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"Tripped up... By a lady who had lost her leg"

Woman with amputated leg sitting in wheelchair exercising stretching exercise bands with both hands.Ever felt totally tripped up in your thoughts and responses?
During my first post-surgical therapy session, I was fervently doing my exercises with my physical therapist following a double knee replacement. I was contemplating my pain intensity and how I hate being limited to move freely, walk normally,  wanting to play in the beautiful weather outside, worrying about getting back to work, and feeling trapped by my pain-limiting situation.  As I looked across the room…I was absorbed in the thought that I was probably one of the most severe cases, and yet doing pretty well compared to others.  All this while being excited over exceeding my PT’s expectations for progress.

Suddenly… I was stopped in my thoughts and feelings by another female patient in the same room who was smiling as she was pushed in a wheelchair into the PT room. As my eyes started looking for “her problems”, I looked downward. That’s when I could have fallen over noticing she had lost her leg.

My problems suddenly seemed so small, nothing compared to someone who had a truly significant loss. Embarrassed, as I compared my situation to many others who had minor athletic injuries. Simultaneously I found myself feeling “how bad I had it” and at the same time feeling a sense of pride over how well I was doing compared to most patients at the physical therapist. Until I saw this sweet lady with no leg.
God likes to teach me lessons when I least expect it. Recently, I also read in Acts 16 in the Bible about Paul and his focus in the midst of struggles, as he was unjustly put in prison and beaten for doing good and teaching about the love of Christ in his community. He didn’t complain about his situation nor did he complain about the people that were unjust to him. He simply saw his “bad situation” as part of God’s orchestrated plan, a necessary step for a better future. He was actually grateful, thankful to God, and looking for new opportunities. He didn’t take on a “holier than thou” and “arrogant” attitude about how he was handling his problems. Just satisfied and content, looking for opportunities that God was placing before him as his life moved forward.
My “trip-up from the lady with no leg” led me today to three thoughts as I move towards becoming to closer to the person that I need to be…

  • Cease letting my mind play the comparison game with others around me, and accomplish my best as I look to God for my purpose.
  • See all that I encounter (whether perceived “good” or “bad”) as opportunity for growth
  • Accept each moment as a gift from God as I become closer to the person He has uniquely created me to be.

As we all encounter various struggles in life and a variety of challenges, I hope in some small way this lesson of mine encourages you!

Dr. Don


5 Join the Conversation

  1. Jewels says
    Sep 01, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    Thanks for grounding me. I pray you heal fast and well. I pray my right knee total replacement surgery goes very well tomorrow. I feel scared. I feel helpless in controlling my pain. I know that there is way more pain to come. That scares me more too. I pray my surgeons hands and knowledge help me. I pray I can handle what is about to come. Thank you for sharing how you are doing. I am blessed to know your doing well!

    • Dr Don says
      Oct 04, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      Glad I could help in some way. Hope and pray you continue to heal quickly!

  2. Dan Warren says
    Sep 03, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    Thanks Bro! This lesson in a different way hit me following brain surgery, God is good, there are so many whose perspective is amazing because they have put their faith in what really counts!

  3. Julie Pierce says
    Sep 24, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Today upon a bus I saw a lovely girl with golden hair. I envied her...she seemed so gay...and wished I were as fair. When suddenly she rose to leave I saw her hobble down the aisle she had one leg and wore a crutch but as she passed.. a smile! Oh God forgive me when I whine I have two legs the world is mine. I stopped to buy some candy. The lad who sold it had such charm. I talked with him. He seemed so glad. If I were late twould do no harm and as I left he said to me, I thank you. You have been so kind. It's nice to talk with folks like you. You see he said, I'm blind. Oh God forgive me when I whine I have two eyes the world is mine. Later while walking down the street I saw a child with eyes of blue. He stood and watched the others play. He did not know what to do. I stopped a moment then I said, "why don't you join the others dear?" He looked ahead without a word and then I knew he could not hear. Oh God forgive me when I whine I have two ears the world is mine. With feet to take me where I'd go with eyes to see the sunset's glow with ears to hear what I would know....Oh God forgive me when I whine I'm blessed indeed the world is mine.

    • Dr Don says
      Oct 04, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      Thanks for posting this eye-opening and thought-proking story! Julie

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