On The Other Hand I Chose to Acknowledge my Gimp Left Arm Enclosed in It’s Sling

The group of chatting young adults parted like Moses and the Red Sea as Ron and I entered Annina’s Bakery. I joked “I feel like one of the celebrities from Shitt’s Creek .  ” They were filming their TV episodes right next door.  They all laughed and one of them quipped “Do I get an autograph?” I realized as we were embraced with the delicious aromas coming from the bakery’s kitchen, that on one hand I could have kept quiet and silently walked through the group without making eye contact or exchanging pleasantries. On the other hand I chose to acknowledge my gimp left arm enclosed in it’s sling (the real reason they stepped aside) to the group, making an awkward moment a pleasant one.

On the Other Hand I can Find the Good

I’ve been thinking a lot about the verse I was memorizing the week of my accident.  It was a familiar one which made it easy to do so. However, the words were more poignant now that I was dealing with constant, sometimes white knuckle pain and the challenge of living day to day with only the use of one arm. One one hand I could just wallow in that constant pain. Some days, I admit I struggle not to do just that. On the other hand, I can find the good or even cause the good so that my injury becomes something funny, a moment shared, so that the pain is not the focus. Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whoa] have been called according to his purpose.

Right After My Injury I Really Questioned God’s Purpose

Right after my injury I really questioned God’s purpose. Why me? I was already an incomplete paraplegic from the MVA that took my first husband way too early to heaven. I can just walk, my balance is not the best and I live with daily but manageable pain. I’ve been able to share my story with many individuals about my miraculous recovery (I was completely paralyzed and not supposed to walk at all) from that accident. God’s purpose became clear that time. As I tried to understand God’s purpose this time, I realized that two things came to the surface fairly quickly: one, I was sharing Jesus’suffering for me as well as so many other people who lived with daily struggles, and two, I could choose each day to find or even be part of, the good.

I’ve Been Making a List of the Interesting, Frustrating and Sometimes Downright Funny Incidents

That being said, I’ve been making a list of the interesting, frustrating and sometimes downright funny incidents that have happened ‘on the other hand.’ At first Ron had to help me dress. As he struggled to do up my bra, he put his arms up in exasperation “I can’t do this!” he exclaimed. “Why?” “What’s the problem?” I queried. “I only know how to UNDO your bra, not do it up” Ron replied, his voice carrying laughter as he stood behind me. Yes, I can dress myself now. My bra is the most challenging but I’ve figured out a way to do it. Showers bring their own challenge. I’ve not quite mastered the one hand dump of shampoo and conditioner on my head. Usually there’s so much I could use them for body wash as well. Drying off too, brings it’s own challenges. My contortions wouldn’t win a dance contest that’s for sure. I’m just glad no one can see me.

Try Buttoning Up Your Pants With One Hand. I Dare You

Try buttoning your pants with one hand. I dare you. At first, I’d be in the bathroom it seemed like forever, at least for Ron who was waiting for me, just because I couldn’t get the button on my pants done up. It kept slipping and I had to try again and again. Now it’s a piece of cake. It’s amazing really, how one’s brain can figure things out. My brain sometimes takes a little longer. I blame it on the medication. It makes me drowsy. Good excuse anyway right?

No One Was There

Speaking of bathrooms, Ron had an incident that I’m sure any guy would consider one of his worst nightmares. We were at an outdoor coffee shop in a park. The coffee shop only had one bathroom which was occupied when I needed to use it. Ron and I walked to the park bathrooms a short distance away. I often hold his arm and he often carries my purse for me. What a great husband, right? I entered the women’s bathroom. Ron, watching my purse for me, patiently waited, until he realized that he too needed to use the facilities. What to do with my purse? He had no choice but to take it with him into the men’s washroom. No one was there and he hoped he could get in and out without being spotted. Standing at the urinal, holding my purse, he glanced up as another man walked in. The man glanced at my purse and then glanced at Ron. Nothing was said. Oh to be a fly on the wall. I almost doubled over with laughter as he shared his embarrassing moment. The people we were with at the coffee shop found it equally amusing.

There are Other Amusing Incidents

There are many other amusing incidents like putting on my makeup with one hand. Eyeliner (don’t look too closely) and mascara are the most challenging. Holding the mascara in my mouth as I insert the wand, miss the mark and have ‘black lipstick’ means I now put my makeup on in the bathroom instead of my bedroom. Cooking, typing (you’ve seen my typos), getting out of bed, doing laundry (okay, forget folding the fitted sheet – it’s impossible), means using the same sheets after their washed. Hanging up clothes ‘on the other hand,’ (I hold the hanger in my mouth being careful not to use my front teeth as they are still the temporary ones, and trying not to drool) means a different kind of ‘hangup’ as everything takes longer.

Is God Working For my Good?

Is God working for my good? Do I still love Him? I have to say, yes to both. I’ve learned that yes indeed life isn’t fair.  However, one can always view each circumstance positively or negatively. It really is a choice. I’m holding onto another promise of God. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through a]Christ who strengthens me. Jesus does give me His strength every day. I know I could not walk this journey without Him. He gave me my sense of humour, quirky as it is, and I am thankful for it as I go through each day ‘on the other hand.’ Do you struggle with certain hangups dear one? May this encourage you to hand over those difficulties to God.