This is a submitted story. The author wishes to remain anonymous.
I work in a high-stress place in a financial institution, and the only way I can deal with the stress and carry on with my work, other than praying, is Thai boxing. I have been doing that for two years and I look forward to every session with great anticipation and happiness. Then one Saturday, while in the middle of a right round kick, my calf muscle got torn. I limped my way to the Chinese doctor and went on crutches for the next two weeks.
I felt miserable about my leg, worried that I might never be able to box again, and I dreamt about boxing. At the same time, while I did not have to go on any work trips, I still have to deal with the normal high work flow from home. The work stress was unchanged, made only very slightly better by the fact that I could do it from home and being under the same roof as my 8-year old (not that I actually had time to play or talk more with him).
Over the two weeks, God taught me to be thankful for what I had instead of what I had lost. I counted my blessings: my mother coming almost every day to see me and taking me to the doctors each day for wound dressing changes and orthopedic checkups; my husband helping me wash away the Chinese medicine under the dressing almost every day and always being there to cheer me up and make me smile, even though he was also under a lot of stress both due to work and his parents’ health conditions; our helper steadfastly taking care of everything at home as always; a very good Chinese doctor with a lot of experience and good herbal medicine; and all the prayers from my brothers and sisters in the small group.
I thanked God for His abundant provisions.
I also wanted to know why the accident happened. What does He want to tell me other than learning to count my blessings? To get a break from work? That obviously didn’t happen – I couldn’t take any time off because of all the deadlines and projects I was in the middle of.
Then it came to me there could have been wear and tear built in my calf already that my injury was actually an accident waiting to happen. I had started getting middle-of-the-night leg cramps a few weeks before the accident.
My orthopedic doctor (I visited one in addition to the Chinese doctor) also told me that my tendons were a little bit short to begin with, and when there was a sudden and fast movement, something had to give away. In my case, it was the muscle – which was actually much better than if it was the Archilles’ tendon breaking which would require surgery.
I took what I heard as a further blessing – and warning – from God. He had protected me from even greater calamity.
The physical wound was a manifestation of what was going on in my mental state. Work stress has already torn me down a lot, and it could very well be the proverbial straw that ends up breaking the camel’s back. I have to slow down and relax – not just over weekends or vacations but on a daily, constant basis, for it is the little scars built up over time that can one day break into a serious rupture.
I ended up unable to box for 9 months as I had to go through physical therapy, starting by learning how to walk properly again, without leaning on one side. In the meantime, work has only gotten even more stressful – I suspect God was preparing me for that, or else I might have been even less able to deal with it and snapped psychologically. I have no desire of being in a mad house.