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From fear to freedom

In this series, guest writer Jordan Boudreau reflects on the experience of living in a back brace after receiving a broken vertebrae. Unable to participate in basketball and many daily activities, Boudreau shares his emotional struggle. This is the second installment. Read part one here.

Over the course of dealing with my broken back and not being able to play basketball, God taught me a ton, or perhaps I finally just started listening to Him.

About a week ago I was up late at night and realized that I was scared to death about my back not healing up. I was truly terrified with fear.

From that day on, I was told by several people not to worry: that I was in good hands, and that who knows — maybe I’ll meet some ridiculously attractive woman who will nurse me back to health. (That last bit came from English teacher Molly Sargent.)

All of those things comforted me a lot, but not nearly as much as the next piece of encouragement. Friday night before our basketball game, Coach Ross Charest talked about fear. He said that fear is a natural emotion, and that when we try to cover it up or when it causes us to become someone else, that is true fear.

He said that the opposite of fear is freedom. It didn?t dawn on me at the time, but a few days later a thought came upon me. I was afraid, and I wasn?t trusting God to use me with my back brace. Even if it never heals up, I will still be His servant, and He will still be my Master.

The freedom I felt in knowing this is overwhelming. Finally recognizing that God will still be able to use me and that I will still be able to call him Father even if I can never play basketball or be athletic again is the ultimate comfort.

Now am I saying that I’m fine with not playing now, and am nonchalant about lifting and sports? Absolutely not. I wish with everything to be able to go back to the way it was, to go back to the way I feel it should be. But instead of being afraid of not being able to return, now I feel a freedom that only God can give.

Why would a loving God take away a record destroying basketball season from a high school boy? A boy who has been athletic his entire life, and has worked his butt off and often skipped other opportunities in order to prepare himself to serve his team better on the court? Why would a loving God do that to someone who has fought through so much hurt and pain to merely complete a simple basketball drill in order to prove himself on the court?

The fact that my hard work is what caused the injury kills me. I think to myself, “hard work pays off… yeah right; there are simply those who are lucky, and those who are unlucky.”

Hey tough guy, have you ever thought that God?s will includes people besides yourself? Maybe the focus of being hit with an injury is not myself, but someone else. Maybe it’s not something that I did to deserve it, but rather, through all this, I am able to serve God’s purpose.

Oftentimes I feel that we get caught up in the idea that all circumstances happen because God is trying to teach us something. You know what? Maybe God is using you as a tool to teach them something. I’m not claiming to know God?s mind in my life, but it?s just a thought. Focusing on being in the hands of the Creator rather than my own comforts me a lot.

Check back soon for the next installment of Boudreau’s experience.

For the first column in this series, read the March 1 article, Back-breaking dedication. For more columns, read the March 8 article, World art of Rythms and Patterns inspires.

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