The Leap

The Leap

I made the leap when I was 12.

It wasn’t too high – just high enough to make me hesitate a moment before launching off a brick dividing wall. I knew as soon as I landed on my leg that something had gone wrong.

I had just been playing, me and my friends chasing each other around the streets in the Southern California heat, only playing. Then one decision changed everything.

The pain came and went over the next nine years. Finally a doctor was able to spot the bone fragment buried deep in my tendon. He scheduled the surgery that would remove it, repair it, and fix it all.

So I went through with it, but instead of relief, new pain followed – different pain … worse pain. Fiery pain that reached into my bones. After two years of seeking answers I had a new diagnosis: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, a trauma-induced degenerative nerve disorder that attacks my immune system and natural defenses. The pain that was supposed to disappear after surgery began to spread because of it.

This summer marks the 10th anniversary of my surgery, the surgery that toppled the first of a long series of dominoes.

When my body began to shut down, life as I knew it went out the window. Sickness crippled my immune system, cost me jobs, relationships, a social life, my health, and any feeling of freedom. It caused hospital stays, canceled plans, and years and years of grieving for the girl I once was: the one with the friends, the steady job and a life plan. The grief and the pain were so raw that I turned to countless medications to numb myself, anything to escape. The years passed in a fog. I slept through half of my twenties.

But God called me to wake.

Sometimes I wonder where I’d be now if I’d skipped the surgery and left that bone chip there. What if I’d said no all those years ago and just lived with the knee pain? I keep coming back to the same answer. If I hadn’t done it, I’d have never known the joys of following this path through the thorns and sorrows and pains. Maybe I wouldn’t have moved North if I hadn’t needed so much help from my family. Maybe I wouldn’t have sunk into years of feeling numb, and learned to cut out the prescriptions just so I could feel something. Maybe I wouldn’t have limped to Jesus if I never had to think about putting one foot in front of the other. Maybe I wouldn’t have sought community if I’d been able to handle everything on my own. I wouldn’t have leaned into my faith and grown in the stillness. I wouldn’t have met the father of my children, or found new purpose in being their mother. I wouldn’t have any of it, any of them. I leaped over that divider wall into this life, but what if I had stayed healthy, living the safe life I planned?

Would I be able to see the good if all the bad hadn’t happened? Would I be able to recognize the joy of the mountains if I hadn’t longed for them in the grief filled valley?

God doesn’t just work in mysterious ways; He holds every string to our life’s tapestry before we’re even born. He sees the millions of designs it could take. We bring billions of decisions and complications to the table, but God sees the whole. He sees the complete picture while I’m still focused on the individual threads that appear too bright, too painful to my eyes.

He asks me to wait; to step back and see the whole. He whispers, “Trust Me.” Soon that single strand no longer hurts the eyes but weaves into the whole fabric, making everything more beautiful.

Are you wandering in the valley or standing on the mountain top? Perhaps your life feels like it’s chronically in between? Pause. Breathe. Refocus.

God calls us to wake, but also to leap; leap away from the idea of a perfectly planned life. The greatest things happen when we surrender our carefully laid plans and lean into the Father’s guiding hands. Pray for God’s perspective: the beauty of the whole.

He can bring you through the thorns. Only He can turn your unraveled story into something bigger, something good, something beautiful.

Are you ready to leap?


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