July 29, 2011

Painful Walking

Resistance Training

Walking in the shopping mall I decided, out of the blue, that I needed a new pair of shoes. Not just any shoes but those Skechers which are advertised as the “hottest new thing”. My saner side would have chosen a regular training shoe but these “new toners” intrigued me with their claim to “activate other muscles in your body” by using “resistance to help increase tone.” With their lowered heel I am also hoping that it stretches out the very tight, and painful, achilles tendons.

So in a moment of impulsivity and influenced by the 50% sale, I bought a pair. How could I resist the claims of “better posture and blood circulation.” Much to my delight, I found them comfortable with only a little bit of unsteadiness. Even my husband remarked that I seemed to walk different when I am wearing them.

It was pain from the tendonitis that made me seek a resolution. The vexation of this dominated my attention on a daily basis, especially at night.

God will often capture our attention through painful experiences.

There are certain seasons of life that God may take us through where we find that old patterns of behaviour no longer help and, in fact, may cause further injury and pain.

Pain can be a catalyst for change.

Just like when putting on these trainers, new “muscles” are worked and there may be unsteadiness as we move in different directions from what we have been used to.

So often, when God begins to move, He does not create a smooth path. There will be times when we need to lace up our trainers pushing ourselves to walk after Him even when our muscles are resisting every step of the way.

As we walk something happens and we begin to experience a shift, a change of gait. A rhythm of grace begins to carry us in the pain.

My growing conviction

....is that God uses simple analogies in order to help us understand deeper issues. That is what He has done with me. The tendonitis can be painful at times but facing the pain of a legacy of sexual abuse stirs things very deep within my core.

It has involved recognizing how badly I have wanted to be cherished by a father who cannot give what he does not have. This is a soul-piercing pain that hits, like the tendonitis, at unexpected moments but often during the night hours; imperfect love in an imperfect world.

As I am learning to walk with a new gait, a new dependency on Him, I find a rhythm of hope with each step I take. God provides the external force specially designed for me at this time, and like what these trainers do for the tendonitis, He is in the process of developing what is needed within my core; resistance training for the soul.

The journey continues, through the pain, to joy as I encounter Him each step of the way.

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