Looking up at the startled women around me, “I’m good” is cheerfully uttered while quickly stumbling to my feet. During a warm-up jumping jack, I’ve dropped to the ground for no apparent reason. My knee hurts but I push on, realizing weeks later I’ve torn my ACL. Life just became more complicated.
Flash forward six months past the conservative approach to reconstructive surgery. All goes well. Appreciating others’ worse life situations, I’m still awed by how impactful this knee injury and surgery is in my daily life. Welcome to scenario #3 of our wellness journey.
When life hits us with new or unwelcome situations spiritually, mentally or physically, it changes things. Sometimes they creep up on us, other times we’re suddenly plunged to the pavement wondering what happened.
Maybe, just possibly, it’s all part of God’s plan. Yes, this interrupted my life; but it also made me slow down, think, be more present and grateful. This last year, I have been physically weak, but have also grown physically, mentally and spiritually strong.
As discussed in our mind and soul scenarios-most of life is perspective. The torn ACL occurred in the midst of our original wellness journey. I was practicing wellness when it transpired. While I’ll admit to a moment of “why me”, I then intentionally chose to see the good in my knee situation each day. Shifting my perspective was crucial.
I’ve squatted, lunged and ran more in the last year than I have in the previous twenty. But all of it has made me stronger, physically and mentally. In this last phase of intensive rehab, I am tasked with “suicide” wind sprint sets up and down the driveway with running in between sets. There couldn’t be an exercise I loathe more. But I’m doing it. I’m doing it for myself and with a strength from within that is not my own.
With each phase of rehab my inner self says “I can’t”. But a still, small voice whispers “you can”. I can do it; I can press on with His strength. Each time I’m about to run another wind sprint, Philippians 4:13 is in my thoughts:
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
I was reminded of this verse when a friend of my son was battling brain cancer. His student teacher encouraged our friend with this verse at his Relay for Life walk. Our little friend weathered every storm in his path with grace, dignity and a smile on his face.
When he lost his earthly battle with cancer, we mourned his light in our lives. This boy did everything through Christ who lived within him. We can too. Whether physical ailments, mental demons or life’s questions, they can all be brought to the cross. There we find strength to change I can’t into I can.
The beauty of Lent is the focus it provides on Jesus’ sacrifice for all of us. We can endure and be well because He already has done what we never could. He lived the perfect life, died and rose again so we could live.
Anything is possible with God. It’s about perspective, knowing who is with us and trusting Him who lives within us for strength. When life becomes more difficult, don’t endure alone. Call on the One through whom all things are possible for perseverance, the ability to press on and be well in any scenario.