Friday, November 2, 2012

My Fat Leg

Eight years ago my leg turned blue and doubled in size.  We were living in Indonesia at the time, teaching at an international school.  After a terrifying day and night, we flew to Singapore for medical treatment.  I was hospitalized for a little over a week while I was given blood thinners to try to dissolve the clot that had formed from my hip to my knee.  The pain was intense.  I left the hospital in a wheelchair and used a cane for some time after that.  My memories of this time are sparse, but vivid.

A few days in, after some of the swelling went
down and the color was more normal 

Before we left for Singapore, Matt sent a couple of emails out to friends that we thought might have connections to people in Singapore.  The morning after we arrived, my hospital room filled with strangers coming to offer Matt a place to stay, meals, transportation, internet.  It was pretty amazing.  At a time when I felt most vulnerable and scared, we had people surrounding us, being God's presence to us.  We knew hundreds of people were praying for us.  Somehow, in a hospital in a strange country, we felt taken care of and acutely aware of God's presence with us.

Hospital bed picture and Matt with very short hair

After a few weeks, the constant pain in my leg subsided, but it has never completely gone away.  Through both of my pregnancies, I would regularly wake up with that leg cramping.  When I exert my calf muscle, it aches and complains.  It's a constant reminder of my limitations and of God's faithfulness.  Sometimes I like to think of myself like Jacob, who wrestled with God and afterward walked with a limp.  

The Wees, who graciously hosted Matt during my hospital stay
and me as well for the few days after I got out of the hospital
before we were cleared to travel back to Indonesia

Every time I try to run, I feel the catch in my leg.  The pain always takes me back eight years and 10,000 miles to the hospital room where I wrestled with God.  I asked why? and how? and what now?.  Every time I feel the pain, I am reminded of the kindness of the nurses, the good doctors, and the countless strangers who heard we were in need and came to our aid.  

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