Fractured, Not Broken

“Aiyah! Did you wreck your moto? What happened to your foot,” said the thousandth concerned Cambodian watching me hobble along with my walking boot.
“No,” I said patiently.
Despite how common it is to injure oneself on motos, I had not fractured my leg on a moto. I had hurt myself in a much less glamorous way. I took a walk on the edge of the main road. While I waved to a group of villagers to my right, I didn’t watch the uneven road edge and twisted my ankle quite badly: Stress hairline fracture. Once I explained this, they laughed with me at the improbability of walking and fracturing a bone.
It has been five weeks now, it’s healing (although slower than I would like), and I’ve just added it to the list of things I experienced for the first time in Cambodia. However, the difficulty in having a foot out of commission in a third world country with no disability access has added to the challenge. I learned to walk on crutches in Phnom Penh up little flights of uneven stairs, I traveled through to Thailand for the summit and I promised myself to never travel on a broken anything again. When people ask how you are, the urge is always to say, I’m fine. No problem, really. However, fracturing a bone right after being sick and nauseous with an amoeba of unknown origin left me feeling a little sorry for myself.
The urge to pout and ask God, “why me, don’t you love me?” has almost never been stronger in my head. It was easy for me to accept that wasn’t God’s fault. The head acknowledges that God will be with me, but my heart was so tired of being sick and dealing with being sick and hurt in a foreign country. Living in another culture is difficult. Living in another culture whilst dealing with your own frailty is a different level of difficulty. My heart yearned for first world medical care, for my own culture, for my family and friends back home. I had a couple of good old-fashioned sulks to myself during the first couple of days post injury. I praise God for the patience of my fellow missionaries while I limped around insisting that it wasn’t broken and I just needed to hop a couple of days and it would get better. I praise God for the prompting to go get it checked out.
This was one of the best learning experiences I’ve had in life, I think. I have always known and accepted that as Christians we are not exempt from the evils of the world. That we will have so many trials and tribulations. I’ve had my fair share of trials before. But somehow, as I spent a month hopping on one foot (before we finally found a walking boot) I’ve fully realized what it means that “Whatever your anxieties and trials, spread out your case before the Lord. Your spirit will be braced for endurance….The weaker and more helpless you know yourself to be, the stronger will you become in His strength. The heavier your burdens, the more blessed the rest in casting them upon your Burden Bearer.” ~ Ministry of Healing pg. 71-72
I also remember, “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward, for you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:35,36. In a way, it’s humbling that God thinks I can handle all of this. However, comparison is the death of the pity party. I have felt so blessed and cared for through all of this. my dear partners have helped and prayed with me, and physically carried me up and down some of the afore mentioned uneven stairs. So many people have gone out of their way to make me feel better, to help me along the way. The kindness of humanity has shown through for me throughout fracturing my foot. If it helped or helps my people group to see God a little clearer, it was beyond worth it. I have faith that God used this situation and my clumsiness to speak to people, maybe I’ll ask in heaven someday.

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