Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mind Over Matter and the Master of Matter

You know how something can happen in your life and you don't realize, till years later, what it might have been preparing you for? Why the Lord let it happen to you?

I think I'm having one of those moments; I think I know now, at least in part, why the Lord let me break my both of arms almost three years ago.

A lot of circumstances contributed to me breaking both of my arms at a karate test three years ago, and they weren't all my fault, but at least one of them certainly was: I thought I could do anything, if I only made up my mind to do it. I didn't want to be doing the test I was doing, and so I foolishly decided that the way I would get through the ordeal would be to just duck my head down and power through.

I believed the mantra "mind over matter" and had always had the impression that if I just had enough determination, I could plow right through any physical test that came my way. If I just kept going, I would get through.

Well, my bones didn't agree. I learned that day that while I have the determination to break my own arms by hitting a brick really, really hard, I do not have the power to convince the brick itself that it is softer than my bones. The brick won, my bones lost.

I learned that I might be determined, but my determination is not a match for everything it encounters. I learned that I was smaller, weaker, and more fragile than I thought I was.

That lesson is standing me in good stead now. I still have the urge, looking at this high-risk pregnancy I'm carrying, to think that by sheer determination I can carry these twins to term, I can keep their cords from tangling, I can prevent pre-term labor. I think I really would think that if I hadn't had the experience of breaking both of my arms.

But I don't think that anymore. I know that I cannot change the laws of physics (thank you, Scotty), I cannot reach my hands inside my womb and keep the blood and oxygen from the placenta flowing equally to each baby. I know my limits. I know that while there is a lot I can do to make this a healthy pregnancy, that my body might fail me, and that my babies' bodies might fail them. Our minds do not control matter, not like we wish they would.

But there is one Man who is master over matter, whose feet did not sink when he stepped out onto water, whose speech could make the dead rise, whose very touch convinced diseased flesh to transmute to whole. I cannot reach my hands into my womb and keep my babies' cords from tangling, but He can.

And so I am grateful, finally, for the nightmarish experience of disability that I went through three years ago. It was, maybe, the most dear lesson I have ever had; it cost the most. But I'm not going to ignore it. I'm going to remember that I cannot will my way through obstacles. Instead, I am going to lean on the one who can say "be so" and it is so. I am going to lean on Jesus. He is the Master of Matter. Including the very flesh of my babies and cells making up their cords. By His grace, I will not make the mistake I made before, and hopefully this time will not be about me learning a painful lesson, but rather about Him showing His glory.

Please, Lord Jesus, if it is your will, hold and keep my children safe.


Courageous Grace said...

You and your babies are in my prayers, Jessica. I am also pregnant (only one of them in there, though), but I can't fathom the situation you are facing. God bless you.

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

Jess, this is a lovely post. Thanks.

Jennifer F. said...

Thank you for a beautiful post.