Old Wounds

I sprained my ankle while playing volleyball two years ago. I don’t remember the specifics, but it was a pretty bad sprain. It healed and I went on my way, never really giving it any attention. Except for the fact that my ankle didn’t seem to heal ‘right’.
If I was standing too long, it would swell up and ache. It was a new normal to get home from work and see a baseball sized ankle. Dull aches were almost a constant. Sometimes I would step wrong and have sharp pains shoot through. When it rained, my ankle ached. Two years went like this and I never really gave it any special attention, I was used to the pain. I would try to do stretches to strengthen my ankle, but nothing seemed to work.
Finally, I mentioned my problem when I was at the chiropractor getting my hip put back in place. Chiropractor looked at it and said, “oh, your ankle never set right.”
After a little bit of tugging, and a lot of trust from me, it was put back into place.
The lack of pressure on my ankle was surreal. I went two years with my ankle out of place, and I had no idea.
I cried a little bit when I was driving home, I was so used to a constant ache. The relief that washed over me was beyond overwhelming; I had no idea I could be pain free.

But I still had a weak ankle. That night, four hours later, I slipped going down the stairs in my house and twisted my ankle. I sat there and cried as the finally pain free ankle started to look familiar again with swelling and purple bruises. I had been given a small glimpse at relief, and it was taken away so quickly. Another two weeks of a bad ankle that it had slipped out of place again. Once the swelling and bruising went away, we started over. Pulled the ankle back in place. This time I made sure to get a more supportive brace. It was foolish of me to expect something so new to be strong right off the bat. I needed to provide support so it could heal without worry for reinjury.

I would love to say my ankle is perfect now. A month ago I had absolutely no pain in my ankle for a week straight. I played volleyball and rocked it. It was a completely different experience. Until I stepped wrong. And, yup, sprained my ankle all over again. Not as bad as the last two times, but enough to make me slow back down.

It’s a continuous battle I deal with. I wish I could just make the hurt go away instantly. I need to heal first, and then slowly work on strengthening my ankle with adequate support to keep it from rolling out. It is a process that takes time an to insure a full recovery. Healing does not take place instantaneously.

Old injuries can hurt again at the most inconvenient times. Old wounds will ache when the wind blows cold.
Emotional scars don’t always fade. Physical injuries are easier to justify the pain. We can see that there is a wound, and we can see the progression of healing. The whole world can see it. But emotional wounds are hidden. It’s not only hard to acknowledge there is an injury, but it is hard to know exactly what steps need to be taken to lead to healing.
Because we can’t see the injury, it is a lot easier to ignore it and say there is no injury, especially if other people say they can’t see anything.

Emotional wounds can last a long time. They are a dull ache deep in your chest, a knot twisted in your stomach. Months go by. You think time heals all, but it didn’t seem to heal ‘right’. Something triggers your emotions and the wounds open up once more. This happens when we do not take the time to process and heal, when we lack the support to grow stronger.
No one wants to be sad for long. We find a moment of happiness and cling to it, ignoring the blues we were in mere moments before.
But even when we thought we’ve moved past the hurt, it can still slip up from time to time.

We are not always capable of healing on our own. There are hurts greater than us that need mending from the Healer. We do not always know the root of the problem. We may place our sadness in one area, when the root could be a completely different reason. But we have a gracious God that wants to provide us with healing, with a surreal relief from all the pain we’ve felt. He knows the pain we’ve gone through and He sees our scars. Thankfully, He is our rock and support, our emotional brace when we begin stepping out again. We may mistep and hurt from time to time, but we have God to lean on. After a little bit of tugging, and a lot of trust from us, God will put our broken bits back into place.

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