Always, A Noticeable Limp

Yesterday, I went to the doctor. It has been 10 weeks since my second hip replacement surgery. I just turned 52 and have had three hip surgeries in my lifetime. My second surgery was also a hip replacement in December 2015.

hip surgery

For some reason, when I think about what was done to me, I get an ill feeling. I know they used power tools. I know I have two pieces of metal riding on plastic inside of me. I know that my original hips are no longer with me and I know that if I go through a metal detector an alarm will go off. I try not to think about it and to just think about how lucky I am to be able to walk at all.

Having to deal with a hip abnormality most of my life has been difficult. But as I said, I am so glad that I can walk. My doctor told me yesterday that I may always have a , “noticeable limp”. Something I did not want to hear.

My life has been a roller-coaster ride over the past five months.

roller coaster

I had a hip replacement surgery in December 2015. Four days later my brother died from cancer. I graduated from college as an adult learner on May 14th, 2016 and I had my second hip replacement surgery on May 20th, 2016.

At times I wanted to scream, “Why me God? Why did you give me this burden?” Then again I thought, “At least I am alive and able to walk” My brother lost a 10+ year battle with cancer and died at the age of 48.

Why does God throw us these curve balls? These “out of nowhere” moments? I think of my brother everyday and think, “What if he would have lived? Why couldn’t he have been one of the lucky ones and was healed?”

If I would have been alive during Jesus’ lifetime, you can bet that I would have been following him. If there was news of such a person who could heal at the touch of a hand or after putting mud and spit in my eyes, I would have been there. And just like the man lowered through the roof on a mat, I would have had my brother with me saying, “Jesus, heal him”

One of my favorite Bible stories is found in Luke 8:43. The story of the woman who was bleeding for 12 years. I guess I can relate to this story because I have had a physical affliction for a long time too.

woman bleeding

I have often wondered what it must have been like for this woman as she heard that Jesus was coming through her town.

Did she think, “I’ve heard about all of the wondrous miracles this man has done. If he could only heal me”

What made her think to touch his robe as he walked past? Had she heard that with just a touch, healing powers would flow from this man into her body? The Bible does not say. What it does say over and over again is that Jesus uses the word “faith” when addressing the people he has healed. In fact, after this woman touched Jesus’ robe he said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace” (48 NLT).

In Luke chapter 7, Jesus heals a highly valued slave of a Roman officer (2 NLT).

Roman officer's slave

After the Roman officer addresses Jesus, Jesus says, “I tell you, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel” (9 NLT) and the Roman officer’s slave was healed.

I have had a strong faith in Jesus Christ my entire life. I have tried to live according to God’s laws. I have prayed and prayed for healing for myself and for my brother.

Why did Jesus heal these people centuries ago but he didn’t heal me or my brother?

What is interesting about all of this is that my faith hasn’t been weakened because of these questions, it has been strengthened.

When I returned to college in 2014, one of my reasons was to become strengthened in my faith so I could go through what I thought might be inevitable, the death of my brother. I went to a Christian University and my faith was strengthened. In fact, if I hadn’t done this, I don’t know if I could have made it through these last five months.

The truth will set you freeIn John, chapter 8, Jesus is being grilled by the pharisees. They are questioning him about who he is and who gave him the authority to do the things he has done.

There were everyday people listening in on this conversation. The people who heard believed in Jesus. To this he said, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings (31 NLT). And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (32 NLT).

I now know the truth, that God did heal me. He gave me knowledgeable surgeons to put man made titanium hips inside of my body so that I can walk. Jesus also healed my brother of his illness, for he is now with our Father in heaven, out of pain and alive again.

Shortly after my brother’s death I was reading in the book of Isaiah chapter 26 when I read a piece of scripture that jumped out at me. Isaiah 2919

Isaiah 29:19 says, “But those who die in the Lord will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy! For your life-giving light will fall like dew on your people in the place of the dead!” (NLT)

Now, I may be reading this verse out of context, but it jumped out at me. It was at that moment I knew that my brother was not dead. That he was alive in Jesus Christ and sits with him in heaven.

So how can I say that Jesus did not answer my prayers and heal me and my brother? I can’t.

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). For those who believe in him will have eternal live (John 3:15).

So I guess walking “with a noticeable limp” isn’t the end of the world because I know that one day I will be walking, without a noticeable limp, with Jesus in heaven, holding the hand of my brother.

Never Straight

When I think about the paths I have traveled in my life, it was never a straight journey. Many people enter life with hopes, dreams and wishes and they really seem to know what they want. I started my life thinking that I knew what I wanted only to be disappointed time and time again.

But when I reflect on that thirty plus years of my life that have passed by I think, “Isn’t this what God had planned for me all along?” The Israelites did not have an easy, or straight, journey either. They traveled in the desert for years before entering the promised land. God led them in that direction on purpose.

There are many other stories in the Bible where God takes a common man and directs him in a most unconventional manner. Jacob and Paul are great examples of paths that were not straight and very difficult.

I often think, “Where would I be now if my life had gone the way that I wanted it? Would I be happier than I am right now?” Probably not. I often think of Proverbs 16:9 NIV “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps”.

You do not need to know the path I have traveled in my life or the distance from where I began. All you need to know is this, without God I never would have made it. I think we can say that much for all of the travelers in the Bible as well. Just when you think you have everything figured out, you’re going in a straight line, God throws another curve into your life. Don’t fight it, embrace it. It is all in His plan.

How is your life journey going? Is it a straight path or a rocky road? I’d appreciate any comments or feedback.

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