I feel like I owe you an apology for my absence. Sometimes life gets in the way of good intentions. I’d like to update you on one area of my life since you’ve last heard from me. It has been almost a year since I last practiced walking with canes in an effort to wean off crutches. I had to stop last summer due to pain in my elbow that unfortunately, I still battle. Well, in January my therapist and I revamped my whole program, focusing on one specific muscle that seems most responsible for my dependency on crutches; my glute medius. This is a muscle that we have worked on for YEARS, but to little avail. We set March 27th as a target date to try once again to walk with canes. On that day, after taking about 6 steps with the two canes I stopped and looked at my therapist with what I am sure was a “deer in headlights” look. She said, “Your pelvis is not dropping on the left when you take a step with your right foot.” I said, “I know!!!” That is a direct result of God breathing life and ability into that glute medius that years ago a specialist spoke hopelessness over.
I left PT that day with mixed emotions. I saw how far I have come, and I also saw how far I still have to go (I got tired after the first lap which forced more weight into my arms, flaring up the elbow pain). While walking is one of the most basic things the body does, it is something that my body cannot do without assistance. Not even one step. I have LONGED to walk freely for as long as I can remember. It could be easy for me to ask, “Why does it all have to be so difficult for me when God could make it so easy with just a word?!”
Sitting between Good Friday and Easter, our thoughts are turned to the indescribable sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf. I’ve been thinking a lot about how Jesus was both God and man. As man, He felt the brutality and betrayal, the agony and anguish. Though He was God, He didn’t use His power and authority to avoid pain and injustice. He didn’t make His life an easy one, but chose to follow the path His Father had laid out for Him. Jesus not only knew that He could trust His Father, but He also knew that there was purpose and value in all He endured. God defeated sin and death for all time, for all mankind, through Jesus’ willingness to follow His Father’s plan.
Though on a very different scale, there is purpose and value in our suffering and struggles too. God could easily take away the struggle and inability in my life and body, but He has allowed it to continue for a reason. So often we kick and scream and turn from God because He has not kept us and those we love from hardships. We want Him to inoculate us from such circumstances, but why should we be kept from things that God’s own Son was exposed to? Jesus set a powerful example for us on the night he was betrayed. He knew His death was only hours away and He prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) Jesus surrendered His will to His Father’s…even in the face of death. I love what the very next verse says… “An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.” When we surrender to God’s will above our own, He strengthens us. He makes us able.
I’ve said it before – God is not here for us; we are here for Him. His plans for us and through us are far above our own. While I know what God has promised concerning my body, I surrender to His timing. And in my surrender, I find peace and faith. This time of year I am reminded by Jeremy Camp that “the same power that rose Jesus from the grave…lives in (me)”. Easter is coming – and so is my ability to walk. What personal resurrection are you believing for?
Sharon Verbeke says
You are one of the most beautiful people I know. Your faith and ability to put it into words is encouraging to me and I am sure more people than you know. I will keep you in my prayers and have a wonderful Easter.
Darlene Shotmeyer says
What a beautiful and very powerful post Michele!
Thank you for your strong, persevering faith! Happy Easter
Aunt cookie says
Well written great words of encouragement for all of us Keep going forward. God is your strength and He is pleased with your walk with him. Love aunt cookie
Uncle Allan says
Dear Michele, your persevering faith is amazing! You put me to shame. Your life is a bright witness to the Holy Spirit’s power in a world dark with unbelief. Thank you. And praise to our God! Love you, Uncle Allan.
Kate Costa says
Michele, your testimony of perseverance and continual trust in the Lord’s will is so very inspiring. With all of your physical challenges, to still find the strength to paint through the pain these paintings that look almost like photographs – unreal. I love your thoughts on personal resurrection and it’s a total confirmation for me!! Thank you for all that you shared. Much love, Kate
Karen vervoordt says
This brought tears to my eyes. So true. It
Is all about Him and not us! How easy is that to forget! Thanku for your encouraging post. So timely for this weekend. Have a blessed Easter Day. Love and miss you, Karen
Brian Deamer says
I still say that you are destined to run like the wind in heaven and I’ll never be able to catch you. It’s gonna be great.
Amy James says
Thanks for sharing this post. Your encouragement through it inspires me to take a fresh perspective on our struggles. Jesus knows our struggles and walks right alongside us to be our help, so thankful.