Confession time: I feel a little sad every time I wear these shoes. I bought them while training for the St. Jude half marathon and then only a few weeks later had to stop running altogether because of problems with my hip. When I wear these shoes, they’re a reminder of what I didn’t accomplish. They’re a reminder of a dream unfulfilled (I know, it’s so unfair to my poor shoes to put such a weight on them!). I look wistfully at social media posts of runners posting about their latest run or their most recent race experience, and I remember when I used to do those things. Now I think of my running in the past tense. I WAS a runner.
It’s been 6 months since my last run. I don’t know when I will be able to run again, as I’m currently dealing with pain in both of my hips, pain that I experience with simple tasks like walking around the grocery store or sitting at my desk at work. It’s very tempting to live in a place of negativity and to let reminders of what I can’t do stagnate me. But I can’t let my discouragement about my health shape how I approach all parts of my life. I have to place my hope in what I know to be a strong and true foundation. Ultimately, all of our bodies are broken, and they will let us all down some day. So while my flesh and my heart may fail, I must let God be the strength of my heart and my portion forever. I must choose joy. I must choose hope. I must choose gratitude. I will ask God to redeem what is broken and make it beautiful.
And the next time I wear these shoes, they will remind me to be grateful for the body I have, for the legs and feet that support me, and for the faith that keeps me walking when I’d rather just give up.
Psalm 147:3: He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.