November 10, 2012

Choosing Joy

"My brothers, when you have fallen into various trials, consider everything a joy, knowing that the proving of your faith exercises patience, and patience brings a work to perfection, so that you may be perfect and whole, deficient." 
-James 1:2-4

Thank you so much to everyone who has prayed for me!  I got my MRI results on Friday, and I have a small fracture at the bottom of my patella.  It was relatively good news because I do not need surgery and I did not tear a ligament.  It will only take about 4-6 weeks to heal.  I am so thankful for the power of prayer, and I am praising God that it is nothing worse.  I know this is so, so good, but I started to feel really bummed about missing the marathon this weekend. I have found myself combating a multitude of things, including frustration, pride, selfishness, jealousy, sadness, self-consciousness, and inadequacy.  The negative thoughts and feelings were starting to really weigh me down.  It has been a battle between feeling at peace with it and feeling frustration.

Thankfully, God has spoken right to my heart to uplift my spirits through his word.  I was browsing through devotion books on Friday looking for something new, and I randomly flipped to a chapter on trials and tribulations.  
There is nothing better I could have read in that moment.  I truly felt like God was speaking to me, and I am so thankful for his reminder that he uses absolutely everything for his good.  While I know he didn't cause me to fall and it is sad to miss the marathon, I know He will bring something good out of it, even if I don't know what it is yet.  

Just when I was feeling peace about it, I started to feel down about it again on Friday night.  When I needed a smile the most, sweet Thomas brought me a surprise treat, Nutella for my patella!
Right then and there I was reminded to thank God for an amazing, thoughtful, caring husband who is also able to lift my spirits with so much love (and funny, sweet surprises).  It lifted me right out of the funk I was in! 

You would think I would have gotten the message from God at that point, but the Lord knows that I am stubborn and need multiple pushes in the right direction.   When we arrived at the race this morning, I was overwhelmed by seeing so many fit, excited people ready to run the marathon.  I started to feel sorry for myself, but after Thomas started the race, I sat down to read a book I just got, Life Without Limits.   I haven't finished yet, but I have been absolutely astounded by reading about this man who has no arms or legs and how he completely places his trust in the Lord.  It flooded me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for my life and thankfulness for God's goodness.  He also referenced the above quote from Romans multiple times, which was another reminder from God to trust in his plan of goodness.

His book  also reminded me that that I need to choose how I react to things that go wrong.  I can't control everything, but I can control my reactions to the things that don't go as planned.  The book was also a good reminder to redirect my focus to the Lord and to praise him and thank him for everything that is good in my life.  I have so many blessings in my life, so that should not be too hard, starting with the fact that I actually have arms and legs and will only be out of running for 4-6 weeks. The messages in his book are all ones I  have heard just this week at Bible study, so I think God is really trying to decrease my control tendencies and increase my reliance and trust in him. 

Right now, I feel like I am at peace with everything.  I am choosing to be joyful instead of pitying myself.  I am choosing to enjoy this weekend spending time with my husband and to not reflect on how this weekend could have gone or wish it had been different.  I am going to focus on the many blessings I have and show gratitude to God for all he has done for me, and I am going to remember that anything and everything works for the glory of God. 

Thank you again for your prayers.  I know I am truly blessed that it wasn't worse, and I am also going to focus on that! 

Disclaimer: I know some of you might be reading this thinking that I am such a baby for being so upset over getting injured when there are so many people in this world with problems that far outweigh any difficulties I am having.  I absolutely recognize that this is true, and that is why I am choosing to change my attitude.  I just wanted to share what's helped me get through feelings of disappointment! 

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will take up wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not tire."
- Isaiah 40:31


  1. Happy to hear that you won't be needing surgery! That nutella present is adorable :) I also don't think that anyone thinks your being a baby, it totally stinks that you had to miss the race you've been training for! I hope the recovery is a fast one for you!

  2. What a sweet hubby you have! And humorous as well :) Don't apologize for feeling frustrated and what not... We all recognize there is a lot of bad in the world going on. At the same time, we all still have to live and take our own good and bad with each day. Sometimes, the bad that we personally experience can be upsetting, really upsetting. And that is okay! It's what we turn those experiences into is what counts. (I should heed my own advice. I felt the same way you did when I had my really bad week a couple of weeks ago.)

    1. He is very sweet, and I am so thankful for all he's done this week! Thanks so much for your wise words. I hope you are doing better after that week!

  3. I agree with them ^^; no need for a disclaimer. Just because our struggles may not be "as bad" as someone else's doesn't mean that they don't try us. I think it's great that you recognize how God is trying to strengthen you through all of this. It's so easy to just throw our hands up and have ourselves a little pity party when something bad happens, but clearly you're trying to grow. I've been reading "I Believe in Love" the past couple of weeks and thought this passage might be fitting in this situation: "[suffering] is a preparation for the graces which Jesus wants to give us, which He wants to shower upon us; it is a gift He gives us: 'do you will to accept a thorn from my crown, stained with my Blood? Do you will to accept a particle of my Cross? It is in love that I offer it to you; it is in love that I give it to you; it is in love that I impose it upon you. If you accept, with joy, this gift of my wounded heart, you permit me to shower my graces upon you.'" So get ready for a showering of graces! :)

    1. Thanks Jordan! This was very encouraging! I am really glad you mentioned that book, I am going to have to look into it! That shower of grace sure sounds nice hehe! :)

  4. So glad you are on the mend, Caitlin...No need to all! : )

  5. No need to apologize -- you're disappointed and it's understandable.