You Can Heal Even When Pain Is Swallowing You Whole

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I am running. Yesterday I jogged and walked around the black paved track at the park for a full thirty minutes. I think I could have gone longer.

Here’s the kicker: today I don’t hurt. I have waited for this revelation for such a long time:

I am starting to HEAL.

The Halt

//It was on that track when I first felt the pinched nerve which halted all my activity. Then doctor visits and heavy doses of Ibuprofen for pain. At the same time, my once-resilient spirit failed me. Friendships weren’t happening as quickly as I wanted them to. A sense of home stopped growing roots. Resentments built in my heart toward the people I love most.

My life stopped growing when I stopped moving.Tweet This

So much sorrow followed. Too much loneliness and anxiety I thought I couldn’t bear it at times. But back in the corner of my mind, I remember how much I loved to stretch and breathe when I was pregnant with my little girl. When she was in my belly, we did yoga, and I felt good.

Tapping into that memory, I rolled out my blue mat, and moved ever so slowly and ever so gently, even if it was just for 10 minutes.//

It didn’t happen in a blink, in days, or even months, it was years: but starting to move helped me to heal. I pushed myself at first because I thought I was strong, and my body rebelled so much I had to stifle the scream some days.

There were days I had to stop.

But I knew if I quit moving, I would die. My body, my mind, and my spirit—the whole of me had to keep reaching toward God and keep moving, whatever that meant.

This summer as I worked on a book project, the themes of loneliness and suffering rose to the surface. I suppressed them because who wants to read that anyway? My friends who were editing said, “We do.”

So I kept moving. The words poured out. Things started to happen.

Wounds started to heal.

I found the power to begin forgiving myself and those around me for unrealistic, unmet expectations. Deep breaths moved through my lungs when the kids were at their darnedest. I am laughing at my kerfuffles for what seems like a first in fifteen years.

I am running! I never thought I would run again. The pain was that deep. I once imagined it would hold me in its suffocating grip forever.

I am running. I am running. Yes, I am running. And I will not stop moving. Ever.


God-breathed Words

Thank you to my dear friend, Kate Motaung, who faithfully creates the Five Minute Friday one-word challenge. Those words must be God-breathed because they always stir up parts of me I never thought were there. (I never write for just five minutes lately. // indicates the start and stop of the timer). If you’re always saying, “I’ll make time to write,” you’ve got five minutes right now. Join us.

Good Things Coming Next Week

Groove, clocks, and thirty-one: words to describe some exciting projects in the works for creatives of all types here on the blog this fall. Subscribe to my Friday newsletter to keep up with all the happenings starting next week!

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September 9, 2016