Broken Bones and Opened Eyes

Collier recently broke his arm. We were very lucky in that it wasn’t a bad break and he hasn’t been in any pain at all since it happened. Actually, it only seems to bother him when it’s time to do school, boys right? But it was the timing of the break I found so ironic. Brian and I had been praying that he would be more independent and willing to do things on his own. Then….a broken bone. .really God??

The first couple of days our routine had to completely change. We had to make him breakfast, get his medicine together, help him wash his face and brush his teeth, comb his hair, and make-up his bed. In school handwriting came off the plan, and I became his scribe for all his other subjects. His allowance went down because he could no longer unload the dishwasher, sweep, mop, dust, or do laundry. He needed help getting snacks and drinks ready. He became frustrated because he couldn’t play basketball or ride his bike. And let’s not ask Brian about how fun it was to go back to helping a 13-year-old boy bathe. 😊

After a few days, I found myself becoming discouraged and frustrated as the list of things he needed help with grew. One morning I started down a David-like rant with God listing all the things he couldn’t do right now. But suddenly those two words stopped me in my tracks, right now. But he COULD do those things just a few days ago and WILL be able to do those things again soon. I started turning that list over in my mind: making his breakfast, brushing his teeth, washing his face, taking a shower, dusting, sweeping, laundry, bike riding……and lots of others. And suddenly I felt a rush of memories.

The first time he tried to make oatmeal and it ran over causing a huge mess in the microwave.

The first time he tried brushing his teeth and thought 10 seconds was plenty of time.

The first time he took a shower on his own and we decided a timer was necessary if we didn’t want million-dollar power and water bills.

The first time he washed his face and I wasn’t sure if he got more water on his face or the countertop.

But with hard work and lots (actually it feels like millions) of repetitions, he eventually mastered all of those things and more. Those memories were an instant confirmation of how his hard work had paid off. And a reminder that what we have been praying for is actually happening right before our eyes, even if some times it happens so slow it becomes hard to see. Psalm 143:5 says, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands.”

It was in that early morning silence I was suddenly humbled when I remembered all of our “days of old” and the work that the Lord has done in Collier. I recalled all of the things we weren’t sure he would be able to learn, that today he does with no prompting. Everything from talking to household chores. I was also reminded that He isn’t finished with Collier yet.

And suddenly that broken bone became a gift. It became a mile marker of just how far Collier has come on this independence trip. It made me stop and realize just how extremely proud I am of him for all of his successes and even more so for how hard he’s worked to achieve them. Then I began to really appreciate him for how he has become such a helper around the house.  

It also has helped me to remember that we’re not really on a time limit for learning living skills at our house. I know Collier isn’t heading off to college at 18, and that’s ok. So we don’t have to cram in the 9,986,000 things I still feel like are on our skills list during the next five years. If it takes us longer, that’s fine. We WILL get there.

So thank you broken bone for reminding me of how far we’ve come and helping me see that my prayers are being answered even when I’m not paying attention.

**But not you medical bills, you can &%$#&*&^%.**


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