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Broken Arms and Faulty Foundations


I heard her wailing from across the cul-de-sac. When I looked up it only took a second to put the story together. Addy must have lodged her bike in between the neighbor’s driveway and yard. The tiny slip up sent her to the ground and from the looks of it, she caught herself with her outstretched arm.

Rocking back and forth she sat, her wrist cradled up against her chest, screaming for me. Dropping my phone, I bolted toward her as fast as I could.  My first thought was that she had a broken wrist. I helped her back to the house, hoisted her onto our kitchen bar, grabbed the Motrin and an ice pack. Hmm, I thought.  Maybe it was just a sprain and we could get away without an expensive hospital visit and spending the first weeks of summer in a cast.

Thinking my at-home medical treatment did the trick, I loaded the girls into the car and headed to Saturday night church.  Very quickly, however, I realized that I had miscalculated the extent of Addy’s injury. With every bump we hit, she wailed in pain. Obviously something more was going on. Her unsupported wrist became more and more aware of its poor state with every shifting movement.  Normal road bumps morphed into a real source of pain.

I’m afraid we all know that feeling too well.  Everyday happenings, the ones that typically don’t consume much of our attention, suddenly grow and morph, making us irritable and over-reactive.  These normally tiny triggers begin alerting us to a different, deeper issue that can be lurking in our minds and hearts.

As I called my hubby to let him know we were now heading to the ER, it made me think.  Foundations are important. They are the ground upon which we build, and when they break–which sometimes they will–we have to pay attention. Matthew 7:24-27 says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell–and great was its fall.”

What I build on is what enables me to stand strong regardless of the impending weather. I didn’t realize Addy’s wrist was broken until we got in the car and I noticed the pain each bump seemed to bring. Likewise, I can notice a lot about my foundation when I pay attention to how I’m handling the bumps I encounter in my life. When my need to belong leaves me searching for connection rather than living from connection with God, it’s time to pay attention to my foundation. When my girls blow it and in the midst of their poor choices I feel shame, doubt and fear, I will do best by paying attention to my foundation rather than only spending my time managing their behavior so I can feel like a better mom.

The world we live in can be bumpy. Think today about your current reactions; are they sounding any alarms to a deeper problem? Have you found yourself hoping for a healing all the while not tending to your wound properly? Is there a brokenness inside of you that’s been triggered by the season change outside of you? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, consider doing a foundation check.

FOR FURTHER THOUGHT  When you realize your foundation needs tending to, don’t let that brokenness go unattended to for another minute. Eventually the faulty foundation will give and you will find yourself at the intersection of healing anyway, so why not go there now? It makes that trip so much easier.

What’s your first move to step into your healing? Maybe it’s as simple as noticing the things you’ve ignored. Maybe you need to call and talk to a trustworthy friend or mentor. Whatever your step, don’t put off for tomorrow what God has invited you to do today.  Growth will follow.

PRAYER  Father, thank you for being a safe place to bring my wounds. Thank You for Your constant and consistent presence in the midst of my hurting and healing. Please make me aware of when I’m building on a faulty foundation and empower me to move forward into healing. Create in me a heart that is dedicated to building a true foundation in Your truth and love. Amen.

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