Each painful step up the stairs and into my home was a reminder of better things to come. My early morning scamper down 4 flights of stairs almost ended in a fall as my foot caught the carpet. I righted myself and recognized prideful thoughts in my head saying, “You certainly are quite agile for your age.” Considering the backpack on one shoulder and purse on the other, these were foolish thoughts for an almost 65-year-old woman.
Silently I spoke to those foolish thoughts, “Thanks Father God for catching me. I’m sorry for not taking better care of myself. Help me accept safer practices as I age.” I went on to enjoy a busy day of errands and visits, all involving walking many pain free steps.
But sitting in the car for the final 2-hour drive home to Key Largo, I began experiencing painful aching and spasms in my right ankle. I remembered my morning stumble and began to beat myself up with regret for such foolish behavior. Then I heard the comforting whisper in my spirit, “Love, gratitude, hope can cause you to overcome.” With a changed focus from pain and regret to gratitude and hope, I began thinking about all the good I enjoyed the past weeks.
The celebration of friendships and family over Christmas and New Year were fun and healing. The Christmas gift of a warm woolen neck scarf kept me so very cozy in the frigid temperatures. Dear friends experiencing the gift of a new babe into their family. These reflections reminded me of the gift of forgiveness I receive from Father God when I surrender my will for His safer will.
Chasing the non-productive thoughts of regret out of my mind with a more thankful attitude gave rise to songs of gratitude to Father. My ankle was still hurting all the way home but head and heart were definitely at peace without regret.
In the midst of hobbling groans, I took Ibuprofen, applied the appropriate essential oils and wrapped the pained ankle in an elastic bandage. Exhausted sleep came slow as I traded adrenaline for rest.
The morning brought a first tentative pain free step, then another and another. I felt a little tenderness when probing my ankle but walked absolutely pain free. This amazing and miraculous experience brought more to be thankful for without regret.
I could start 2018 with all kinds of resolutions to do better where I fail. Instead, I’m looking ahead with Jesus, accepting his corrections and enjoying the experience of his persistent healing love.
Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. (NLT: Hebrews 12: 1 – 2)