In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me– Hosea 5:15b
I’m taking toe-jam to a whole new level. Last week I was moving some sports equipment and there was this heavy-duty dartboard hanging from the side of the container. I was wearing flip-flops, because Brownsville, and the dartboard came crashing down on my big toe. I need you to know something about me- I have a very high pain tolerance. Blame it on my jaded past, but pain I can handle. But this… oh, this. This was pain like I had never felt before. And it was on an area of my body that affects everything. Moving, cycling, running… walking and driving! That first night I basically moaned and whimpered, unable to fully fall asleep. I hobbled my way through the rest of the week. Each night prayed for sleep and each morning I inspected my toe to see if it was healed yet. And here I type this seven days later… still pain. And it looks worse, although the pain has subsided from a 12 to about a 5. Today as we hung out for my boy’s chess tournament, a few people said they thought the toenail was going to fall off. Two friends said I should stick a small needle through the shell of the nail, or the side of the skin where it’s puffy and drain it, because it would relieve the pressure. I said I’d think about it. But the thought of it makes me shudder. Just stick a need in it?!
And throughout this week I’ve wondered why I wasn’t healing faster. Truth? Ain’t nobody got time for this! This is toe-tally (get it.. toe…tally…) inconvenient!
Want to know a little secret? I have always struggled with my eyebrows, or lack there of. For some reason, as I’ve gotten older, my eyebrows just faded away. It’s strange. And for years I’ve purchased liquids, and powders, and stencils. You name it- if it started with eyebrow I was trying it! And for all of my photos throughout the years, I’ve noticed my uneven attempt at an eyebrow.
I know what you’re thinking. Where I she going with this? First the toe, now the eyebrow. I had looked into getting my eyebrows tattooed. I was terrified that the lady would do it and make me look like a scary clown. One day I just decided that I have had enough of trying to get my eyebrows on and even. My friend told me of a place and I went in for a consultation. Before I knew it, I was making the appointment. I went in without telling anyone (okay, I told one friend, but only because we both wanted to have this done). I didn’t want any more delays or anyone to talk me out of it. And I spent over 2 hours on a Monday morning having my eyebrows tattooed. It was painful, but again, pain tolerance is not usually a problem.
She told me my eyebrows would heal in about a week, and a layer would just scab off. I was to put ointment on them every morning and every night. I was also supposed to stay out of the sun and heat or they could sweat and heal wrong, and become blotchy. I didn’t realize this was going to make me look like Chewbacca (except his fur was soft, mine was oily). By about day four I was getting worried. It didn’t look like I thought it should. Honestly, I looked a little creepy. I ran in to the salon and the lady didn’t seem as concerned as I was. She said it usually takes a week and she kind of chuckled at me because she could tell that I was visibly worried. I went home and went back into the salon on day six, because it just wasn’t healing like I thought it should or as fast as I thought it would. She looked me over and let me know that even though ‘most’ people heal up around day 6, that it takes some people about ten days depending on their skin. Apparently I have the ten-day skin.
And every morning I would wake up and run to the mirror. “Why isn’t it healing?” “It should be all healed up by now!” And that was in August. I wished it were over a couple of weeks where I could have just hid in my house and not seen anyone- But I couldn’t. It was actually a rather busy ten days. On day seven we did a kids camp in 100-degree temperatures, outside. When I welcomed the kids as they were arriving you would think I had a frog on my head… oh, the looks. But I carried on, trying not to let the drippy, oily eyebrows affect my life.
Here I sit in October not even thinking much about my eyebrows, which is why I love them so! I wake up and they’re there, I swim and they’re there… it’s fabulous! But that time when I thought the healing would never happen… I just woke up one day and didn’t think about it. I can’t tell you a date or a time exactly, it was just as I continued putting one foot in front of the other that it happened.
I see God at work in our healing. Sometimes we feel like it is taking forever to heal this broken heart, or to heal this pain that throbs like a pulsing toe that’s just been slammed with a dartboard. We don’t see God in the onset of the pain, or in the waiting to be healed. I wish I could just wake up and have my toe be normal again, but I believe God can teach me something through the pain.
I know this sounds strange, but I see God in my pain. I see Him showing me that He’s healing even when I don’t see anything happening.
He’s showing Himself to me in the moments where I had little patience, “Please Lord, just bring about healing!” And He allows me to see Him when I look back- He is the One who helped me, gave me strength, and brought me through. And as much as my toe is a pain (literally) I see Him as I ask Him to reveal Himself to me in my wait.
Have you ever had something happen that was traumatic and/or painful? Did you wonder why it felt like it was (or is) taking so long to heal? Did you almost feel God silent? If you look back on some of those things, can you see where He was with you during the pain, or He sent someone to be His hands & feet? Do you remember feeling impatient for the healing to happen, but now see how He worked everything out and brought glimpses of Himself through it? I encourage you to look for Him, even in the pain. Whatever you’re going through, trust Him to build you up through it and make you stronger!
1 Peter 4:19- Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
Romans 5:3-5- 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.