I really didn’t want knee surgery. I did everything I could to avoid it: physical therapy, massage therapy, essential oils, ignored it for awhile. And now my physical therapist was giving me a dose of reality. I wasn’t making progress. His advice was to pick my doctor’s brains and see what he thought.
That visit with my doctor led to scheduling surgery. In some ways, I felt like I’d given up. I was disappointed, but I also trusted my doctor and felt the love he had for me. So I tried to have hope and faith that I was doing the right thing.
They told me I only needed one, maybe two things fixed in my knee. I’d be able to walk on it right after surgery. I could expect to heal quickly in six weeks and then move on with my life.
I woke up to a different story after surgery. The doctor fixed five things in my knee. As he described the last procedure he performed on me (microfractures), I had two thoughts:
1) That’s really cool that my body can heal that way.
2) That’s really going to hurt when the drugs wear off.
I went home with crutches, instructions to bear only 50% of my weight on my post-surgery knee and a six-month recovery period.
Being so weak and unable to do the usual things for myself felt so hard! I walked with a noticeable limp for months. I had to rely on other people to do things for me, which is not something I’m very good at. There were days when I wished I could fast-forward to the end of this trial because I was so very done with it.
I also gained a new understanding of the Atonement and felt showered with and abundance of tender mercies. Jesus Christ truly is the only one who is the healer of our bodies and souls. I still marvel at the many miracles that took place in my life. I felt peace, in spite of the challenge I was experiencing.
My surgery took place in mid-February and March is the month we study the Atonement with the youth. I took so much comfort in reading scriptures and conference talks about the Atonement. There were many that seemed like they were just for me. Sister Marriott’s talk, Yielding Our Hearts to God was a talk a returned to often. I even took a phrase from the talk, “yielded and still” as my mantra. Every time I felt stuck or frustrated, I reminded myself that the Lord put me in place where I was yielded and still so He could make me into something far better that I was at the time.
So many people reached out with love and compassion to serve me. My neighbor, Julia, was one of my cheerleaders. She would always tell me how much better I was moving when she saw me walking the neighborhood. Later on, when I started getting ready for Pioneer Trek, she became my hiking buddy.
My doctor and my physical therapists took care of my with such love. I could tell it was always more than a job to them. Megan, in particular, became my champion. She always went out of her way to see how I was doing and made sure she worked with me when I came in. I felt that she was invested in my healing and my progress.
So often, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude. Our bodies are amazing creations and they were made to heal! And I was blessed enough to live at a time when modern medicine could help me heal!
I was grateful to know that the Savior had already felt the pain that I was experiencing and it was a comfort to know that I was not alone.
So many people served me, sometimes out of their own need. I was grateful for every act of service performed on my behalf, especially for those “widow’s mites”.
Feeling gratitude took my mind off of my problems and helped me to focus on the good things that were happening around me and to me.
I spent a lot of time in prayer asking for help to heal. I received guidance to know who and how to ask for help and comfort that my suffering would not last forever.
As I prayed, I was given work to do. I found a lot of peace in knowing that I had a small amount of power to change my situation. It felt good to be able to do something!
Over a year later, I’ve accepted that my knee will never be quite like it was before my injuries. I shared that with a friend and neighbor, who reminded me that “never” was not the correct word to use. One day, I will be resurrected and my knee will be completely healed! Having to experience a small amount of physical infirmity makes me all the more grateful that I will get a resurrected body one day.
Learn more about the Prince of Peace at Mormon.org.
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