4/26/2017

When Suffering Comes


So, I broke my foot.

Six weeks ago I slipped during pointe class and fractured my fifth metatarsal (commonly known as the "dancer's fracture"). The little crack in one of my 26 bones in my left foot changed the following weeks in more ways than I anticipated. 



Even though a broken foot hardly qualifies as intense suffering, it is a consequence of the fall. It is suffering, even if on a smaller scale. It was especially hard because it meant that I couldn't dance for six plus weeks, including the week of my studio's recital. 

But who says that we can't learn big lessons from small things like missed recitals and broken feet? I've learned a lot about suffering through this ordeal. I've learned about hope. Patience. Joy. Sorrow. Let's just say it's been a crazy few weeks. 

Here are a few things that I learned about suffering that might help you too when (not if) suffering comes:

(Try listening to Hillsong's "Even When It Hurts" while reading this.)




1. Remind yourself of the truth

Suffering likes to take over our entire lives. 

Don't let it. 


Don't give into the temptation to view all of life through your suffering. Sure, I broke my foot. That doesn't mean that my family, friendships, and grades are broken too. Sure, you are really stressed. That doesn't mean that you are a failure at relationships. Sure, you're lonely, but that doesn't mean that all of your life is gloomy. 

The victim mindset is dangerous. It is a slippery slope of pity party days and hopeless nights. 

We can't let that happen. 

Instead, we must step back and remind ourselves of the truth; we are loved. Treasured. Bought. We have a purpose. We are given skills. We have some family and friends that love us. We have learned things in the past and we are learning things right now. Not everything is underneath the filter of suffering unless we want to view it that way.


2. Don't go through it alone


Satan best attacks our souls during suffering if we isolate ourselves. I know this from experience. 

When I broke my foot, I stopped hanging out with my friends. I stopped connecting via social media. I stopped texting people. Something about breaking my foot made me feel like no one understood me. It made me feel so alone. 


We must remind ourselves of the truth, though. Most people relate to our suffering more than we think that they can. Our loved ones care for us, even when we are going though a hard time. We just have to let ourselves be vulnerable and available. 

It is worth the effort to reach out to others for help and encouragement, even if that means hobbling on one foot to see them. It is also worth the effort to encourage others. There is no better way to find purpose and encouragement than to serve others and give encouragement.


3. Chose a specific Bible verse or passage to guide you


Immediately after I broke my foot and started down this road of injury, I knew that I would need a Bible passage to cling to. Somehow I stumbled across Romans 5, and I knew that I had found the one. 

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, though whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. As we boast in the hope of the glory of God. No only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured into our hearts though the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." 

Romans 5:1-5




"Tribulation worketh patience, not in and of itself, but the powerful grace of God working in and with the tribulation." 

Matthew Henry on Romans 5:1-5

This passage helped me to give the lies and sorrows of suffering to God. They reminded me that what I see now is preparing me for more kingdom work. They reminded me that true life points to the glory of God, not to my own comfort or dreams. I kept these verses close and even wrote them on my cast! 



These tips are by no means three ways to ease your suffering. They won't fix your problems in three easy steps. They are rather ways to fully embrace the lessons that suffering can give you. They are ideas on how to cling to truth even when it hurts.

I know that this is a heavier topic, but it is something that I've obviously thought a lot about lately. Comment below ways that you grow through suffering.

Princess Hannah


P.S. After writing this post, I went to the orthopedist. I AM NOW FREE!!! No more boot. Let the prepping for dancing begin. 

21 comments:

  1. So happy you don't have to continue wearing the boot any more! I can't imagine what that must've felt like. This was such a beautiful post! You're so inspiring, and so encouraging :) Thank you dear sister!

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    1. Thank you bunches for the comment, Jasmine!

      And yes, it felt weird. Great, but weird.

      Let's keep trusting Jesus!

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  2. YAY! Thank goodness the boot is now gone. It can be so difficult to sit back and watch when you reallly want to be a part of something but you got through it! More power to you! The pictures are super cute!

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    1. I'm glad too! It was hard to watch, but at the same time, I knew that I was still such a big part of the studio. I was backstage helping almost the entire show and the rest of it I felt so proud of the other dancers.

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  3. Wow, yes, this is a deeper subject, but I am so SO grateful you wrote about it, Hannah <3 I'm kind of dealing with some hard things in life, and this post made me think. In a really good way. God is my only hope, and I'm learning that :) You are so encouraging, girl!

    And hurray that your boot came off! So happy for you!

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    1. He is our only hope. And HE WILL NOT PUT US TO SHAME. Hope in Him is always sure and worthy of trust.

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  4. This post is amazing <3 I'm glad that you can take your boot off now and I will continue to pray for you :) Thank you for this!

    Ellie
    www.uniquelyyou1.blogspot.com

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    1. Wow, thank you Ellie! You are so sweet!

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  5. Yay for getting the boot off! And this post was a great reminder, as the last year has been full of lots of rough stuff. So thank you, and you'll be in my prayers!

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    1. I'll be praying for you too, Bethany.

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    2. Thanks, Hannah! How's your foot doing?

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  6. I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now and I really like it, thank you for writing!

    And how weird, I broke the exact same bone on my left leg about 3 weeks ago. I'm already on my feet, or trying to. I had a regular cast (not an orthosis) but I've replaced it with an elastic band for now. I got the shorter crutches which are a pain for my hands (thumb muscles esp.) so I'm not so keen on using them. I play the lever harp so don't want to mess up my hands.

    Is your foot alright by now?

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    1. How did I not see this comment? It makes me so happy!

      So glad to meet you, Valentina!

      I'm so sorry you too broke your foot. I know exactly how that is...

      What is an elastic band for a broken foot?

      Don't mess up those hands!

      I've been walking for three weeks, now, but still no dancing.

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    2. :) Hey, Hannah

      Your writings about God and faith are very similar to my own thoughts, I felt I had gone through so many of the same things. And then you have exactly the same injury, it was just very strange :)

      Elastic band or bandage is made of fabric with strings of elastic woven into it, so it stretches and lets you move more freely, but still keeps the leg nicely in place.
      http://images.wisegeek.com/person-wrapping-foot-and-ankle-in-bandage.jpg

      Heh, I stopped using the crutches as soon as I could.

      I just had another X-ray yesterday, and though the foot is healing, I could still see the crack very clearly. The doctor said it's going to take up to 8 months for the bones to fully mend themselves.

      Are you doing regular check-ups and X-rays or not anymore?

      When could you dance again? It's a pain not being able to practice your art.

      Val

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  7. Gosh, I love you, Hannah.

    I know that this has been so difficult for you, but watching you go through this ordeal with such grace has truly been beautiful. Proud of you, friend. <3

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    1. You have been SO SUPPORTIVE throughout this all, Grace. It has really helped.

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  8. Wow great post and great lesson! I really hope you feel better soon.
    My mom actually just had a major knee surgery in the beginning of March which meant that she could do literally nothing for 7 full weeks—sort of the same as your situation. We weren't able to get out of the house for weeks because she couldn't drive! It stretched us all beyond what we thought we could do.
    In the end, we learned an amazing lesson.
    I hope your foot is tip-top again soon!! I feel for you, friend. :)
    xx

    Sophy

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    1. That's so hard, Sophia. Immobility is something that we never think we will have to face. When we do, it is harder than we expected. I'm glad that you learned something from it.

      Is your mom better?

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  9. I'm going through a reallyyy hard time right now, and that song caused tears to run down my cheeks. :')

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