A Reflection: Overcoming Moving with a Sprained Ankle

It is three months before my fifteenth birthday and my father has started interviewing for a new coaching job which will better provide for my family of seven.

This is also when I sprained my right ankle for the first time ever. The sprain is a problem for me since I am a “ballerina in training” as I like to call it. But it is a minor sprain so I push through it because I love dancing so much.

Move forward to a month after my birthday…My dad is living in a different state having started his new job. As for me, I have sprained my right ankle a second time. Of course it is worse than the first one as my ankle is still weak. We are in school, packing the house, dealing with bullying, and trying to keep the whole family together without too much anger and frustration.

May comes around. My ankle is almost well! I will be able to play games, play the piano, and dance without hurting myself constantly! I am pumped up and decide to play a game with my friends, one which involves much running.

Running and I’m going to score!

They will all congratulate me!

A misplaced step, finding myself on the ground so sudden, and feeling…PAIN!!

Pain from my toes up through my back, I can’t move, tears streaming down my face like a river. Blurry faces, being carried, my mom, arriving at home…”You need to ice your foot” … EXCRUCIATING PAIN! “I can’t do it, I just can’t!” I cry and scream in pain.

What has happened to cause so much anguish? I realize that I have stepped into a large hole in the ground while running backwards. I have severely sprained my RIGHT ankle…again!

Next few weeks pass in a blur…crutches, ice, trying to help pack and feeling useless and in the way as a cripple, goodbye tears, moving, new faces, and fear. Living in a small town, near to where my father works, my family enjoys walking into town. This is a frustration for me as I have a sprained ankle and must limp everywhere…when limping 10 feet makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry. Eventually things begin to settle…

You may ask why I decided to relate this in the way I did. It is simply the way I relate to those frightening and painful months. So, what kind of meaning does this contain to me?

I view those months and incident as a lesson for me. I learned in a painful way the consequences of not waiting until you are fully healed to begin participating in fun events. I have seen what it means to be helpful and how to “see the job you are capable of and do it” as my dear mother likes to say.

Those months were long and hard for me.


The feelings of uselessness, of being a cripple, and other such thoughts can cripple one mentally causing a difficulty in learning and in relating to others. I had to learn how to overcome these feelings and those of fear, anger, and sorrow.

“How can I move with this ankle? I can’t do anything! Couldn’t we wait just a little bit longer before we move?”

These are just a few of the self-pitying thought I had. I had to overcome this!

I knew that this was tough for my mom and my siblings, especially my older brother. I was determined to be strong for their sake.

In the dark and when alone, did I truly feel this way? Of course not, but I thought it was necessary.


An Excerpt – “Through the Eyes of Mary Magdalene”

It was a spring day, warm and with a gentle breeze. Birds sang, flowers grew, and people laughed together as they worked.

I had not been working. The demons were restless that day. They took me and threw me against walls, made me rip at my hair, clothes, and skin. They screamed through my voice, tossed my head like a raging animal, shook me until saliva bubbled out of my mouth and trailed down my chin. People had thrown stones at me and cursed at me. I had fled wailing and crying.

I woke from the fit of the demons in an alley. Cuts and bruises littered my arms, legs, and face. My breath dragged through my throat like rough wood. So, I sat in the alley quietly to recover.

I heard voices and I shrank back in the darkness. A group of men passed following a Man.

I felt the demons stirring again. His love seeped out to touch me as He stopped at the entrance of the alley and looked at me. I stood – surely, this Man with mercy in His eyes would be able to help me. I limped toward Him, pulling my ripped clothes around me. He didn’t move until I was standing before Him.

I saw His companions. Twelve men. They drew back when they saw me.

I focused on His face; I didn’t trust what I’d see on their faces.

His face held mercy and forgiveness. The demons were raging inside, trying to get away. I lowered my head as I fought to keep control of my wits and my body. He held out His hand. “Look at me.”

I strained to lift my head, but the seven anchored my body.

“Be still.”

Muscles relaxed as the demons stilled. He lifted my head. A sea of kindness and love ran loose in His eyes.

“Daughter, do you want to be free?”

The demons strained, but they couldn’t move. I had come to Him from the back of the alley with just that request in my soul. Now, my mouth refused to budge. Tears trickled down my face. It seemed impossible to voice my request. My heart shrieked what my mouth could not. He rested His hand on my forehead.

“You are free.”

The demons screamed wildly through my voice, desperately trying to escape this Man.

“Peace, be still. You are forgiven.”

Light and peace pierced my soul. I slumped to the ground.

