Defining Moments

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Defining Moments Blog Post 2

Defining Moments

September 13, 2018

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. -Aristotle

Ever have a defining moment? A moment where a pivotal decision will dictate the next direction of your life?

Eight weeks after my foot surgery, the doctors removed my cast, moved me into a boot, and gave me the green light to begin walking. The doctor simply advised I should start with short walks. As in the distance from the couch to the kitchen table.

Ecstatic, I couldn’t wait to try. It had now been three months since my accident. Three months since I had taken a step. Would my body even remember how to walk? So I decided to walk from the examining table to my scooter, a distance of three steps.

I didn’t expect it to be easy. The doctors never minced words about the severity of my injury. During surgery they discovered part of my heel bone had been crushed. After removing the fragments, the surgeons reconstructed my heel using metal plates and eight screws. I knew I had lost some of the left-to-right movement of my ankle. But they assured me I would be able to walk normally and resume regular activities.

No, I hadn’t expected walking to be easy. But I also did not expect it to feel impossible. Nothing prepared me for the excruciating pain of each of those three little steps. With each one, reality crushed expectations, leaving me devastated. Swirling in my mind were doubts, fears and questions. How will I ever walk again?

Up to this moment, I had trained myself to stay positive. I wrote about this in my last blog post (you can read about it here). But this last blow laid me flat, gasping for air and wondering what had happened to my faith.

I can’t help but draw parallels to a time in the life of Peter. After a full day of ministry, Jesus sent His disciples off in a boat. In the middle of the night, Jesus walked across the water to join them. Thinking they saw a ghost, the disciples were terrified. But after Jesus identified Himself, Peter took a step of faith:

“And Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’

“He said, ‘Come.’ “

“So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’” (Matthew 14: 28-30 ESV)

I love the initial image I have of Peter, walking confidently on the water toward Jesus. But then we read how Peter saw the wind. But wind itself is impossible to see. Actually what we see are its effects. For Peter it might have been the churning waves. For me, it was the physical pain of each step. But for both of us, the wind succeeded in pulling our eyes away from our Lord, leaving us in the darkness of doubt. When that happens, we must choose either to turn back toward His light or remain in the darkness.

As I focused on the pain of those steps, unbidden and uncontrollable tears streamed down my face. Finally, like Peter, I gave voice to the anguish in my heart. Lord, I just need some hope.

When we lift our eyes to Jesus, He liberates our souls with His light.

After Peter cried out, Jesus lifted him out of the water.:

“Jesus immediately reached out His hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’

And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.” (Matthew 14: 31-32 ESV)

As with Peter, Jesus immediately answered my desperate prayer. From across the room I heard my husband suggest:

“Honey, maybe you shouldn’t try walking right away. Perhaps you should just try standing and slowly start putting weight on your foot.”

Relief, peace and hope immediately flooded my soul. While walking still seemed impossible, standing and applying weight to my injured foot felt like the perfect next step.

To be honest, I still struggle with doubts when I think of walking. Sometimes it can feel like an impossible dream. But I am choosing to focus on Jesus, not my doubts. For me this means also trusting the medical experts He sent me. They promise me I will walk again. So I am taking each next step with obedient faith, keeping my eyes cemented on Jesus.

Wherever you find yourself in your journey, I pray you too will be able to fix your eyes on the One who lights our way.

Defining Moments

September 13, 2018

Defining Moments Blog Post 2

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. -Aristotle

Ever have a defining moment? A moment where a pivotal decision will dictate the next direction of your life?

Eight weeks after my foot surgery, the doctors removed my cast, moved me into a boot, and gave me the green light to begin walking. The doctor simply advised I should start with short walks. As in the distance from the couch to the kitchen table.

Ecstatic, I couldn’t wait to try. It had now been three months since my accident. Three months since I had taken a step. Would my body even remember how to walk? So I decided to walk from the examining table to my scooter, a distance of three steps.

I didn’t expect it to be easy. The doctors never minced words about the severity of my injury. During surgery they discovered part of my heel bone had been crushed. After removing the fragments, the surgeons reconstructed my heel using metal plates and eight screws. I knew I had lost some of the left-to-right movement of my ankle. But they assured me I would be able to walk normally and resume regular activities.

No, I hadn’t expected walking to be easy. But I also did not expect it to feel impossible. Nothing prepared me for the excruciating pain of each of those three little steps. With each one, reality crushed expectations, leaving me devastated. Swirling in my mind were doubts, fears and questions. How will I ever walk again?

Up to this moment, I had trained myself to stay positive. I wrote about this in my last blog post (you can read about it here). But this last blow laid me flat, gasping for air and wondering what had happened to my faith.

I can’t help but draw parallels to a time in the life of Peter. After a full day of ministry, Jesus sent His disciples off in a boat. In the middle of the night, Jesus walked across the water to join them. Thinking they saw a ghost, the disciples were terrified. But after Jesus identified Himself, Peter took a step of faith:

“And Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’

“He said, ‘Come.’ “

“So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’” (Matthew 14: 28-30 ESV)

I love the initial image I have of Peter, walking confidently on the water toward Jesus. But then we read how Peter saw the wind. But wind itself is impossible to see. Actually what we see are its effects. For Peter it might have been the churning waves. For me, it was the physical pain of each step. But for both of us, the wind succeeded in pulling our eyes away from our Lord, leaving us in the darkness of doubt. When that happens, we must choose either to turn back toward His light or remain in the darkness.

As I focused on the pain of those steps, unbidden and uncontrollable tears streamed down my face. Finally, like Peter, I gave voice to the anguish in my heart. Lord, I just need some hope.

When we lift our eyes to Jesus, He liberates our souls with His light.

After Peter cried out, Jesus lifted him out of the water.:

“Jesus immediately reached out His hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’

And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.” (Matthew 14: 31-32 ESV)

As with Peter, Jesus immediately answered my desperate prayer. From across the room I heard my husband suggest:

“Honey, maybe you shouldn’t try walking right away. Perhaps you should just try standing and slowly start putting weight on your foot.”

Relief, peace and hope immediately flooded my soul. While walking still seemed impossible, standing and applying weight to my injured foot felt like the perfect next step.

To be honest, I still struggle with doubts when I think of walking. Sometimes it can feel like an impossible dream. But I am choosing to focus on Jesus, not my doubts. For me this means also trusting the medical experts He sent me. They promise me I will walk again. So I am taking each next step with obedient faith, keeping my eyes cemented on Jesus.

Wherever you find yourself in your journey, I pray you too will be able to fix your eyes on the One who lights our way.

2 Comments

  1. Jody R on September 24, 2018 at 5:46 AM

    Good Morning Shirley! Thank you for this blog post!! As always, you picked the perfect analogy to share. You are so gifted at bringing Jesus into our every day trials…even the not so fun, PAINFUL ones! Keep sharing your heart dear friend, it is so good!

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on September 24, 2018 at 8:43 AM

      Thank you so much Jody! As always your encouragement inspires me to continue!

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