(Photo Copyright Darren Smith, Special K Blurred Berm, Flickr https://goo.gl/CDhM7a https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
“Make plans and God laughs.” I completely disagree. I believe God encourages us to make plans. The devil laughs. It is not very often when I open the word that I find myself getting stopped by one verse. I like to read to whole story. I want the happy Disney ending.
This picture is a small snapshot, a screen capture, from a video on August 13 2014. Ten months ago I was living in a hotel in Gunnison for a few weeks. I was training in adaptive downhill mountain biking multiple days a week, visiting friends, and enjoying God’s amazing beauty every day. All of this was made possible by companies who saw my athletic ability. My day was literally turned upside down. In my fifth year of riding my skill had increased. The same would be said for my challenges.
I knew this trail. I knew this jump. I slowed myself and quickly found in a very precarious situation. My brain slowed, my thoughts quickly decided that this was either going to be the most incredible save… or was really, really going to hurt. I managed to save myself through at least three different fishtail turns. Then gravity took over and it hurt, it hurt very badly.
Tonight, while reading, I opened to “In all this you greatly rejoice, although now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” 1 Peter 1:6 NIV. I stopped several times wondering what it would look like if Peter didn’t continue. Right now that “little while” seems like a very, very long time. Just as my thoughts slowed during my attempt to save myself, so has the last ten months. I am the owner of a titanium plate extending from my shoulder to my elbow and 19 screws through 13 trips to the operating room and another probably to come.
I am so very thankful that the chapter continues. “These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:7 NIV. Praise God! Although I feel very stuck in verse 6 at times I hold to the hope and truth I know in verse seven.
There are still days that I really do not want to share with the guy three aisles over how I got that “awesome” scar on my arm. As I am sure you also as my readers want to know.
I quickly did a self-assessment, found all my vitals intact but something was very wrong with my arm. An hour drive from the nearest hospital on a trail in the middle of the mountain. As my junior coach tried to stop riders coming off the jump and close to landing on me, I tried to figure out how I was going to talk my coach into doing what I knew would have to be done to save my arm and do it.
As God’s gift of adrenaline filled my body I repeated to my coach “I’m pretty sure I broke my arm.” He stared down and confirmed time again that he agreed. Two riders stopped. An orthopedic surgeon (a specifically trained doctor to work on bones and joints) and his wife, a doctor also. Only God and a power much greater than myself can place a trained surgeon on that mountain, on that trail, at that moment. What ensued made me even more thankful for the gift of adrenaline and perspective. What seemed like a dire situation now became one to be extremely thankful in.
I never did get the man’s name. Despite playing a pivotal role in saving my arm. His name is not recognizable on the video and I cannot locate it in any of the paperwork. I thank God for him often and the others who helped save my arm.
I have been asked “how I can have so much faith.” I have been told by multiple people that they could never go through what I have. I will say that I wish many times that it didn’t take lying face down in the dirt with an eighty pound bike on top of me to scream out for God in agony. However He created and planned this stubborn redhead. Unfortunately, multiple times I have often learned the hard way that He loves me more than anyone ever could.
Thank God for verse seven when I’m stuck in the sixth.