I’m walking again.
Well, not like this lady.
I’m walking with a cane, but it still feels gooooood.
Walking hasn’t felt good for a very long time. The main goal of the arthroscopic surgery, hip replacement, was to change that dynamic.
The first time they got me out of bed I was hanging onto the walker for dear life. They teased me with, “Just a few steps to the end of the bed.” Then it was, “Let’s go around to the other side of the bed.” They managed to get me all the way into the hall before I went white. By the time they got me back to the bed, I lost my lunch. To say the experience was less than ‘good’ is an understatement.
Obviously things went up dramatically from there. How could they not?
36 hours after they took me to the OR I was ready to head home. I’d walked all the way down to the ‘gym’ and back, accomplishing all the tasks they set for me there. I walked up and down stairs enough to match what we have at home. I got in and out of a car without difficulty. We all decided I could make it without serious medical support nearby. And I did.
I was totally unprepared for what happened a few days later. One of the pre-procedure symptoms I was having returned. A sciatica type pain ran right down the inside of my repaired leg. I was surprised, upset, and scared. I did my best to change my position to make the pain stop. It took a few minutes, but I found relief. Thank you, Lord.
That scenario has repeated itself many times since my stay at Concord Hospital. Along the way I’ve learned that as my muscles begin to function again they return to the ways they needed to move to compensate for my deteriorated hip. For example, my entire lower back had been working so hard to stabilize my posture that I’ve had to take pain meds twice when it went into spasms.
By God’s glorious grace and the help of my Physical Therapist yesterday I figured out how to relax my lower back while walking with a cane. It felt so good. I was filled with an extravaganza of joy. Wooo HOOOO. I’m beginning to believe I really will be able to get around pain-free one day. I just need to exchange my muscles unhealthy habits for healthy ones.
As I pondered the information about muscle memory, my quirky brain made a left turn into the spiritual realm. Could there be a connection between physical muscle memory and spiritual muscle memory?
Are there times when my soul could use a set of exercises similar to those I’m following to retrain my leg and back muscles?
I considered the life-threatening circumstances and the do-or-die survival tactics they required over the last year or so AND the unspeakable toll they’ve taken, and they lead me to say YES.
When a situation only holds a short bus ride to approach the Father or a few moments to pray together with outsiders listening in, there’s a stiltedness that occurs in the God-ward relationship. When such interactions become the norm over a long period of time with one dire need followed by another and another and another, even times of private intercession and fellowship are strained. It’s like living in a theater where somebody is constantly yelling, “Fire!”
And this has been my life for longer than I care to report.
Look, I’m no spring chicken. I’ve been around the sun more than 65 times. I’ve been married for 46 years and a Christ-follower for 43. There have been countless seasons of joy as well as stretching in my spiritual life.
I KNOW that God never leaves me nor forsakes me. Hebrews 13:5
I KNOW that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
I KNOW that God’s plan for me is for my good and not to harm me so that I will have hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
I have more than one Bible that is heavily marked. There are notes with references filling the inside cover pages of all of them. I’ve raised children and cherish grandchildren. I served my husband and the Church for 30 years of his pastoral career. I am blessed to walk beside global women in the pilgrim journey. I’m drenching myself in Scripture as I write my third book that’s based on a biblical character. And yet I can tell the stress has taken its toll.
It’s time to assess the unhealthy spiritual habits I’ve developed and exchange them for healthy ones.
- Crawl up into my Abba Father's lap and search His face to find His love for me reflected in His eyes. Psalm 23
- Invite the Spirit to lay bare those places that require my confession and repentance that I might revel anew in His forgiveness and purification. 1 John 1:9
- Drink of the Savior's life-renewing water and commit afresh to rest in Him where I live and move and have my being. Acts 17:27
I have dreams and goals I want to reach, but setting any of them on my own according to my falleness-driven and thus-perverted will is more than foolhardy. That road only leads to frustration and destruction. I want to make my way yoked with the Good Shepherd. John 11:11 and Matthew 11:29
Yep, it's time to retrain my spiritual muscles according to our marriage verse.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 NIV 1984
I sure do hope God’s got it on His agenda for me to be able to put on my socks by myself real soon.
How about you?
Do you find yourself spinning in circles and not able to make headway?
Could it be that you too have been caught in a tunnel of tragedies of one type or another?
Perhaps now is the time for you too to turn off the carousel and nestle into the Father’s embrace. Come join me for His glory and our good.