By Bob Bosh
HYWYSTR@aol.com

In 1979 my wife and I were living in Pueblo, Colorado. I had been laid off in 1976 from a railroad back in Ohio. Living on unemployment was easy. We had been married not too long before, and we did not have many bills. A friend had called, who I had worked with on the railroad, and told me about a job available in Colorado. I wanted to move back to Colorado and applied for one of the jobs.

I had lived in Denver in 1974 for the summer and really loved Colorado. It seems the Lord had destined me to be here. My father had two sisters that lived in Oregon. He would load up the family in the station wagon for his vacation, some years, and we would travel to see them. On one of the trips when I was around four or five, while driving through Colorado, my mother said I looked at her and told her I would live here one day. I did not remember it. Years later when she told me about it, I understood the pull I had for Colorado.

The company I applied to said they would call me in two or three days and I figured “that was going to happen”. About the third day came and I got a phone call that I was hired and they wanted me to come to work for them. I was given about a month to get there. Pueblo was quite a change from our birthplace in Ohio. Several people who had been laid off when I was came to Pueblo also. Some got just south of Colorado Springs and turned around and went back to Ohio. We were up for the adventure and settled in.

In the spring of 1979 I was working in the office. Normally I took wear measurements on the freight cars that were being tested. The test train had been shut down while there were repairs being made on the track. I was doing paper work and the foreman came in to tell me he wanted me to go out and help unload some railroad car wheels. The wheels were on a flat- bed semi truck trailer. They did not have the axles in them. Each wheel weighed 800 pounds. We were not close to the main facility so there were no cranes available. It was decided we would go up on the trailer with a fork lift and use the fork lift to pick up the wheels four at a time. Since they were on a trailer and there were about twenty of them, they had four by four beams through the wheels where the axle would normally be. The beams were to hold them together for transport. I had to be up on the trailer to maneuver the beams out and get the wheels on the fork. We had gotten about two or three loads off when one of the wheels hung up on the beam. I worked the beam loose and got the wheels onto the fork. The forth one did not go right so I told the guy on the fork lift I would hold it upright until he got back. I had it balanced so if it should start to go anywhere I could kick it forward and get away from it. As the man backed up the fork there was a jerk on the fork and the third wheel popped off the fork and smacked into the one I was holding. Naturally it upset the balance of the one I was holding. I now had 1600 lbs pushing on me. Slowly I was losing the battle. I hollered for help. The man on the fork lift could not get to me in time and nobody else was close. I finally lost my balance and landed on the trailer on my back. My left leg was bent at the knee. I now had two railroad car wheels being supported by my leg. My leg, being upright, was holding the full weight as they were laying on my knee.
The fork lift operator started yelling for help and I do not remember if I said anything. Several men came up and got the wheels off of my leg. I scooted over to the edge of the trailer and let my foot dangle over the side. As I looked down I could see my work boot was offset from my leg by a couple of inches. I knew my ankle was broken.

On the way to the hospital 30 miles away I was praying that it would not be that bad. The doctor that saw me got me immediately into an operating room to repair the breaks. After setting the breaks he told me if I had not had it repaired then I might not have had use of the leg. I thanked the Lord for that. He did say I would be permanently partially disabled. The doctor also said I should have the ankle permanently fused. That would have left me with a severe limp. I told him if I ever needed to I would come back and let him do it.

I was off work for seven months. I checked into the workman’s comp program and was informed I had a fifteen percent disability. Since it happened on the job, and only employees were involved, I was awarded $800.00 and five years of medical care for my injury. This was the state law in 1979. I was sent back to work and told I would have to wear support socks for the rest of my life. I could walk without a limp though and it seemed to have healed very well. I did not really want to go back to that job. I tried to find work while I was off. I prayed for the Lord to help me find something else. It was not to be. Now with a workman’s comp claim on my record there were many opportunities closed to me. I went back to work but was discovering I no longer cared for where I was working. I started praying for the Lord to get me out of there. I finally got to the point where I prayed for Him to get me out of there – whatever it took. I then did not realize to be careful what you ask for when you pray to the Lord. I was to learn to be specific. By now it was 1982 and the Transportation Test Center had had two layoffs. There had been over five-hundred employees when I hired on. It was about to go down to about two-hundred in this round. It is said the third time is a charm and I got laid off. The Lord had answered my prayer.

