Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Time to Heal

Can I just start by saying, last year was amazing? The trips with Jason, so many adventures, the races, the PRs, all the running. The glorious running. I loved every single minute. So when the last race was run in December and my weary, broken body cried mercy, my heart broke a little too. And it was hard to shake the sadness and disappointment. As we decorated for Christmas, filled advent calendars, drank hot chocolate, wrapped presents, and got ready for a fun holiday season, inside I just wasn't there. I wasn't feeling it. My knee hurt all the time, no matter if I rested or ran, stretched or rolled, and I desperately missed running.

Finally Jason said something about how I hadn't seemed myself for a while, and it kind of woke me up. I realized running had become more important than it should. It had moved to a place in my life where it didn't belong. There should've been plenty of joy in my life without running, especially during the Christmas season. But I couldn't find it. I felt lost and sad, blah and frustrated.

As hard as it was to admit it, I knew running had become lord of my life, and I knew I had to knock it back down to its proper place. It felt impossible...but what is impossible with God? He's tackled much bigger, and while I couldn't see myself feeling differently, I had faith that He could help me do it.

I started with prayer. I picked up a book I'd been meaning to finish for months called, "Intercessory Prayer" and started over from the beginning. I bought a planner for 2017 from Ink and Volt that I knew would challenge me. It asked for a yearly theme, yearly goals, monthly goals, and weekly goals. As I worked on filling in the pages, I purposefully focused on my spiritual health, not the physical. No running goals, no fitness challenges, no eating resolutions. It was about renewing my relationship with my Lord, returning Him to his proper place in my life, returning to His Word and seeking deeper, more meaningful conversations with Him.

I also focused my goals on other things I love that had fallen by the wayside. Reading good books. Writing. Learning something new. Trying new recipes. Adventures with my kids. Returning to these things made me feel alive again. They reminded me there was more to me and my life than just running.

I did decide to go to the doctor and get some answers about my knee. I made an appointment with a local sports doctor, and pulled out my old 21 Day fix videos that didn't seem to hurt my knee too much. For my birthday (January 5), my mom got me a month's worth of unlimited Pure Barre classes, and I received a prescription for an anti-inflammatory and physical therapy from the doc (who diagnosed me with severe inflammation).

Since then I've been to three physical therapy sessions and four Pure Barre classes (so hard, but so good!). I run two or three times a week, usually 3-5 miles, sometimes with my running girls who I have dearly missed, sometimes alone to let my mind run free a bit too.

As far as learning new things goes, I'm taking an open water diving course, and Jason and I have a trip planned in February to do our open water test dives (he's already certified, but is taking a refresher course) and to swim with manatees - a long time dream of mine. I am beyond excited about this.

So I'm doing better. I have no idea if my knee is better because I'm still on the anti-inflammatories, but I have been mostly pain free for a few weeks, and that has been such a relief. I've found ways to stay fit that don't hurt my knee, and I do just enough running to quench the thirst, while letting my body heal.

And God is doing His thing in my heart and mind, as I have asked Him. I by no means have it all together - I have moments of disappointment, days where I don't turn to His word, and I'm still working on strengthening my faith and prayer... but that's the human condition. I don't intend to quit seeking and knocking and striving just because it's hard some days and I mess up others. While I don't always understand His forgiveness and relentless love, I don't doubt it for a moment and that spurs me on.

Returning God to his proper place as Lord of my life has returned my joy. Opening my eyes and remembering all the blessings in my life, finding pleasure again in the simple things like watching Eloise and Matthew play outside, holding my soft bunny, hot coffee on a cold morning, laughing with Jason, squeezing everyone tight... these have restored my soul again. God's word is a light to my feet once more, as I read of His amazing Son who came to earth, and all that He said and did while here.

My time to heal as changed from something I loath, to something I love, and I think that's how it should be.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of our faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down a the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2

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