DOOR #3 BOX CANYON
FEET. PAIN. Quarantine. Suffering. Philippians. Jesus. God of all comfort.
These words are my life right now.
About a month ago, I discovered that I, along with my family, were reacting to this current suffering in many of the same ways that we originally had. For over two months it was a shock reaction because we found ourselves here again. Then, the familiar. Oh, we’ve done this before. Put our hand to the plow and don’t look back.
Really? We are here again? Yes. We are. I will always look back on COVID-19/quarantine 2020 through the glasses of feet and suffering. For over 6 weeks I was in my room. For over 2 weeks, I did not really go farther than the chair in my room. My feet were up, on ice, or when down, in boots.
And, the very same emotions came flooding back. It is not really something that I ever wanted to relive, but God has other plans.
For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ, but also the privilege of suffering for Him. Philippians 1:29
This is the second time for me to write this post. Door number 3 for me is WORSHIP. When I initially started writing this, I had to stop, because God whispered in my ear that I had not really done the thing that I was trying to write about. I had not spent the time I needed in His presence and just worshiped. So, I closed up the computer and put on worship music and cried my eyes out as I fell before the throne in worship of my God.
God had asked me to give Him a sacrifice of worship. Would I, could I still worship with my feet screaming out in pain? Could I look beyond the pain and fall at His feet?
One thing I have learned about pain, is that everything filters through pain. All my thoughts, words, emotions. I wish it were not so, because some of my thoughts are not pleasant ones. Most of the time I am screaming on the inside just as much as my feet are. But, on the outside I am not. I couldn’t do that to my family. So, I have learned compassion for people in pain. I have learned to empathize because I know what it’s like to live in pain day in and day out.
I am so glad that I took God at His word and worshiped Him a few days ago. It helped me to get a better perspective. I believe that worshiping God is a choice, an opportunity and a privilege to tell my heart that He is greater. He is worthy. He is my everything.
That was on Sunday. Today is Friday. And in between has been a lot of living. Have you realized how quickly the days pass in quarantine? I mean, I am BUSY. God has given me ample things to do during this time of feet pain and suffering.
I am memorizing Philippians – I have chapter 1 down.
Origami. We had gone to Manzanar the weekend before the whole country shut down and John had picked up an origami how-to and papers.
I was accepted into the Bob Goff Author’s Class. The backstory behind this, is that on Mother’s Day I finally submitted to God. Our pastor was preaching on Jonah and God reminded me that I, too, was a Jonah.
I asked Him what I was running from. He told me WRITING. And more specifically, writing a book. The one He had talked to me about 3 years ago. So, He likened this time of suffering to being in the belly of a fish. Was I ready to be spit out? Yes. So, I repented and I was accepted into the class the next day.
As part of the writing class, there are many questions to answer before one begins to even put pen to paper, so to speak. And in answering those question I had an epiphany. As I was typing out my response to a question, I typed, “I feel closest to God when I write.” Those words just flew out of my hands. And I realized then and there that they are true. I had NEVER known this about myself. Ever. But I can look back in my life and see this to be true. My journals. My Bible studies that are all handwritten out, pages and pages. A special journal that I am keeping during this quarantine time. This blog. I have felt so close to God my Saviour during my times of writing, and I did not even realize it. But, now I do.
Then the diagnosis of my feet. I have a torn tibialis anterior tendon on each foot. My doctor calls them small tears – 5 mm or so each tear, but how in the world can that ‘small’ tear cause so much pain and suffering? Baffling. I had to risk the great outdoors to finally get my MRI. I cancelled the appointment twice. It was eerie going there. Mind you, I had not left my house, let alone my room, for 8-plus weeks. I am so glad I went because now I had an answer. Now, onto healing. But I have a feeling it’s going to be a long one. I have been on this road for 3 months but it feels like my tendons just tore yesterday. I have pain, swelling, weakness. Yikes.
I had started PT way back in late March for this because the original diagnosis was nerve pain. Did you know that you can do PT virtually? You can. And I love it because I can stay in my home and work away at exercising. Because I didn’t have the correct diagnosis for a while we tried everything to see what would work for me. It was definitely a process of elimination. I would try a new exercise. Nope. Can’t do that. Ice therapy. Oh yikes. Can’t
do that. Oh, yes, I can do that one. Plunge my feet in an ice bath? Really? Oh yes, I LOVE this one. Weird as it seems this is my favorite thing in this whole process. My PT had given me some suggestions a while ago to make a short list – of things that I could accomplish with my limited mobility. Something that I could look forward to. Well, I made a list. Walk to the garden – that John had planted and I had not seen in person. Water my flowers outside. Sit outside. Well, the first day God provided three major wins from that list. My dear friend Belinda showed up in my front yard – so I went and sat outside – 20 feet apart. My son, Andrew, pushed me in my wheelchair while the guys walked down our road.
But, that night my family talked turkey with me. I was not getting better. I was getting worse. They live with me. They know. By their encouragement, I promised to be still and allow my feet to heal. As I went to bed, my thought was, “I need to make another list.”
So, on this list were pray, memorize my Philippians chapters, connect with people, write, worship. Be still.
I think these should have been on my original list all along.
So what is my point in all of this?
Well, I had talked about making choices when one is in suffering. That’s what thew BOX CANYON blog post was about. Choosing to be content. Or still. Or choosing to worship God even when it hurts.
I did not know that I would be challenged to the level that I have been. I have had to make a choice on how I live my day. I have to rise above the pain because frankly, it can be all consuming. Those little tears cause a pain level that is all consuming. God has presented different options for me to pick from. Complaining. Praying. Worship. Stillness.
Yesterday I was doing me PT with Elevation Worship blaring to drown out my own thoughts. As I was doing one particular exercise – making the alphabet with my leg up in the air, I was overwhelmed with the PRESENCE OF GOD. I was crying out in frustration but in the middle of it, God reached down and touched me with His pleasure. He noticed that I had made a choice to worship rather than complain. Praise God I had made that choice then, because having God’s pleasure on me is priceless.
He has chosen me to suffer. This pain is not in vain. It is directly from His hand. Did He cause my tendons to tear? No. But is He using this time to refine me? Yes. It’s God’s economy so for my finite mind I can’t make it all out, but I have to trust that He is with me in this. And He is.