Strong hands caught me and drew a tunic over my ragged clothes. I raised my head slowly. He was walking away.

Wait! My heart cried. Take me with you!

He stopped and smiled at me.

The man kneeling beside me smiled, “Don’t worry. He told me to bring you with us.”

Tears washed blood from my cheeks as I faltered to my feet.

The man steadied me saying, “His name is Jesus.”

Jesus, what a beautiful name. The Man who looked at me with love and mercy not hatred and disgust.

I smiled and wiped away my tears. No tears of frustration, sadness, or anger would spread over my face again, I vowed. Not while I was with Him.

*An excerpt from a short story I am working on, currently titled “Through the Eyes of Mary Magdalene”


As the end of the semester draws near and many of my friends are graduating, I realize how close I am to finishing my undergraduate education. I’m not quite done yet, but I know the time will fly by. As I think about it, I’m dwelling on a poem I wrote for my church a few weeks ago for their Lent blog series. Here it is:
Finished. The sound of the word soaks into my being and seeps into my soul
whispering comfort and encouragement
soon it will be done, have courage and to Me be faithful

Immortal God! How could You love us such that You became flesh and visible
taking on our anguish and hatred
to teach us love, joy, and peace – things to us invisible

Never – I must say it! – Never will I fear what is to come in my life and in this world
for it would dishonor and blaspheme
my Savior – Jesus – the Man with that sweet, sweet Name

Incredible His love, power, grace and peace permeating my heart and mind
that in the depths of despair
still I can say of my weary and wandering soul how well it Is

Saved by His compassionate love and patience, and continually thankful for
His leading me in His way
I can press on in His power and in His Service

Hopeful – O that the day will come –  till the day that I have been made complete
and am finished in His eyes
having been made by Him and for Him, Holy

Eternally bound to Him by His love and my trust will I continue in the Way
seeking His will in the world
until the day He calls me home and my journey Ends

“Deliverer, I’m home” I’ll cry having passed through the world to His presence
“in Your house let me dwell,
let me sing and dance and worship You forever, for it is Done.”

*poem originally written for Park Place Church of God blog




Darkness drags back painfully. Hard, crackled earth peeks into blurry vision. Clarity inches in and soon all that can be seen is pained land that goes on and on and on.

Wilted flowers, that should be full of color, slump against the dirt that had sustained them. With the last of their energy, they cling to their petals having already lost their leaves. Deserted, they slumber.

Tall, burdened trees stand their ground eeking out what little life is left in the earth. Branches hang from weakened joints until, with a shivering crackle, they are rent from their base to smack and burst on the dry, dry ground below.

Coarse flurries of air stagger over the land dragging persevering roots of flowers from their beds and sweeping the litterings of the trees away.


The land creeps into your eyes, your mind, your soul. Oppressive air invades your malfunctioning lungs and bits of dust cleave to your throat. A cough sends some racing out raking the tender skin inside.

The sun has made sucking all the moisture out of your aching skin its goal.

Your eyelids embrace your eyes every time you try to blink so you stare and stare and stare since you have been robbed of the ability to lubricate your eyes.

A haze wafts through the air causing the landscape to twist and wave as it waits for you to die. Fissured lips grind apart to ease the departure of a single, impotent word. “Thirsty.”

An image sways through the haze. Closer and closer it glides until it casts a meager shadow across your eyes. Scarred feet pause just before your face. Too faint and too pained to raise your eyes, you murmur that word again.

Defaced hands wriggle beneath your smarting body and grasp your raw skin securely. As you wheeze in pain, a sweet sweet voice coasts into your mind, “My child, come with Me for you are weary and your body is damaged. Trust in Me and I will replenish your soul. Let me give to you My living water. You will never thirst again, for this water will become in you a ‘spring of water welling up to eternal life’ (John 4:14).”



*Originally written for Park Place Church of God’s Lenten Series

Lenten Thoughts – Solitary

Solitary…it’s not a state of being that I like to think about. It implies that you are alone, isolated, without companions.

This state of being – solitary, alone, isolated – is like a dark cloud to me. It weighs on my soul causing me to drag my feet and grasp for love. It reminds me how hard it was moving to a school where I knew no one and was nowhere near my family. I hadn’t even visited Anderson before I moved on campus.

I felt alone in a crowd of people. Isolated. Forsaken by what I knew…

aloneIt was a rough year. But in my time of need I dreamed of the cross and Christ’s suffering. He cried, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” (Matthew 27:46)

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning?” (Psalm 22:1)

Sometimes, we feel that way. We cry out in anguish “Why have You forsaken me, God!!?”

