When Your Life Is Interrupted

“We interrupt this regularly scheduled program to bring you this important announcement!” Sound familiar?  And, does it seem to always come at the best time in the program?

I love summer.  I LOVE SUMMER.  It is my favorite time of the year. 

I love:

  • No coats or jackets.
  • Warm weather. NEVER being cold.
  • Early evening walks. Daylight!!!
  • Lots of cooking on the grill.
  • Sandals and flip flops.
  • Parks with the grandchildren.
  • No coats required for the grandchildren.
  • Festivals and markets.

On July 21, I broke my ankle and leg, while in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.   Since that time, I’ve been out only for the drive back to Birmingham, and trips to go to the doctor.  I’ve been in a chair with my leg propped up, and watched through the window as the days got shorter and shorter. 

My season was interrupted. 

Life is filled with interruptions, inconveniences, frustrations, and unexpected events. Things break (including bones). Accidents happen. The phone rings as soon as you get in the recliner at the end of the day. Appliances break.  Stuff happens.  Interruptions come without invitation!

When my season was interrupted, I was less than happy.  Surgery, pain and dependence on others became part of my world.  I remember lying in a hospital bed, and talking to God.  “Lord, I don’t want to be ungrateful, difficult, and angry because my season changed in a moment of time.  Walk with me through the season. I trust You with this interruption.”

In scripture, there were people whose lives were interrupted, and they became life-changing moments.  Mary, the mother of Jesus, had her happy life interrupted by an angel.  She later gave birth to the Son of God, who would change the world.  Saul was interrupted on his trip on the road to Damascus.  He would later become Paul, the apostle who would write more than half of the New Testament.   Their interruptions became their new “to-do-list” from God.

When our great season becomes not-so-great, God will use these times to stretch our faith.  He can do a new thing in our lives.  An interrupted life can reveal whether we are standing on the Rock or sinking sand.  Do I trust God with the details of my life, and the interruptions?  Is His grace sufficient?  Will I find that He is enough to sustain and give strength for the season?  Yes, yes, and yes!

What will you do with your interruptions?  I hope you will lean on these words. 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” – (Proverbs 3:5-6)






Faith To See Yourself Through God’s Eyes

While visiting a friend in Florida, we went on a little shopping spree.  I love to shop with people, if it’s people with whom I love to shop.  (You know what I mean!)

My friend wanted a new television for her bedroom, so after much searching and researching, we found the right television at a good price.   The television was loaded into her car, and off we went, ready to set it up immediately.  Being single, my friend has learned a lot about setting up electronics correctly.  I’d be lost!

Once the new flat screen was ready, she wanted to know how it looked.  I stretched back on the bed, reclined against the pillows and looked at the television.  I hated to tell her, but the screen was terribly blurry. 

After telling her how blurry the screen was, she redid the cables and we gave it another try.  After three times of this, it was disheartening. Alas, she had a bad television!

I sat up to help her get the box, so we could take the television back to the store.  I looked at the screen one more time, and it was crystal clear.  Then, I realized, while reclining on the pillows, I was looking at the television through the bottom of my bifocals. That  part is for magnifying the letters so I can read.  It is definitely not good for media use!

There was no problem with the television.  The problem was I needed a correct focus.

In talking with many people, I find they are so hard on themselves.  Raise your hand if that is you!  (I am raising both hands, one leg and one broken leg!) 

Too often we see with blurred distortions. Remember this:  What I see is not always the same as what actually is. 

Emotions are such a wonderful part of life, but emotions are not always accurate.  There are days that our vision tells us that we are worthless, ugly, useless, less-than, a failure, unwanted and a host of other things.  Our emotions might tell us those things and even more; but that doesn’t mean it’s so.  Emotions can cloud our view of the accuracy of what God says.

Too often our spiritual eyes are blinded by what others say about us or do to us.  If we are not careful we will hoard hurtful comments, and feast on them day after day.  We will watch television and think that is what life and love are really like.  As we view social media, we will think, somehow we missed the boat!   

We must have the vision of God, and that only comes through His word.  He speaks truth.  I want to live by His words and dwell on them alone – “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God” (Psalm 139:17). 

Today, change the focus.  Get a clear vision of what God says about you. That is truth.   Adjust your spiritual glasses and see clearly.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made.  It’s time to believe that. Have faith to see yourself through God’s eyes.

“Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:31 


Do You Want To Get Well?

Dealing with a broken leg, foot and ankle has altered my lifestyle tremendously.  Most of my days are spent sitting with my leg elevated, occasionally using a wheel chair or knee scooter for the trip to get my lunch out of the refrigerator, or make my way to my bedroom at night.

My doctor’s instructions are that I am to put no weight on my foot for six to eight weeks, and keep the leg elevated.  It sounds so simple, but I am so tired of the routine. Some days I just don’t want to do what it takes to get well.  Yet, every day I obediently do my part.  Why?  Because I want to get well.  I want to walk again.  I want to get back to living again.

I want to get well.

