This evening marks the 86th day since a severe Achilles rupture changed my life in a moment. A sudden, audible pop echoed through the indoor soccer arena and the minutes that followed seemed endless. I dragged my foot over to a bench out of the way and placed a bag of ice on my ankle praying that it was just a pulled muscle... but one look from our team captain / physical therapist told me I was in for a long recovery. My usual reaction to any injury is to walk it off but this was new territory for me. X-rays, MRIs, orthopedic consults and a pending surgery based on availability of a very packed schedule… yet during all of this there was a sense of peace. I can assure you I was feeling many feels about not being able to walk, work, drive, shower, pick my girls up and do my normal work around the house, but for some reason I went back to a very early small group interaction at my first Windrush Day Away retreat.
“Chap! You want to know what I am seeing for you right now? You and Jesus are in the jungle, a thick, dense jungle that you would see in one of those Rambo movies. You both are a little out of breath like you had been running or fighting off large jungle cats but you were safe and had a moment to talk. Jesus looked at you and said, ‘This is going to be a challenging road ahead but you do not have to worry Chap because I am going to be right next to you every step of the way.’ Then you guys clank your machetes and start slashing your way through the cabbage!”
I’ve returned to this vision several times in the last few months. Remembering that I am not alone while in the jungle fighting my way out, still with a sense of peace after my Achilles exploded. It feels like God telling me I am going to be ok with Jesus by my side.
Several seasons have passed since I started my journey back to a healthy relationship with God. During that time, I have moved on to a new profession that fuels my passions, been blessed with a caring and generous community of beautiful people, watched my wife and daughters thrive, and was feeling good about taking care of my health and fitness. Each day seemed better than the last as I made choices to be the best Christian I could be, but a looming fear of a “why now” or “why would you do this to me God” moment kept circling by brain. What will I do when the going gets tough? I referenced this feeling with others on a similar path with God and asked what happens when the honeymoon phase is over and I have to deal with a bad beat? The answer is to fight through it and know that we all have a Jesus jungle scene with machetes in hand.