In 1982 there were over ten-thousand people laid off in Pueblo. I was one of them. The steel mill had gone down-hill also. It became my weekly job to find a job. I had not been out of work that long and had answered an ad for a job. I went to the meeting and found out it was selling display signs to businesses. I was willing to try. After a week of orientation we were sent to Amarillo Texas to see if we could be traveling salesmen. Everyone was assigned a partner but me. I spent the whole day walking around Amarillo trying to sell signs. By afternoon I discovered that the company took all its new salesmen to Amarillo. I talked with one couple and discovered I was not even the first to come by to sell them a new sign. I came very close with one business to selling them a sign but it did not work out. I went back to the motel room and hit the floor on my knees to ask the Lord, “What am I supposed to do?” I did not get an answer I understood to be from the Lord. I loaded up my car and left all my sales material in the room and went back to Pueblo. Whether from the Lord or in my own mind I decided I did not want to be a traveling salesman.

I finally got a break and got a job at a wholesale meat distribution warehouse.
It was filling truck food orders out of a freezer as well as regular stock. I had to be on my feet most of the whole shift plus work in the freezer pulling orders. It had been two or three days and I was doing well. The owner was impressed with my handling of the orders and I was up to the job. The next morning I got up and fell flat on my face. I could not walk. My left ankle was more tender than it had ever been since the accident. I tried to stand but it would not support the weight. I was discovering working in a freezer, on my feet all day, and carrying heavy boxes was not something I could do.

I called my new employer and explained what had happened and that I could not come into work that day. After being out of work for so long and finally getting a break, I was crying out to the Lord to heal my ankle. Why He chose not to, I could not understand. By the next day my ankle was still sore but I could walk on it. I went into work. I was called to the office. There was obviously a turmoil between the office manager and my boss. The man had been very impressed with my work ethic and did not want to let me go. He wanted to give me a different job in the company. He asked me if I had been on workman’s comp for my injury and of course I had. The turmoil was, there had been another employee in my same situation and he had gotten re-injured working for the company. The company then had to assume responsibility by law. I could not sign a waiver or any other contract that would exempt the company if I got hurt. The owner realized I was an above average worker and did not want to lose me. The office manager prevailed stating they could not risk having me there. I was again looking for a job.

We had had our first child by then and she was about a year old. My wife wanted to stay with the same doctor until our daughter was at least a year old. President Reagan had extended unemployment benefits and we were at the end of the extension. I was realizing if you ask the Lord for something be specific. I still had to learn to pray and draw closer to the Lord. I got another job. It lasted a week. It appeared after I had been hired, and let go, I had been hired to fill in until the one that had been hired for the job was available. Sue and I were praying for the Lord to help me find work. It was now approaching 16 months.

My aunt and uncle were visiting from Denver and he told me I should come to Denver. He said certainly I could find something there. I took him up on his suggestion and went to Denver and got a job the first day. It was not the best but something. I went to my uncle’s house and told him about it. It was decided I could stay at their house during the week and go home to Pueblo on the weekends.

The job was hanging insulation in new houses. It was in January 1984. After about two weeks I knew that the job was not something I wanted to do. Even though I was on my feet quite a lot through the day my ankle was holding up well. I started praying to the Lord about it. I guess I had not fully learned my lesson. I was praying for anything. I contacted the man I had been working with in 1974. I had kept in contact with him over all the years since I had lived in Denver. I told him what I was doing and asked him if he heard about anything to let me know. After about a week my friend contacted me and told me he had heard about someone who was looking for help.

