Ironically, after I’ve been through so much with my feet, Rachel injured her left ankle a few months ago while playing soccer. The doctor said it was sprained and that she should stay off of it for 1-3 weeks. However, it turns out she had a similar injury to mine, only the doctor misread the X-ray, so she walked around with a fractured foot for 4 months. So what would have been a one month injury, had it been diagnosed properly, turned into over 5 months of being out of all sports.
I had to fight off the temptation to beat myself up for not catching the fracture sooner. I had to work hard to stay out of the “what ifs” and “if onlys.” I am now reflecting on all of the good God has been doing in Rachel through this. I have to trust that He has a bigger plan for her. Rachel’s had a positive attitude throughout, and this trial is strengthening her in many ways. Below in red are Aunt Betty’s words to me:
Why are you angry at yourself? Go back to your reason. Check and see what you’re doing. You’re playing the “what if” and “if only” game. When you play that game, it is not good. It only breeds more problems. There’s really no justification for allowing yourself to go into it.
How do you get out of it? When I used to let my emotions take over, it led to a lot of misery, so I realized it didn’t achieve a darn thing. Plus, I was offending Jesus who wants us to trust Him. So, I gave it up, because it doesn’t work. It only has bad consequences.
Don’t push your feelings down. You are supposed to go to the next step, not go backwards. What do you do in place of “what ifs” and “if onlys?” You keep placing your trust in Jesus every time the temptation comes up. You use it as an occasion to honor the Lord. You can image Rachel’s ankle healed. Say, “Jesus I trust in you.” Praise and thank you God for bringing about the best outcome. You put emphasis in faith and loving and honoring Jesus.
What I do is I say, “Jesus show me the good that you’re doing in this. Don’t let me miss the good that’s coming out of this.” When you get angry at yourself, it’s hard to see the good. Torturing yourself does not bring about a solution, nor does it honor Jesus. The only one it helps is Satan, and you don’t want to help him.
Why don’t we stop here? Can you go to Jesus and lay those judgments that you just pronounced at yourself at Jesus’ feet? Can you say, “Lord Jesus, I am disappointed, frustrated, and angry at myself. I give you all these “what ifs” and “if onlys” that I’m being encouraged to torture myself with, because I know that does not honor You. That is not from you, but rather the enemy wants to get his kicks in here. So, I lay them at the feet of your cross. I ask that you take them from me.
“Sacred heart of Jesus, I place my trust in Thee.” Say that over and over. Let this whole situation be turned into a gift in which, in your love and mercy, you help Rachel grow.
God is at work in all of this. God is working through your and Rachel’s life, and as time goes on, you’ll get wisdom to be able to see where He’s working. Right now, you have a need to control because things didn’t happen according to the way you’d like. Yet, God sometimes does His greatest work when we are out of control. Later, you’ll get insight into how God was at work.
Learn to trust God and to hand disappointments over to Him, knowing that He can work all things to the good for those who love Him. It will pay off, but you need patience and forgiveness to allow it to happen. It’s the Lord’s problem. Throw it up. “It’s your problem, Lord. I need you.”
In the meanwhile, you come against any negative messages coming from others about Rachel’s ankle being permanently damaged and her not being able to compete in sports again. Come against it in the name of Jesus and image her playing soccer. You don’t have to be bound by “what ifs” and “if onlys.” Ask the Lord to help you apply faith.