Why do we say such things? Why do we confront God with our state of being solitary?

The more I think about the years that I felt alone and forsaken (even though I had a loving family and church) the more I think that my soul was begging for God’s presence.

It’s gotten me thinking…

If we were made to glorify God, what happens when we don’t fulfill our calling?

It creates an emptiness inside. An emptiness that, I believe, can only be filled by God’s presence.

There was a book I read (a Christian-fantasy novel) that put forth this idea that without God’s presence, without His breath, we would not be able to function. We would cease to live. We would be solitary.

What would it be like to be forsaken by your Creator? Would there be physical pain? Or just spiritual pain, I wonder?

But, then again, I don’t actually want to know. Even beginning to imagine being forsaken by God makes my soul curl into a fetal position whimpering and begging Him to never let me be without His presence.

See, all that time when I felt alone taught me that I’m never truly alone for He is always with me. And when I feel solitary I am to follow in the Psalmists’ footsteps and glorify Him despite my being or feeling alone.

Psalm 22 doesn’t stop with the questions. It goes on to give glory to God:

“You are holy.” (vs. 3)

“I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise You. You who fear the LORD, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, and fear Him, all you offspring of Israel! For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from Him; but when he cried to Him, He heard.” (vs. 22-24)



*Written for Park Place Church of God’s Lenten series

Lenten Thoughts – Mother

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.” (Exodus 20:12)

I’ve often thought that this verse meant so much more than just respecting your parents.

To me, respecting your parents entails obeying them, listening to their advice, caring for them as they grow old…things of that sort.

But to honor someone just feels heftier to me. It means that you are taking it upon yourself to consider that person as deserving the absolute highest respect and admiration and sometimes even love.

Honor implies not only the greatest respect you can muster but also a mindfulness of that person’s importance in your life.

The other thing in this verse that stands out to me is the promise that comes along with honoring your parents – “that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.”

As is often the case, God doesn’t urge us to do something without reason.

In other words, honoring your father and mother is good for you.

Jesus, made sure to honor His mother. Though He was dying, He thought of her.

“Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.” (John 19:27)

What strikes me about this is that, even at the worst time, Jesus was mindful of His mother, her needs, and her love for Him.

How often do you call to mind the woman who nurtured you, taught you, laughed and cried with you, maybe knew you better than you knew yourself? Do you think of her in the good times and the bad times?

Do you honor her in your thoughts? The lessons you learned from her, the love she poured into you…Or do you let it all go to waste?

What would you have done in Jesus’ situation? Mary had no one left (that we know of) and she most likely wouldn’t have been able to take care of herself. So Jesus made sure that sure would be looked after and supported.

If Jesus can do that from the cross (in extreme pain, I’m sure), then surely we can make the time and mental space to honor our own mothers to the best of our abilities.


*Written for Park Place Church of God

Those Days…Be Still

Some days just seem to start out wrong. You know, the ones where you sleep badly or you miss your alarm in the morning and end up running late. Or the days that you happen to be extra forgetful.

Or maybe, you spill your coffee on your favorite dress. Or discover that you don’t have any money until payday and have to make do with what you have.

The days when, 3 hours in, you’re ready to throw in the towel, climb back into bed and ignore the rest of the world.

Those days when all you want to do is scream at everyone and everything. Or curl in a ball and cry.


Those days when you ask God “WHY?” Even if it’s just something small, you just want to ask Him why it had to happen to you today of all days.

You have a decision: give up and sit on you “pity  pot” OR let go of your day and place it in God’s hands.

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10


If you choose the second choice, then let go of your little problems from the morning, take a deep breath, say a little prayer, and trust that God has that day in His hands.

Take a moment to be still in God’s presence on those days to remind yourself of His promises.

  • He loves you. Nothing can separate you from His love. (Romans 8:38-39)
  • He is always there. Just open your eyes and mind to His presence for He isn’t leaving. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
  • He provides for you needs, and often your wants. (Matthew 6:32)
  • Call on Him and He’ll deliver you from your troubles. (Psalm 50:15) Maybe just not the way you’d do it.

These are just a few of His promises. They are reasons why we don’t have to worry about those days. These promises pave the way for us to open our hands letting go of these problems and allowing God to provide peace.

Some days are harder than others. If you don’t let go of the troubles, they follow you from day to day. So just let go of those days. Learn to be still and let go.

Note: The second picture is from 5minuteswithjesus.com and was used with their permission.