As a girl who sometimes has trouble getting out of bed in the morning, the word “endurance” doesn’t come to mind very often. It rings of long-distance medal events, a long day at the office, a redundant but necessary task that takes so long you use everything inside yourself to push through it, as if you’re winding a spring throughout the day to *THWOP* let everything fly loose in those last fifteen milliseconds, the last tick of the clock, the ding of the elevator.
I never think of having much endurance, but I suppose I must. Having EDS means that I really do push through each day minute by minute, as if I’m living a marathon.
“Therefore do not throw away your confidence which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.”
-Hebrews 10:35-36 (ESV)
I stumbled upon this verse during my nightly “Ending the Day Right” devotional from YouVersion (Internet Bibles are so my thing–you can pick from any translation you can think of and you don’t even have to risk dislocating a wrist or elbow!! Talk about a blessing.), and it really struck me.
The past few days I have been dealing with the implications of my elbows subluxing (when a joint subluxes, it shifts or slides around in its socket or capsule but does not completely dislocate; subluxation in my joints frequently pinches important nerves, but mostly it’s just painful and frustrating). Neither of my elbows has ever subluxed, but this past week both of them starting slipping, sliding, grinding, and cracking (was that too much? sorry for the squeamish!) and I’ve had to wear some kind of compression every day. The compression braces aren’t what worry me – I fear that this could start happening all over my body for no apparent reason.
Here’s the problem: I’ve lost a lot of mobility in my arms because the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in my elbows have swollen and stiffened with each subsequent injury, and since they have been happening so frequently my arms haven’t had a chance to heal. This means that this loss of mobility could be permanent. What if my knees start subluxing? My shoulders (which already slip enough, thankyouverymuch!)? Thoughts like these have been swirling around in my brain with nowhere to go – there’s no off-switch for a chronic disorder.
Wait a second, God seemed to say to me. Just pray.
And so I found the #SheReadsTruth community and began to read Proverbs daily.
And I ached for more Scripture, more devotionals to fill my day, so I hopped on board three daily devotionals.
And I prayed and I prayed and I prayed.
And I found Hebrews 10:35 – 36.
And Hebrews 4:16: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the Throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
And let me tell you: my confidence in the Lord flooded back. I had left that confidence by the wayside in my teen years when my family stopped going to church; I felt betrayed by the God I had never really gotten to know, despite my prayers, Youth Group meetings, Sunday School, and choir practice. I learned that my mom’s faith was pasted on for show and my dad’s was much too limiting for my large imagination and love for all people everywhere, and I gave up on religion. The way I came back is a story for another day, but suffice it to say that God showed me exactly what I needed at exactly the right time. And totally blew my mind.
Endurance. I need it, all right! I need physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual endurance in order to do God’s work. Because really, this “living” thing? This “marathon of life” that I wake up to each morning? That’s God’s work.
And grace? Well, He’s got me covered. And you, too. Boy, have I been humbled to the magnificence and awesomeness of God.
So this is an exercise in endurance as I push forward each day, trying to do the best I can to walk in the footsteps of Christ, and praising God for the mobility He has granted me this far along my journey.
Every trial has its first steps, right? I count two of them:
- When God revealed Himself to me again at the kitchen counter in the wee hours of the morning this Sunday, I smacked my head in disbelief and took my first step on my right path knowingly.
- I went for a bike ride with my dad this evening for the first time in over ten years. Nothing went out of place, my elbows didn’t complain too loudly, and my bike sailed through the breeze as I followed my dad around our town, connecting with him on a very real level and taking my first step on my cycling training.
Everyone has to start somewhere.
Love and light,