I went to the store that my friend had told me about. I spoke with the owner and told him my situation. He knew of a man in Pueblo that had a pool store. He figured if the man needed me it would be a good fit. Since we had bought the house we were in, in 1977, and had been established in Pueblo I could stay there and work. I was pretty excited about it and told my wife about it. We figured the Lord had answered our prayers to stay in Pueblo. When I got off of work that evening I drove back to Pueblo for the weekend.
I got up Saturday morning and went to see the man in Pueblo. He mainly built swimming pools but sold spas also. The bulk of his business would start in about mid-May. I told him I could not wait that long. He was interested in me but could not afford to hire someone until the pool season started. I thanked him and went home. When I had talked to the man in Denver he had told me if I could not work for the man in Pueblo he would hire me. Even though my wife Sue feared living in Denver, it looked like the Lord had plans for us there.

I had to be at work on Monday morning at 6:00 am so I left Pueblo about four in the morning to drive up to go to work. After work I called the man at the pool store and told him how it had gone in Pueblo. He said he would like me to come to work for him. After my experience with the wholesale meat distributor I was pretty silent about my previous workman’s comp claim. He hired me for $6.50 an hour. I had been making $11.00 an hour in Pueblo. Our house payment was $225.00 a month and now I was looking at $450.00 a month rent. Needless to say, praying blindly for the Lord to get me out of my job was heavy on my mind.

Since we had gone 16 months in Pueblo without work it was obvious to us that we were supposed to be in Denver. I was given 6 raises the first year and our house in Pueblo was rented out fairly quickly. The Lord was blessing our move. The work I was given to do was not taxing my ankle.

I have been blessed with much mechanical ability and by the end of the summer I was doing most of the repair calls. The longer I was doing the job the more apparent it became the Lord was behind where I was working. He was also behind what I was doing. I was asked by the owner of the company to go to a pool construction site to help build a swimming pool. I worked all day moving dirt and being on my feet. By the end of the second day I got out of bed and fell to my knees. The pain in my ankle was extreme. I called the owner and took the day off. Once again I was driven to my knees and prayed to the Lord to heal my ankle. He did not. By the next day I could walk on it well enough and went into work. I talked to the owner. I explained to him the problem I had with my ankle. Since he had enough people to do the pool, and he was very satisfied with my work, he let me concentrate on doing pool and spa repairs.

Even though Sue and I both believed in God and prayed to the Lord we had not been that close to Him. We had a second child and felt the need to raise the children in a church environment as we had been. I started searching for a church. I questioned people around work sites and ran into one that told me about a church that was interesting. I told Sue about it. Before we went there I was watching television. I saw a preacher speaking in a way I had never heard before. He was speaking with authority. He was answering questions I had had for most of my life. I yelled at Sue, “Come here. You have to hear this guy”. After studying and listening to these broadcasts I was speaking with a lady at work who worked in the office. I told her my life had not been too bad to this point but knew it could be better. I told her we were going to join this church and follow God’s way. I told her it was worth a try. She said go for it. I could not convince her to join us. She had a familiar spirit (demon) she called Jeffery and was into channeling.

Things went fairly well over the next several years. The most trouble I had with my ankle were minor bouts. I would come home in the evening and prop it up if it was sore. I had been given support socks to wear after I got out of my cast. For the most part they helped, especially when I was taxing my ankle. Sometimes the only thing that helped was to just get off of it. I would often at these times ask the Lord to heal it. He was silent. Around 1992 the screw that was still in my ankle seemed to be protruding and causing me pain. I finally went to a doctor and he took x-rays. He asked me how I walked on “that thing”? I told him by the grace of the Lord. He removed the screw. It did not need to be there any longer and it helped to relieve the pain.

