Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Serious Post

Over the blissfully free-from-work-and-school Thanksgiving break my eight year old daughter Bella accidentally dropped a large can of beans on her big toe. (The ranch style beans with brown sugar everybody loves.) Any other kid would have howled in pain and run immediately into the arms of a comforting parent. Instead Bella calmly walked to her bedroom and cried into her pillow. Once in control of herself she put on her socks and shoes and limped back to her usual activities not telling anyone about the mishap. 

Later in the day I asked her why she was wearing her shoes in the house. This was not normal for her but she told me that her feet were cold and gave me the Bella look that means “don’t ask me again”. Rather than get into it with her I let it go at that.

Two days passed and she began limping rather noticeably. She continued to hide her injury until Buns and I physically pinned her down and made her let us look at her foot. Once we got her sparkly tennis shoes and color coordinated socks off it unveiled a twice the normal size, throbbing, purple ghoulish toe.

I tried to keep my face calm but inwardly I was screeching and flailing my arms around. “Holy cats! How have you not been writhing on the floor in agony with that monstrosity?” was my thought.

When we told her we needed to go see the family doctor to have it checked out huge tears began to run down her cheeks. “Oh baby, he’s just going to look at it. No shots.” I promised, hoping desperately not to be a liar. She didn’t say anything, just continued to look at me with those wide-open tear filled brown eyes that transmitted the fear she felt like an electric current.

The next morning I loaded her in the car and we drove to the doctor’s office. She sat quietly in the back seat and didn’t say a word as I tried to tell lame jokes and take her mind off what was coming. I could tell she was hurting and afraid of what was going to happen. A sad sigh would escape now and then and I could see the tears welling up in her eyes in the rear view mirror.

We arrived and after a miraculously short wait we found ourselves in the small examination room with the doctor. “Wow, what happened to you?” he said with a smile. This was more than she could handle and finally collapsed into a sobbing mass on the table.

Once it was determined that the bone wasn’t broken he told us that all the pain was coming from pressure under the toenail and that it needed to be lanced. He would heat up a needle and make two small holes in the nail to let the blood drain out.

Bella was really brave as this was all going on and consented to let him go ahead. I stood up by her head and held her so she couldn’t see as she went through what seemed to me to be some kind of medieval torture that had been tweaked into a modern medical practice.

As soon as the doctor pierced the nail blood began gushing out of her toe. This continued as he made the second and then applied pressure to finish the job off. Amazingly, there was almost an immediate reprieve on Bella’s side, although I was near hyperventilating. “Oh that feels better” she said with relief in her voice. She was bandaged up by the nurse and sent home much happier.

That afternoon as I contemplated the situation I realized that there was a message in that situation that I needed to hear.  

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to cover painful incidents in my life with achievements and completed projects. Instead of dealing with the unpleasant emotions that came from the trials of my life I did my best to bury them. I’ve done this by deliberately not thinking about them and frantically wrapping them up with accomplishments and other behaviors as I try to banish the pain those circumstances caused.

The state of affairs with Bella helped me to see that because I’ve been avoiding these thoughts and feelings, I’m not allowing the Savior to do what is needed to heal me. I'm limping around with a bruised and battered spiritual toe refusing to let anyone look at it. I am going to have to be brave and let Him lance it so that the pressure that has been building up over the years can come out.

This is going to require humility, which I am no good at, and faith. Something I thought I had in abundance but now realize needs some work. I’m going to have to stop giving lip service to the atonement when it comes to emotional pain, and actually trust Him to let it work in my life. No more counterfeiting.

With this in mind, last night I got into the car and went somewhere that will help get me on the right track. It was terrifying to admit to others that I was indeed an actual mess and not just the funny one I pretend to be. That with all the incredible things the Lord blesses me with, I still struggle deeply to trust Him when it comes to this area. It was freeing, it was honest, and there were people there just like me.

Today I’m hopeful. I feel good. This is going to be a challenge and it is going to hurt, but with God's help I know it may be one of the best things I ever do and the first step has already brought relief.  

It’s time to finally see the doctor and heal this toe.



1 comment:

  1. I love this, and I identify. Cheers to the freedom that comes from love, grace and redemption that He provides.


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