Am I Ok? – Julia Wittrock

JuliaW“I’m okay!” I yelled instinctually as I lay in the dirt, trying to process what just happened. I had been on an ATV trail ride when I hit a tree, flew into the air, and landed facedown on the ground. I could feel the ATV resting on top of my legs, and I quickly scanned my body trying to assess the damage. Am I really okay? I wondered.

The months that followed helped me answer that question

I would soon learn that physically, I was not quite okay. I had fractured my hip socket – an injury that requires major surgery, a week in the hospital, and lots of physical therapy.

But, more than the physical discomfort, I became particularly uncomfortable with the way this injury hampered my ability to be productive. During my stay in the hospital and the weeks that followed, I accomplished little.  Slowed down by crutches and limitations on what I could lift, it seemed as though any day in which I was dressed and showered before noon was a good day.

I began to realize how much I habitually validated my existence through “achievement.” Subconsciously, I woke up every day feeling as though I had a score of zero. Work, kindness, humor, accomplishment – any way I added value to the world – increased my score.  With this new unproductive lifestyle, the needle on my accomplishment meter rarely moved.

At a cerebral level, I had always known that salvation was based on faith, not works. I grew up Lutheran, after all.

Yet, it was not until I was physically unable to produce anything that I could fully embrace the truth:

God’s love is independent of my ability to achieve.

My injury allowed me to dive deeper into the limitless love of God. I began to realize the inherent beauty that God saw in every human’s life. This includes babies and those who are mentally handicapped, who can “achieve” very little by worldly standards.

While I am made in the image of a creator God, my ability to create is a privilege. It is not the basis of my worth or salvation.

So, am I okay? I found the answer to be “yes”. But not because I got better, ditched the crutches, and went back to work. I am okay because I am loved by the One who created the world and died for my sins.

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