I broke my leg when I was in second grade. It was a horrific bicycle accident.
The weather was wicked hot. It was the middle of July and I was staying with my aunt. My grandma lived around the corner and she had a pool with a slide and diving board.
So, my cousin and I grabbed our towels, put on our trunks, and hopped on his bike to ride to my grandma’s pool. I was so excited that I forgot, or was too lazy, to put shoes on. I mean, come on, we were just a block away from my grandma’s, what could happen?
Well, I got on the bike’s handlebars and my cousin began to ride. I was barefoot, and we were laughing and talking about jumping off the roof…I mean, diving board, into the pool. Then, suddenly, my cousin lost control of the bike and my left foot went right into the spokes of the front wheel.
My foot was mangled and bleeding. My cousin panicked and began knocking on neighbors doors, never mind the fact that we were only five houses from my grandma’s and my cousin was a fast runner, but we decided to knock on the doors of people who weren’t home. I remember looking at my foot and thinking, “I think I see bone. I’m never going to play kickball again!” Alright, actually, all I remember was screaming and crying and sweating, because it was hot and I was laying on the street.
Suddenly, a neighbor came from across the street, a guy I never met. He said he thought I was an ambulance the way I was screaming. Just want to remind people, I was in second grade, I still had a high pitched voice. Anyway, I was in a lot of pain.
To end this long story and get to my point, I had a cast on my leg for awhile. I’m not sure the reasoning behind it, but my dad and my grandpa Ed, decided to remove the cast in my grandma’s kitchen. It was definitely an interesting experience.
My ankle healed, probably not correctly, but I could walk and run, so that works.
No matter how well my ankle healed, the scars still remain. I can still see the marks and memory of that fateful day where I screamed like an ambulance. There are certain times my ankle hurts, if it is cold or if I run for too long without an ankle brace, and I can vividly remember the accident. Yet, I have to push through and keep going, and sooner or later, the pain subsides.
Maybe you can relate?
We all have those painful memories that we carry. We have the scars that remain from past relationships, broken marriages, separated homes, parents divorcing, ad much more. The marks are deeper and, for the most part, most people can’t see our struggle.
The thing about my ankle scar is, I can cover it with my sock and nobody can see them. You can do the same thing with yours. You might hide a physical scar with clothing, but emotional scars, you might cover with substances, humor, other relationships, etc.
You might forget about the event for awhile, but something happens that brings it all back, like the weather for my ankle.
For me, I keep running. I push through it. For you, you might keep going, but for some, it’s paralyzing.
So, how do you handle it?
Often times, the music I listen to is what keeps me moving. Perhaps, you need someone who can be that music in your ear?
Perhaps you need a friend you can call to share your pain? Maybe, you need to seek counseling to figure out how to maneuver through the dark times?
Of course, as a pastor, I need to say, “You need to rest in Jesus.” No matter how true that is, God made us for community. Our scars that remain need to be revealed so people can understand our difficult times. We need people in our lives who will listen, guide, pray, encourage, and motivate us to push through.
If I run with someone, I warn them about my ankle. I say, “I will run as fast as I can, but I might have to slow up due to my ankle pain.”
Your scars remain. Your hurt is real. Acknowledge it. Don’t hold it in and deal with it alone. Find someone to confide in and work things through. The pain may not go away forever, but at least you’ll know you don’t have to deal with it by yourself when the weather is bad.
May you find rest in Jesus when your pain is great. May you find a friend or two who can assist you in your journey. May you find healing.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: How do you handle your past hurt?