I spend a lot of my spare time – and by spare time I mean the time I’m not eating or sleeping – thinking about my life. I think about my childhood around 2am and I think about my future around 3pm. Its constant, some days its horrible and I can’t seem to hide from my thoughts and other days they are welcomed to motivate me to better myself. While I was reflecting the other day I had a little nugget drop on in, and I’ll introduce you to him here. So without further ado I give you – The Casting Call…
When I was in kindergarten, we lived in Tennessee and I went to an awesome school. Why was it awesome? Well, because it had the coolest playground and art program ever! You can ask me anything about that school and I can tell you all the fun cool stuff I did, but back to the park. There was this awesome twisty slide and a wide slide. The wide slide was metal, so in the summer it was bittersweet for sure. One day I was playing on this slide and I got into an argument with this boy because he cut the line and wouldn’t let us go – I’ve always been quite the vigilante – and before I knew it I was flying off the wide slide. I landed and had twisted my arm at the elbow completely around, popping my bone out-of-place. I remember laying there in shock,laughing.
My parents were phoned and I was taken to the hospital and my arm was put in a cast with a nifty snoopy sling. I had to wear it for what seemed forever! If you’ve ever broke anything you now exactly what I’m talking about when I say pencils or rulers were your best friend, you threatened your siblings with it as a weapon, and it might as well should’ve been amputated because you have to learn to live without it. Do you know how hard it is to play barbies with only one functioning hand? HARD.
When I finally got my arm out of the cast it was like seeing my arm for the first time. It was thinner, was pale compared to the rest of my tan self, and almost seemed alienated from my memory. And I was so scared it would be easy to break again, I protected that arm with my life. The pain just wasn’t worth it.
So, why the story? Why the casting call? What are you talking about, Stephanie?
Over a month ago, someone told me that I could not use my feelings as a crutch, that I needed to be stronger than that. I’ve been told that I give up when it gets hard, or that I failed the test God was putting me through. A lot of things people had no right to say, but voiced anyways. However, the only one that upset me was the first – about crutches. Now, I know you’re probably not a medical professional, and neither am I but I think there needs to be some things explained.
When something breaks, it is not overlooked – but takes attention, skill, and knowledge to fix. So when you break an arm or a leg – you go to a doctor who puts it in a cast for you. The bone is most definitely still broken, and will need a lot of time before it fuses back together and becomes whole. During this time they put your broken arm in a sling and if you leg is broken – you use crutches. Now I don’t know about you , but if someone told me that I was weak for using my crutches – I would be pretty baffled. I mean, my physician – who knows about broken bones – encouraged me to use them. And yet, in the church movement it is so frowned upon to have any kind of crutch. As if being weak is such a shame if you’re a Christian.
The purpose of crutches is to keep your weight off the fracture so that it can heal properly, if you take it upon yourself to go without crutches you can end up injuring yourself more or even having the bones fuse together warped. And it is the same way in life, when your will breaks, your heart breaks, or just everything around you is falling apart – you need something to lean on to stabilize yourself. I mean sure, you can lean on your doctor but the point it is to learn to walk again. He will guide you, make follow-up appointments, do everything he can to help you heal but eventually his goal is for you talk walk again with confidence. He knows exactly when you need your cast taken off, he knows exactly when you should be without crutches, and he knows exactly how long your healing will take.
So how about some advice? From someone who is currently using a crutch in life. Yes, I’m broken, and yes it sucks, and yes sometimes I wish I could spread my wings and fly. BUT I have to wait, I have to heal completely before I can fly. I need to stabilize, heal, and re-learn basic functions to move forward. To many I’m a coward, or a quitter, but if you only knew the strength it takes for me to go out and live my life everyday. remember that everyone is facing battles, and you should never undermine someone’s hurt or problems because you don’t understand.
to those who have said mean things, find that person to apologize and remind them that you love them and are still there for them.
And for those still healing, rocking your crutch. Keep on keeping on. One day you’ll soar – but until then enjoy the journey to healing.
This is a casting call for the weak – Jesus wants to be your strength.