Slip. Snap. Sharp pain.
I tried to casually walk away from the driveway into the house, limping heavily on my right ankle. “Aww man I think I broke it,” I muttered.
I felt a stabbing pain in my ankle as I tried to put weight on it. (Actually, this was not the worst physical pain I’ve ever felt in my life, but that’s a story for another day.)
“I definitely broke it,” I amended.
I was right. Sort of.
Technically, a small piece of bone had pulled away from the ankle bone. (Actually, not the first time that had happened, but again that’s another story for another day.)
How did this happen? Well . . . it went a little something like this:
I was 13 years old and at a friends’ house. I was playing basketball with my brother and a friend in the friends’ driveway. I went to shoot a jump shot and did not see the evil little piece of firewood under my right foot.
Bend and snap happened—or bend and chip, I guess.
Anyway, I tried to play it cool, telling my friends that I was okay . . . until my parents came to pick me up. I then proceeded to cry like a baby. Soon, I was rocking an awesome rock-solid purple cast on my foot and leg.
My parents were concerned about my comfort, whether I would need crutches or not and if we had enough saran wrap in the house. (Anyone who has worn a cast knows saran wrap is needed for bathing while wearing a cast.)
But I only had one thing on my mind: basketball. I was half-way through my second season of playing for a homeschool junior varsity basketball team. I was pretty sure there was no way I was going to be able to play basketball in the foreseeable future.
And I was right. I did not play at all the rest of that season.
What made things worse, I think, was the fact that the assistant coach of my team had been preparing me to become second-string point guard. (As grateful as I was for that opportunity, I have no idea what the woman was thinking. My only skill in basketball was that I wasn’t bouncing the ball off my foot every two seconds.)
The five or six weeks that I spent in a cast, cheering my teammates on from the bench, were a very tough time. I watched as they had fun playing the sport that I loved so much. It made me angry and a little bit bitter because I couldn’t play with them.
Even though it was a tough time, those weeks were also a time of growth for me. At the time, I was a new Christian, having made a profession of faith a little less than a year earlier.
I had a lot of difficulty in understanding why God would take away my ability to participate in something I loved so much.
Proverbs 3:5-6 provided me with some much-needed clarity. The passage says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
I knew that my situation did not make any sense according to my own understanding. I realized that I needed to trust God and His plan for my life because He knows what is best for me, even if I think He doesn’t.
There have been many moments here at Bob Jones University when I have felt exactly like that 13-year-old girl sitting on the sidelines wondering why God chose to do something in my life.
There are times when I have questioned God and his workings in my life.
But when that happens, I try to remember that the same God who helped a moody teenager trust in His plan for her life then, is the same God who can help a moody college student trust in His plan for her life today.