I can honestly say that when I envisioned this transition in my mind, it never quite played out like this. I knew it would come with inherent difficulties-jet lag, culture shock, language barriers-but I had not anticipated a total lack of mobility.
In the hours immediately following my break, I was confused and heartbroken-“How could God let this happen to me? I moved my family and our entire lives across the ocean to serve Him and spread His Gospel throughout London and now I can't even walk! Why would God cause me to be stuck inside?”
I am going to be honest, I was even a little mad; I didn't want to be impaired in my tasks and I certainly didn't want to have to rely on other people for help. It is especially humbling when you cannot even go to the bathroom without someone else's help. The more time has passed since the injury, the more God has spoken to me (or rather the more I've been willing to actually listen) and the more I have begun to see the good that God is doing through it.
There are periods in my life in which I have really resonated with the Old Testament story of Joseph-and before you say it, not because I have visions of grand success!! Rather there was a time in which I knew that God had placed in a particular position and I was to remain there (even though it was the furthest thing from my desire) until He called me out of it-much like Joseph's experience whilst in prison in Egypt.
Consequently, my current circumstance reminds me a bit of Joseph's encounter with his brothers following his promotion to 2nd in command in Egypt. In speaking to his brothers, he, in essence, says, “What you meant for evil, God used for good”. Again, I want to be clear-no matter how I felt in the early hours, etc. I do not think that God caused me to break my ankle. However, I believe that God can use a situation for His Glory. In fact, I have already seen the good He has been able to accomplish through all this-on the day of the accident, I was able to have many good, gospel-centered conversations with 3 young paramedics. I shared with them my faith and why I was in the UK, etc. We talked about faith and Jesus and it was certainly a planting opportunity.
Not only that, but a few days following the injury, I was scheduled to go in for surgery. I was able to share a little bit of the gospel with the anesthesiologists who prepped me for surgery, but not a whole lot before I fell asleep! However, the best conversation came the day following surgery in which I was able to chat with a Physiotherapist and talk about my relationship with Jesus and how it impacted my life and how I made the move, etc. He seemed genuinely interested in what I was sharing and said that he might even come by and visit the church-if it takes a broken ankle for the LORD to reach the hearts of these men and women, it will have been more than worth it. God is able to take the worst situations and shine His light in and through it.
“I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.”