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  • Jared Stern

I Broke My Child’s Leg

As soon as I heard the crack I knew. That is a sound that will forever be etched in my brain. I still cringe every time I think about it. Uriah hadn’t even let out a cry yet, but I was already in panic mode.

“Janae!” I yelled.

Janae was upstairs cooking dinner. She too had heard the sound of Uriah’s leg breaking, but had thought it was a toy.

As I handed Uriah to his mother screaming at this point, Janae had no idea why.

I had been playing with both the boys a game that Noah had affectionately dubbed, Run in Circles. There really wasn’t even a point to the game except to run around the couch and fake run into each other.

It was during one of these fake wipeouts that Uriah’s leg somehow ended up underneath the full weight of my body. I don’t remember exactly how it happened, I don’t remember the position of his leg, I can’t even tell you many of the details of the event… but I can still hear the sound of his bone breaking.

Adrenaline rushed into my body and I began to shake. Was this going to be my defining moment as a parent? That time I broke my one year old’s leg?

I thought back to my childhood to see if I could remember any time my parents had accidently broke one of sibling’s bones or caused a similar accident.

Nope. I guess I’m in a category of my own.

My mind was racing as we got ready to go to the hospital. Noah was excited and totally oblivious to the nature or urgency of the situation. In fact, he shouted, “Hurray!”, after I told him we had to go to the hospital. He has always enjoyed visiting the doctor, to Janae’s and my bewilderment. Most kids shy away from doctors, while Noah suggests a visit after any little incident. After trying to convey the situation to him, we headed out the door.

The emotions of everything didn’t catch up with me until after they had taken the x-rays and we were waiting for the results. The tears started. I had just immobilized my child for who knows how long. Would he need surgery? Did he need transferred to the nearest Children’s Hospital an hour away? What was happening?

The thought, “I’m a terrible parent”, popped into my head. I knew it was Satan trying to get into my head. I knew it was a lie that Satan wanted me to believe.

This internal battle was raging inside my head. I hated seeing him lying on his mother’s chest crying in pain. Here I am: helpless, feeling terrible, and the reason he was crying.

I was supposed to protect him from pain, not be the cause of it!

Somehow in that moment, I thought forward to what life would look like a few years from now. This would simply be a memory that hopefully we would be able to laugh at. The pain of this moment would not last forever. God used that thought to comfort me.

I’m sure that I will be teased for years to come about this whole episode.

In fact, my father in law took advantage of the situation at Thanksgiving a few days later asking me if I wanted to break the wishbone, since I was so good at breaking bones. I just shook my head and laughed.

Satan attacked me that day and not just me but also Janae and our parents. Both of our moms wanted to swoop in and be there for us but were separated by a distance of 270 miles.

This whole event has helped me appreciate the tenderness and empathy that a mother has for her child.

Even though, our mothers couldn’t come, God still provided for us in so many ways. Our friends took turns watching Noah, and his preschool teacher was able to stay with him, while I went to pick up Uriah and Janae from the hospital. God cared for all of our needs and my faith has grown stronger because of it.

Satan is quick to attack. He took some low blows at me, Janae, our families. The Bible makes it clear he is scheming and wanting us to trip up.

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

-Ephesians 6:11-12

I am so thankful that God has given us the resources that we need to fight back.

Looking back, it was so easy to only see the negatives of the situation. They would have been my focus, if I didn’t have God in my life.

I would have been consumed with the question of why. Why would he allow one of his little children to get hurt? Why did I have to be the one that caused this situation?

These weren’t really questions that entered my mind. Instead it became clear that God had protected Uriah and me and was very present during the whole episode.

-Uriah didn’t need surgery

-The procedure of setting the bone could be done at the local hospital instead of having to go to the nearest Children’s hospital an hour away

-He would heal quickly

-Janae’s parents were coming to celebrate Thanksgiving in a few days, and we didn’t have to drive anywhere

-The timing of the accident (I didn’t have youth group because of Thanksgiving).

I could add many more things to the list of blessings such as the encouragement and the love and support from friends, family and everyone at our church. The list could go on until I’m blue in the face.

One of the reasons that I haven’t really questioned why God allowed this to happen is because I don’t need to know. God is infinitely wiser than me. He knows what he is doing and can see the whole picture as opposed to my little puzzle piece.

I take comfort in Job 38, when God confronted Job when he asked the question, “Why?”

“Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?

-Job 38:1-7

I don’t care why, because I know I have a God who is greater than this situation. Just because I don’t know the reason, doesn’t mean that there isn’t one. Nothing God allows or does is meaningless. There is comfort in that.

This doesn’t mean I don’t feel bad at times, especially when I see my little boy sitting on the floor needing help to get around. But I am not letting it consume me. I need to continue being Noah and Uriah’s dad and not let Satan paralyze me and keep me from that important role.

God is in control and He knows what He is doing.

Last week did not really go how I envisioned it. After all, I did just break my child’s leg.

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