Chapter five of the book of John relates quite a story of a man who had been crippled for thirty-eight years.  He spent his days lying on a mat.  Many scholars believe it was probably a small 3’ by 5’ mat that became his world by the Pool of Bethesda.   He would lay there daily, hoping that it was his day of healing.   

Enter Jesus.

Jesus asked an interesting question to the man in verse six, “Do you want to get well?”  Really, Jesus?  What a silly question!  Perhaps it wasn’t so silly.  The man’s response was to give all the reasons why he couldn’t be healed.  He lived in captivity to a 3’ by 5’ world.

As I talk with people, I’ve been tempted to ask, “Do you want to get well?”  I hear reason after reason why they can’t get beyond the prison of their 3’ by 5’ world. 

I get it!  I really do.  I’ve known sexual abuse, miscarriage, the loss of a child, and a score of other things – things that invited me to live in a 3’ by 5’ world.  It’s often more inviting to do mat time, than to walk the process of healing.

My heart is gripped when I listen to the painful stories of people’s lives.  Life can be brutal.   I believe many must answer the question, “Do you want to get well?”  Sometimes the journey is slow and difficult.  As with my leg, we will sometimes still feel the pain while awaiting the healing to be completed.

Jesus came to deliver us from a 3’ by 5’ life.  We won’t always receive instant healing.  We certainly can’t turn back the clock and erase what brought pain and brokenness into our lives.    Jesus sought out a man who needed healing.  Jesus is always seeking those who are broken, and need His healing.   

Jesus is still asking the question, “Do you want to get well?”

Let’s try to unpack this question by looking at it in a different light. Perhaps Jesus was digging deeper and asking things like: Do you really want things to change? Are you ready to leave behind all of the excuses? 

Do you ever feel like you are stuck in a 3’ by 5’ world?  Enter Jesus!  There is a big world out there, so don’t let pain and brokenness keep you on the mat.   Jesus is ready to help you get off that mat, and walk into healing.

As I stare at this elevated, black-casted leg, I wish it was instantly healed.  I wish I could turn back time and change that moment that brought such pain and discomfort to my life.   It would be easy to wallow in my sorrow and pain. 

But … I want healing.  I want to get beyond the pain, and off the limitations of a 3’ by 5’ world.  I do the things I need to do for healing.  Therapy is down the road, and I will do the things I need to do for healing.  I want to get well.   Do you?

“Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” – Jeremiah 17:14



Try A Little Kindness

I still remember how it felt when I missed the final step and went sailing into the air, landing on my right foot.  As I lay in all my glory on my son’s living room floor, with the whole family as an audience, I knew my foot was severely injured.  While I won’t bore you with the whole story and all the details, suffice it to say it was a long night in the hospital in Baton Rouge.

At times the pain was breathtaking, and I could feel myself getting more and more anxious. Everything in me felt like saying, “Hey, I’m in pain over here. What’s the holdup!”  I could roll my eyes, sigh with exaggeration and demand to speak to someone. That’s what I felt like doing.

I sensed the Lord was telling me to be nice, but I didn’t feel like being nice!  I knew God was saying, “Don’t sacrifice kindness on the altar of your pain.”

While in severe pain, I made up my mind that I was going to be nice to all the personnel who would be assisting me that night.  We were in an emergency room, with a lot of people waiting.   That meant lots of needs, lots of pain, lots of impatience.

The choice was mine.  How would I act and how would I react? 

It was a long, painful night, with lots of slowdowns and lots of beating around the bush as to what should be done with my broken toe, foot, ankle and leg.  I chose niceness.  I was in enough pain to want to be anything but nice, but nice and treating people respectfully would be my choice.

After many hours of dealing with many different people, which eventually turned into several days of dealing with different people, I made a decision daily and sometimes hourly to just be nice and kind.  I expressed my needs, my pain and my desires, but nicely.

One day, a caretaker said to me, “I wish all of our patients were like you.  Sometimes we get “cussed” out for things we have no control over.  Sometimes they yell at us for telling them the doctor won’t be here for another thirty minutes.  I have no control over the doctor.” 

Another marvelous thing happened:  some of the employees would come by and visit. Some began to share their stories, and I was able to talk about the power of God.  I thought one worker would have revival in the middle of the night!

Don’t miss the point of this short blog.  My purpose is not to pat myself on the back.  My purpose is to remind us, that God is with us in our pain.  God will bring healing to our pain, and in most instances, it will be a journey, that seems slow and never-ending.  (My days of immobility seem soooooo long.)  But, God will bring healing to our pain. 

Whether to scream at everyone, take it out on everyone, and be rude to others is a choice. 

As  you read this, I am in no way minimizing pain, any kind of pain:  physical, betrayal, emotional, grief, marginalization.  Pain is real, very real.   And sometimes we do cry out because of our pain, and hopefully we have people with whom we can share our pain.  So this is not a guilt trip blog.

My goal, as a child of God, is to let God do my talking, not my pain.  I trust God with the pain.  He sees. He cares. He wipes tears. He heals. 

In the mean time, try a little kindness.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”- Colossians 3:12