me a prescription to rent a knee scooter at the local medical equipment store. In my head I was thinking of how embarrassing that would be and I had already made my mind up that I would not be using one. Fast forward to about a week of using crutches and I quickly changed my mind. My whole upper core was sore, and my under arms felt like Jell-O. Needless to say I had my husband take me to rent that knee scooter. It was a hassle at first maneuvering around the house, but it was so much easier. As an added bonus when my husband took us out I would let one of the kids sit up front as I rode us around. Plus it has a basket that holds my iced coffee so that has to mean something. In the midst of all this I had to miss a lot of work.
I was feeling so helpless at home with four kids, a dog, and limited mobility. At one point I tried to walk on it anyways and it was physically impossible. I’d watch the clock waiting for my husband to get off work. I was quickly becoming depressed and unable to even pray. That’s when God stepped in, when I physically and mentally couldn’t. Some coworkers mentioned setting up a meal train for me, but my pride was too big. I told them I was okay, but really I wasn’t.
I was so ashamed to admit that I needed the help. The second time they mentioned it I changed my mind. The Lord nudged me to let them help me. Let me add we don’t have our dream house yet, and the place was a mess. My husband would clean it nightly as usual. However, by morning my youngest son would have it a complete disaster, and I couldn’t keep up. But here’s what I’m learning. Every time I opened up and let someone into my home a piece of my pride was being torn down.
There’s something so healing in opening up the raw parts of your life, and letting yourself be loved as is.
Day one of the meal train left me in awe. I felt so undeserving. There were hot ham sandwiches on buttery buns. The most delicious pan of potato soup, and homemade cherry crisp paired with a tub of vanilla ice cream. The sandwiches went well with the soup, the girls even dipped theirs in the soup. And the ice cream melted with each spoonful of crunchy oatmeal topped cherry crisp. I remember each following day clearly. Someone had Panera Bread delivered. We had baked ziti, two different spaghetti dishes. Pizza and cookie dough. Sausage and egg hash breakfast casserole. Baked ziti with garlic bread and brownies. Roast with the sweetest glaze, and blueberry pie. Buddy’s BBQ, and chicken tortilla soup. A pan full of pigs in a blanket (even our eldest approved of them and couldn’t stop eating them).We even had groceries and a gift card brought by!
I can remember every meal not because it was all literally less than two weeks ago, but because of how it made me feel. There’s something sacred in simply showing up for others. And I will never forget the way they showed up for my family and me, through their hospitality. When I think of meal trains I always think of them for helping with new life, or loss, but never for the in between. The kind of in between moments that leave us breathless, flailing to stay afloat for air. I am beyond grateful for them for showing up, for helping when I needed it the most.
Such can be said about grace. My pride sets in and I don’t want to admit when I’m struggling. I stubbornly try to do it on my own, too ashamed to open up and let grace in. It becomes hard to embrace the fact that grace is free with no strings attached. But pride is torn down, when humility is lifted up. In all my pridefulness I can try and resist it and think of all the ways I’m undeserving of it. Or I can humbly accept it and think of all the ways I can be transformed with it. At the end of the day I need grace every second. I don’t want to be self reliant, I want to be God-reliant.
The healing comes even harder for me, because I want instant results. I don’t want the feeling of being limited. I want my ankle to heal right now. But here’s what I’m learning through the healing:
Through my limits, I am reminded that He is limitless.
I know in time I will heal slowly but surely. Through this long healing process I have struggled with resting and the urge to be up doing stuff. Something transforming happens when you are literally forced to stop and rest. Your eyes are opened even more to the little things and joy found in doing absolutely nothing. Simply soaking in the moments with your loved ones, no plans just being.
In this month of resting, I’ve also been led here. I’ve longed in the deepest parts of my soul to blog. A place to let out my thoughts and to connect and encourage others. I always just let the fear consume me. But I finally took the leap on this. I’ve secretly had this for a year, it just wasn’t a domain. No theme, no logo, just an empty space. In this time I created this site, and dreamt up the design of Raising The Martins. The designers brought my dream to life just the way I wanted the name to look. Yet I felt shaky and nervous hitting publish on my first post .
Then I keep thinking of how nervous I was opening up and letting my coworkers see me, broken, no make up, messy home and all. And how there was so much beauty in their hospitality that went deeper than the comfort food. This is my place that I open up to you. Because when we share our brokenness it connects us together to the One who heals.