Three years ago my life changed in ways I never could have imagined. So while most people look to the New Year as a time for self-reflection and evaluation, that time, for me, has become October. I think about where I was three years ago, two years ago, one year ago. What was I doing? How did my body feel? What have I learned? Have I progressed?
For those of you who don't know the story, I'll summarize. Three years ago, I was in the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. I was learning Korean, and I was learning how to teach. I was having the most incredible experience of my life. And then suddenly, I needed hip surgery. And then that hip surgery led to an infection, which led to an extended hospital stay, which led to a lot of other things that would take years to re-tell.
It's so outrageous to think that something as small as a few millimeters of misplaced bone in my hip could change my life so drastically. But it has. Some days that change is good (as explained here and here). But some days that change is not so good. I still have days wondering what could have been. I still have days of regret and anger when I can't do the things I used to do at the speed I would like. But each day is all a matter of perspective. Every day of pain is a question (click this link to read one of the best sermons I've ever read on the subject). Will I remember how surgery brought me closer to God? Or will I distance myself from Him? Will I remember how it humbled me and helped me turn to others for help? Or will I remember how helpless I felt? Will I remember to be grateful for this body of mine and the second chance I got? Or will I hate my body for all the things it can't do anymore, for the way it looks now?
Everything is a matter of choice.
I still have bad days sometimes; days where there's a click and a hitch in my step. If I walk too quickly or too much, I'll spend the rest of the day hobbling around like the grandma I think I've always been. And even though sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn't gone through all of that, on this the third anniversary of my hip, I would never take any of it back. I learned too much. I grew too much. And I've been led on this amazing journey back to a place that I love very much.
So cheer's to you hip! Now let's go climb a mountain together or something!