Tag Archives: brain injury

Clay and Creation

pottery1Today marks the five year anniversary of the bicycle accident that changed my life. Other than planning to get back on a bike for the first time in five years, I hadn’t really thought much about the anniversary.

Until this morning, that is.

While kneeling with my husband, thanking God for my bountiful blessings – family, home, sunshine – I asked for protection while I take my bike out for the first time in five years.

And I cried.

I didn’t expect to cry, and it caught me a little by surprise. Today was going to be the day I faced my fears and prayed for balance long enough to ride a block on the bike which I used to ride for miles. That’s all.

But God wanted me to remember. And acknowledge. Not just the pain, but the growth.

And He took a week to prepare me for the lesson.

A week ago today, I awoke in terrible pain with a muscle spasm from the base of my skull to my hip – my left hip – the side that hit the pavement after my head hit the bottom rail of a fence. I hadn’t experienced this type of muscle spasm for many many months. And I hadn’t done anything different that would explain the pain on the same side I landed when I wrecked my bike five years ago. But my body remembered, even if I didn’t.

This past week, my husband pulled out all of our home videos from years ago and I watched a beautiful, vibrant, energetic, polished younger self tackle the demands of work, school, husband, and children in blizzard-like fashion – talking and moving faster than I remember possible. And for a brief moment, I determined to regain that same energy.

Oh, but for a bicycle accident five years ago, I’d still be pouring out more of myself than God could pour in.

God, the great Creator, had different plans, though. He took that still-wet clay pitcher, and he pounded it down on the potter’s wheel. And he fashioned a bowl.

I sat silent for many weeks and months, listening with my heart because my head wouldn’t work. And God filled my bowl, drop by drop, to overflowing – with His love.

And lest I think God is done with shaping me, I am reminded that the clay is still wet. There will be future events – trials, tragedies, and beautiful blessings beyond imagination – that will shape who I am as life rolls forth towards the day that I will step out of this clay body prepared to meet my Creator.

No, not an accident. Just part of the plan.


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Headaches and Heartaches

SunRaysFromHeaven (2)When I first crashed my bike and hit my head, I was determined to heal quickly and return to work. I did everything my doctors told me to do – no television, no exercise, no reading, no listening to music, no cognitive stimulation of any kind. I sat in the sunshine in my backyard and tried to quiet my mind. I visualized my brain healing and I determined I would be well.

Twelve weeks later, random sparks lit up my brain, flashing in rapid succession, without coordination. And a constant vibration emanated from my head and flowed throughout my body. Although I tried, I could not will my brain to work. The more I tried to ignore my brain and just “push through it,” the more the sparks flashed and my head vibrated. I could not fight it, and I learned, instead that I must acknowledge the pain. If I ignored it, it invariably got worse – to the point that I wondered at times if I would ever find relief.

This week, I was reminded again of the need to acknowledge pain. A six day migraine paled in comparison to the heartache I felt. Emotional pain brought on by circumstances that I was powerless to control. An invisible force squeezed my heart and I felt I would be crushed. I could not will my heart to stop hurting.

So instead I cried.

I felt the pain. I acknowledged the pain. And, in the dark silence, I held my heart.

Too often, we try to bury our hurts. I once buried a lifetime of hurts. But, acknowledging the pain, allowing our tears to flow unimpeded, allows us to begin to heal. And after the earth is cleansed by the rain, the sun surely does shine again.



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