Most days I don’t feel like getting up, putting on my prosthesis and doing things. I would much rather roll around in my seated walker, hang out on my couch, and watch TV. All. Day. Long. And why not? I don’t have a job. I don’t have goals. Just kidding. I have goals, but they are mostly achieved while sitting, except the first goal — to walk comfortably at a moderate pace and look somewhat normal doing it. What’s normal anyway? “Normal” is NOT attracting stares or side-eyes as you walk by. And realistically, my walk will not be the way it used to be, but I can work toward as close as possible to "normal."
So I’ve noticed that in order to reach my challenging but attainable goals, I must be diligent to take the baby steps. Usually when you set a goal, you mark a deadline. For example, some crazies train themselves for months to run a marathon by race day. I won’t say never, but that is an achievement I cannot fathom right now.
The issue with my goal to walk is that there is no right deadline because everyone progresses differently. So it can be discouraging when I'm not "there" yet. My physical trainer and prosthetist say I’m already ahead of the game because I’m younger than most amputees. My heart is eager, but my mind is still recalibrating. My brain gets confused by new sensations and needs to reroute functions. It also remembers all the previous falls I have had, so the fear of falling again keeps me cautiously slow. And I’ve got to tell myself that it’s okay to go slow. Just don’t stop. Endurance runners know it’s better to slow your pace than to stop running because once you stop, it’s much harder to start again.
Since I can't see the finish line although I know it ends in victory, it's important to remember how far I've come already and Who my Source of Strength is (my Savior Jesus Christ). His supply never runs out. He is the Author and Finisher of my faith. People will let me down -- even the well-meaning and most loving. I let myself down. I mess up and fall, but I've got to get back up. As I take that step of faith, the Lord renews my strength and gives me wings - flamingo wings (very similar to eagle wings mentioned in Isaiah 40:31) *wink*. More on my flamingo fancy in another post.
Some people like to have a phrase or word for the year to meditate on as they do life. My sister-in-law started doing this a few years ago because it helps her to focus on truth. So earlier this year when I spent time to reflect on 2019 and ponder how to make 2020 better, I thought I’d give it a try. What truth or phrase do I need in this phase of my life? I had just received my prosthesis and was frankly struggling with the mental and physical strain of learning to stand. Just stand. It was so awkward and uncomfortable, and my back hurt from the repositioning of my hips. Discouraging. Frustrating. At that point, I could get around quicker on my 4-wheeled walker, but I knew that this “step backward” would propel me forward if I stuck to it.
Rise up. That’s all I needed to do. Even if it's a little. Even if it's slowly. Rise.
Then the Lord showed me this interesting comparison:
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.” (Psalms 20:7-8 ESV)
In the verses leading up to this, the writer of this psalm, King David, was just listing off these prayers, expecting blessings from the Lord. Then he acknowledges that God does save and will answer his prayers. Then he points out this comparison of persons. Verses 7 and 8 can be reworded this way: Some who place their security and success in their possessions and position will be unstable and will fail, BUT those who put their security in and live by Who their God is will rise and stand firmly.
David assimilates rising success with trusting in the Lord. This news is huge for me as a disabled person who needs a “chariot” of sorts to get around and can do less than 3 chores at home without help. After a while, one starts to wonder, “What? Why?? How is this my life???” Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever gotten so low that you couldn't see a way out? Perhaps your trust was misplaced as mine has been. What have you set your security and satisfaction in? The awesome thing about God is that He is able to pull you out of any ditch you've dug yourself into. You are never too far gone! How have you seen the Lord rescue and raise you to newer heights?