About a year later I was working in the driveway on a couple of my cars. My eldest daughter was working under one car and I was working on the other. It was supported by jack stands. I had used cinder blocks and other boards in the past but had bought these to be safe. Sue was down south taking our daughter to camp and I was alone with our oldest daughter and our son. It was going very well. I was pulling on a tork wrench to tighten up a bolt. As I pulled the wrench toward me, the car came over with it. I was sitting cross legged on the passenger side. The car came off of the jack stands and pinned, you guessed it, my left ankle to the driveway under the front end. I now had a four-thousand pound car’s front end sitting on the side of my foot and the steering tie rod across my ankle. I was pinned. I could not move. I am not proud to say there were many things that came out of my mouth that should not have. My daughter heard me hollering as did half the neighborhood. I started to focus. Since I was sitting in the wheel well my shoulders were under the car. I thought about all the times you hear about the Lord granting supernatural power for people to lift things off of people. I prayed for strength and pushed up with all I had. The car did not move. By then my daughter was at my side asking what she could do. The next door neighbor was there also from hearing me hollering. Several other neighbors by now had also showed up trying to figure out what to do. As I said by now I was under control and told my daughter and the neighbor to bring the hydraulic jack over from under the other car. I pointed to where it needed to go and told them to raise the car. Just as the car came off of my leg an ambulance showed up. One of the neighbors had called. The ambulance crew saw I was freed from under the car and said I should go to the hospital. My neighbor who first came out said they would watch the children. I agreed and off we went.

At the hospital there were x-rays taken. Because of the first break, in 1979, the doctor I saw said he could not tell if it was broken or not. Since it was Sunday he told me I should go see my regular doctor on Monday.

On Monday I called into work and told them what happened and I would be late or not be in that day. Then I called the doctor, that had removed the screw, and told him what happened. He said to come in and he would check it out. I believed from the way it felt I had not broken it. I was praying to the Lord it would just be sore for awhile. I prayed it was not broken. The doctor looked at the x-rays and said, yes it is broken.

In actuality it had cracked the bone on the left outside and left an indentation on my leg where the tie rod of the car had been laying on it. He had to put me out and put a screw back in. He put it in very deep so I would not ask to have it removed again. Then I was put in a walking cast and on crutches for six weeks.

I recovered from the second break to the same ankle. I still had issues if I was on it too much. Through the years since I still was doing the same work. Some mornings, after a hard day the day before, I would wake up and go immediately to my knees. I would try to stand on my leg and the ankle would not support me. I would have too much work that had to be done and could not cancel the appointments. I would pray to the Lord. “Lord, I cannot walk on this leg. I have jobs to do. I must support my family. If You will not heal my ankle, please strengthen it so I can work.” I would limp into the living room and put on my high top work boots and go to work. By the time I had to do some serious work my ankle would support me and I would get on with the day. Some times at night I would take some Aleve so I could sleep because the pain was so great.

Thankfully I would not have long stretches of this. I then was praying one day about my ankle being healed. I was still wearing the support socks I had been wearing since 1979. I believed if I was to be healed I was not showing faith by wearing those socks. I started wearing regular socks. After several months I realized I no longer needed those support socks so I put them in a drawer and forgot about them. It has now been many years since I quit wearing those socks. A few weeks ago I came across them. The Holy Spirit asked me why I still had them. I immediately knew I had held onto them “just in case”. I realized I was not fully trusting in the Lord. I have since given them away to a charity. They were expensive socks.

I believe the Lord inspired me to write this. I pray what I have learned may help some one who may read this. I have learned that the Lord does not always heal you. I have also learned if you pray to the Lord be specific. I have learned He will help you through difficulties and strengthen you. It has been 32 years that I have lived with this “thorn” and when I most needed it the Lord helped me to literally stand strong. I will leave this with Hebrews 13:5-6:” Let your conversations be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for He has said, I will never leave you or forsake you. So that we may boldly say. The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.”

A brother in Jesus Christ our Lord. Bob Bosh

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