I’m short.It doesn’t really matter on the larger scale of things: thousands of people go without food and water for days at a time, a child dies from starvation every five seconds… It doesn’t really matter on the larger scale of things, but it did matter to me, once. A lot of people can leave it at that (“I’m short”), maybe I wouldn’t have been as bitter about it if my story didn’t go on: “I’m short because…” See, there is a huge part of my journey that has yet to be exposed to prying eyes here. It was inevitable, it was going to happen. It is happening, and I’m sure continuations of it will happen in the future. Let me finish that sentence: I’m short because I was born with legs of two different lengths.
It goes beyond that, it goes into I had two screws put into the growth plate of my longer leg. See, there are two ways to fix a “leg discrepancy” as the doctors called it. You can put the screws in the longer leg in order to let the shorter one catch up, or you can break the short leg and then put a kind of brace on it, and slowly lengthen it. You can painfully force the bone and tissue to grow, or (supposedly) painlessly slow down the longer leg so to let the shorter one catch up. I wanted the former, my parents chose the latter, thus chopping nearly three inches off my height. Much more recently we discovered that it had amounted to more than that; even after the removal of the screws my previously shorter leg grew faster, and it is now the longer of the two. That is the condensed unemotional description. That is a description lacking the tears, people, road trips, and questions brought into my life by this imperfection. For now I’m just laying out the facts. This isn’t all going to fit into one blog post; I knew that when I started. This wouldn’t all fit into one book.
It took a very long time for me to begin to accept just this one fact (shortness) brought about by the leg difference, and even now it stings when people tell me I’m short for my age. I can’t tell you how much it hurt when the doctors told me I was done growing. There were nights of wrestling with God until I was so tired all I could do was hold on and not let go. But I can say now that I wouldn’t take this journey piece back for anything. It’s when you can say that about the hard times that you know you’ve made at least some progress. It’s when you can either physically or emotionally look at the scars and embrace them for the person they have made you that you know you are beginning to move on. When you take a struggle and turn it around to relate to others in their struggles, when you start to understand the phrase “His strength is made perfect in weakness” with more than your head, when “all things work together for the good of those who love Him” is played out in life, when these things happen you begin to experience the fullness of God in a way that only you can. Everyone’s struggles are slightly different. The valley of the shadow of death is different things for different people, but each one serves the same purpose: to make us who we were meant to be. What doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.
I’m short. I don’t have a short personality, but I’m short. I’m starting to be able to accept that. What’s your struggle? Where are you on your journey? What are your scars? Sometimes we don’t see them in the midst of the valley, but looking back it’s oh so clear. Depend on Him wherever you are, I promise this: you won’t ever regret it.