His fingers disappeared inside my kneecap and I screamed. "Its broken, baby. We have to go to the hospital."
Tears streamed from my eyes and screams tore from my throat as he gathered me in his arms. Every movement jostled the leg. Every step he took shot an electric jolt of agony through my body. "No...I'm fine. Take me in the house and I'll put some ice on it. I don't want to go to the hospital."
Even as I spoke the words I knew 'ice' wasn't going to do it. A canyon had opened up in the center of my knee cap.
"What happened?" he asked, laying me across the front seat of the truck. "You and Kaison were hauling scrap wood out of the back yard and the next thing I know, our three-year-old is running in the house to tell me Mommy needs help."
The truck bounced a little as we rounded a corner and I hissed through my teeth. "I caught my foot on a piece of plywood and tripped."
"Your knee shouldn't shatter just from landing on plywood."
"There was a cement stake in the pile. I landed on that."
My son, Kaison, rubbed my hand, his little brow furrowed. "Mommy needs help, right?"
"Mommy needs surgery, son," my husband muttered.
I was no stranger to surgery. I'd been on kidney dialysis for almost a year. I had a chest tube inserted and removed. A fistula built. A fistula is a place where surgeons connect an artery and a vein together so the opposition of the blood flow expands the vein and makes it large enough to fit very large needles for the dialysis machine in my arm. Between my kidney problems, my diabetes, my blindness, the premature births and deliveries of my children and a random toe which stopped growing when I was 14. surgery was part of my three-year-old's vocabulary.
However, like most things in life, the surgery itself was easy. They put me to sleep and took away my pain. The recovery on the other hand...Well lets just say 'recovery' is far too mild of a word for the process of putting broken things back together. I ended up in a soft cast from my hip to my ankle. I had to use a walker to get around because...Try to imagine a blind person on crutches. words like 'disaster' and 'catastrophe' should come to mind. I reacted poorly to the medication I was on and ended up nearly comatose from low blood sugar. The pain killers made me sick so I couldn't take them. If it hadn't been for my sister-in-law taking care of me and my kids we all would've been eating peanut butter off of the floor to survive. I still can't run, or climb down stairs. My knee won't hold my weight. The dialysis made it so instead of healing, the knee cap crumbled and I had to have it removed a year later. The scars are significant, the limp permanent and the aftermath eternal. All from falling to my knees.
This experience always reminds me; its better to kneel than be forced to your knees. Life never drives us to our knees as much as provides the opportunity to find ourselves there. I didn't do anything wrong or need a shattered knee cap to be a good person. I did need the opportunity to rely on my Savior, His healing and His hand in my life. I will never complain or curse the time I spent on my knees with Him or with the angelic humans he sent to lift me back up. Yes, it was painful, inconvenient, brutal in its healing and ugly in the recovery. It was also a time where I realized how lucky I am to have two legs, two hands, dear friends, beautiful kids, and my best friend as my husband. A knee cap isn't much of a price to pay when compared with all I gained.
I often tell my kids to make good decisions because its easier to offer gratitude than to ask for forgiveness. I also believe with all my heart that it doesn't matter what drives you to your knees, if you find your self at The Savior's feet.
If your on your knees, broken,blistered, or bloody you are never closer to the hands that will heal you. You'll have scars, aftermath, and pain to go through, but in the end you'll walk again, taller, stronger and wiser. More importantly, next time you find yourself brought to your knees, it will be to kneel before Him and wash His feet with your tears.