I found myself lying face down on the ground thrashing from side to side in an attempt to escape the pain. As seconds slid by, the fire in my knee grew hotter. I felt a guy jump on my back and yell into my left ear,
“Don’t move! You have probably hurt your ACL. If you move, you will injure it more.”
I screamed into the sand and didn’t care that my whole mouth and face was encased in it. He pinned me down in an attempt to save me from further damage. I tried to fight him off but I couldn’t.
“Don’t move!” he shouted.
At that moment, I wanted to leave my body. In my mind I pictured a cartoon character running so fast that he left his body to escape whatever was chasing him. That is what I wanted. I longed to separate myself from the agony.
“Someone call an ambulance,” he shouted as he continued to hold me in place. “It will be okay. Just don’t move. I did the same thing to myself once, and I caused myself more injury by not being still.”
I listened to what he had to say, but I continued to wail so loudly that the neighboring town probably could hear me. I closed my eyes as I felt many hands cover my back.
As luck would have it, I was at a church picnic where those in attendance believed in prayer. I heard murmurings of my name as those who surrounded me were asking God for help. In the middle of a volleyball sandpit, God showed up.
I cannot fully put into words what I experienced next, but I found myself floating above the scene. I saw the people around me, and I felt peaceful. I saw a man who looked very much like I imagined Jesus to resemble walk through the crowd and put his hand on my forehead. I heard this,
“If you just keep looking at me, you won’t feel any pain. If you forgive the person who did this to you, you will be healed quickly.”
When I opened my eyes, I felt the misery return so I kept shutting them and watching from another place. I began to whisper,
“I forgive. I forgive. I forgive.” No one heard me, but I wanted to follow the instructions that I was being given. I was suddenly realizing that I had two small girls to take care of, and I didn’t have time for being injured. One of the two was to start second grade at home in less than a month.
By the time the medical personnel arrived, I was much calmer but still had pain. They loaded me up and injected a large dose of morphine into my system. My knee was swollen to twice its size, and I did not dare to move it one inch due to an onslaught of torture that would follow. I just kept repeating,
“I forgive, God. I forgive.”
The x-rays at the hospital revealed no fractures so I was sent home with orders to see an orthopedic surgeon the next day.
The following morning, after throwing up most of the night from the medication I was supposed to take, I woke up in the same clothes from the day before with mounds of sand in my bed. As my two little girls sat near me, I kept repeating in my mind,
“I forgive. I am doing what you said. I forgive. I want to be healed fast.”
Once in the doctor’s office that day, he twisted and turned my leg to the point of me wanting to pass out.
“Well, from this initial exam, I think you have either torn, ripped or strained your ACL.” He went on to explain that this was something only an MRI could completely determine.
“Even if you have the slightest tear, we will have to do surgery. If we leave it like it is, you will never run normal again. You will always have the possibility of falling or your leg catching mid-stride. It feels like you have at least torn it. So, prepare yourself mentally for surgery and at least a six week recovery.”
I felt tears well up in my eyes. I could not be laid up for that long. I had two kids counting on me.
“Let’s get you scheduled for that MRI.”
A few days later I went back for the procedure. I was not able to see the physician for a follow up for another two weeks as his schedule was booked and he was on vacation.
In the meantime, a friend of mine gave me a magnet infused pad to wrap around my knee. It was supposed to help bring blood flow to areas that were swollen.
Every morning I woke up with my injured leg shaking and quivering beyond my ability to control it. There was no pain associated with that, but it felt like it was being strengthened from the inside out. And, I kept saying,
“I forgive. I forgive.”
It got to the point where I didn’t have to say it anymore. I just focused all of my attention on getting better. I didn’t have time to hold a grudge or be angry at the person who had caused this. My thoughts were on my well being and not dwelling on the past. I was looking forward to a future where I had two functioning legs.
By the time I saw the doctor again I was slightly limping with little to no pain.
When he walked into the room, he said,
“Could you get up, please, and show me how you are walking like that?”
“Sure,” I said. “It has gotten much better since we last saw each other. I don’t even need my crutches anymore.”
I walked briskly around the room with just a small hitch.
“Does that hurt?”
“Come on back and sit down. Let’s look at your MRI results.”
“I must have only strained my ACL instead of tearing it or ripping it in half like you said. I feel almost back to normal.”
“You ripped your ligament in half. Medically speaking, you don’t have one. You shouldn’t be walking like that.”
“I have never seen anything like this. Most patients with an MRI that looks like this get scheduled for surgery and are in a lot of pain and not walking around like that.”
I smiled and said,
“I know a good friend in a high place.”
“I guess you do because this is not usual. I am going to order six weeks of physical therapy to strengthen that leg. We will see how you progress because like I said before, you don’t want to spend your life not being able to use that leg fully, especially if you want to be active and run with your kids.”
He had me walk around the room one more time before I left, and he smiled and shook his head in disbelief.
I spent the next three weeks faithfully attending physical therapy at a hospital near my house. The therapist was astonished when she looked at my MRI and then saw what I was able to do.
“I know the doctor ordered six weeks of this, but you are at your maximum right now. I don’t have any further exercises to give you to strengthen that leg. In fact, you are lifting a heavier weight with that leg than your good one.” She called over her fellow therapists to show them my great strength and then showed them the MRI result.
“That’s not hers!” one of them said.
“Yes it is.”
“How is that possible?”
I knew how it was possible. And, it became more of a reality the first time I sprinted across the room with one of my daughters without any side effects.
Recently, I had a person tell me that you don’t have to forgive someone if they don’t say they are sorry or ask for forgiveness. He quoted a scripture that said that if the person repents, then you forgive them. Otherwise, you do not have to forgive.
I would have bought his explanation had I not gone through the experience I did. You see, the letting go of the cause of the incident made way in my heart for God to come in like a flood and heal me. I got on the same page as heaven and allowed nothing to block the supernatural from assisting me. Had I hung on to bitterness or anger, I may have hindered my quick progress with my negative emotions.
The other day while I was running three miles on my treadmill, my mind was taken back to this miraculous event. To this very day, I am grateful that I listened to that still small voice tell me to forgive so that I could get back on my own two feet.