Radiantly Broken is a blog to uplift those who feel broken. Life is hard. We all experience suffering. But we were made in the image of God, and he is radiant. We are Radiantly Broken. – Darci Joy Steiner
I have had a lot of physical suffering in my life. At age 35, with two small children, I was bedridden for two years (then wheelchair-bound for two more) after a fall down the stairs in our home. I was close to death, but God, nutrition, pool therapy, and love helped me survive. After my fall, I developed a nerve pain disorder called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), now called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS, and yes it is the craps!). However, I healed from it.
During my recovery, I studied nutrition, and over the next six years I earned my master’s degree in Holistic Nutrition. In 2008, I opened a private practice nutrition consulting business, Attainable Nutrition. My first client was myself, and I eventually became pain-free! In addition to teaching clients one-on-one how to eat healthily, I taught sport nutrition to the sports teams at a local high school.
I am not currently teaching nutrition while recovering from my current situation. In July 2018, during clean-up from my daughter’s wedding, a chair leaning against the wall slid down and attacked my ankle! No big deal, right? About six weeks later, the ankle healed, but the overcompensated foot has yet to improve. Orthopedists say it’s neurological, and neurology says it’s orthopedic. In other words, we don’t know what the problem is. But it is serious. I have not walked in over a year because of the intensity of the pain. In October 2018, I was hospitalized because my hands could no longer take the pressure of transferring my body from one place to another. Now I had no use of my hands or my feet! I sat crippled for many months in front of my bedroom window unable to dry my tears. I am still struggling to heal fully from this secondary hand injury, but I can type and open my water bottle now!
I decided to join the ranks of the 440 million bloggers because I love to write. Over the past year and a half, I have journaled my struggles, insights, and poems, and I would like to share them with you. Chronic pain has stilled me, and brought me to my knees, seeking God in deeper ways than I would have if I were not hurt. I am in desperate need of him. I am grieving the loss of my past life. And I am grieving the loss of my beloved father, who recently passed. I cannot drive and am dependent on my husband, and others, for many things. The constant pain though – this is the source of my deepest suffering.
All of us are broken in some way. We can all relate to being brought down by something: divorce, job loss, loss of a loved one, illness, disability, financial turmoil, and fill in the blank. Pain forces us to stop and consider new directions for our lives. Thing is, we can become radiant through our brokenness! There is someone you can help who is undergoing the same thing you are! You can be a strength and a comrade for them. You can use your weakness and turn it into something victorious!
Psalm 34: 1-8 “I will extol the LORD at all times his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”