When your Christian walk is more of a limp

When your Christian walk is more of a limp

I hope you don’t think I’m running like the wind and leaping over life’s obstacles in a single bound. When your Christian walk is more of a limp, you may think someone else’s walk is easy or successful, you are wrong. We’re all in this struggle together.

WRECKED

I heard the pop when my lower right leg twisted West and my body went South. Chunks of snow burned my face as I sat on the slope amidst what looked like a yard sale of skis and poles. Not realizing I was hurt, everyone sped downhill except my daughter who helped me up. I snugged my ankle against my other leg and skied down the mountain, grimacing all the way. Three incisions and six weeks of physical therapy later, I was back to “normal.” Except not.

Prov 4:12,” When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, and when you run, you will not stumble.” NKJV

Immobility weakened my quadriceps and despite the therapy, I had a long way to go. So I went to the gym. A personal trainer worked with me through pain and sweat to strengthen my legs. When I went skiing the following year, I was stronger than ever. You see, that’s how it works. Exercising weak muscles makes them stronger. Exercising weak faith makes it stronger too.

I was tempted to avoid the pain, give up and sit in a chair. I certainly had a valid excuse. But training and effort got me back on track so it was worth it.

How strong are you?

Whether I’ve shared advice on forgiveness, anxiety or joy, you may have gotten the impression I have it all figured out. If so, then I owe you an apology. For full disclosure you need to know, my advice is tested and proven only in my own life. No doubt my life is a living example of overcoming adversity, so at least I’ll take a little credit for knowing what I’m talking about.

Psalm 119:45, “I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.” NLT

Formulas don’t work

There is no formula for walking in victory. Nothing could be farther from the truth and rarely does anything work the first time you try it.

Follow my advice on FORGIVENESS – it won’t work

Implement my recommendations for dealing with and ANXIETY – you’ll still be tied up in a ball of knots.

Choose JOY – I seriously doubt you will find it.

So what gives?

REPETITION

Practice makes perfect, better yet, perfect practice makes perfect. Open your Bible and nothing changed in your life? Open it again. Prayed the same prayer over and over with no visible results? Do it again. Still believing when evidence says don’t? Keep the faith, keep walking, even if it looks more like a limp.

Psalm 128:1, “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways!” ESV

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again

Consider every failure an opportunity to try again #perservere #endure Click To Tweet
 Never quit

That’s the secret. When your walk is more of a limp, hang in there. Keep on keeping on, it’s the only way to walk in victory.

Psalm 119:1, “You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You’re blessed when you follow his directions. ” MSG

Things are not as they appear

things are not as they appear

My vision wasn’t this bad swimming underwater in a muddy lake. Everything was blurry. The problem was, I had just put in my contacts.

I miss my visual acuity. When I was younger my vision was 20/15. I always thought I could have been an airline pilot. I still kind of like the sound of “Captain Vickie.” About age forty my eyesight began to slip, then it plummeted. Now without my contacts, I have a hard time figuring out which bottle is shampoo and which is conditioner in the shower.

Since I couldn’t see a thing, I took out my contacts, put them back into the solution and cleaned them. I pried open my eyelids and popped the lenses back in. After the fourth trial, I threw them in the trash and put on my dollar-store cheaters.

I was content with my decision until my husband put in his contacts. You see, he is near-sighted and I am far-sighted. Though his vision was equally blurry, it was clear to him what I had done. I threw away his perfectly good contact lenses and he was wearing mine. Oops.

IMPOSSIBLE

None of us can see through the lens of another. I can’t see through your eyes and you can’t see through mine. I let you see a little of my mess through a hazy lens. No matter how perfect someone’s life appears, we all struggle. You may get a hint or a vague word, but often, no one knows the battle you are fighting, much less that someone is critically wounded.

JUST BECAUSE

A smiling selfie on Instagram doesn’t equal contentment in the soul. Celebrations posted on Facebook are a click in time, not necessarily a great party. Sorrow and sadness are easily  hidden behind our poses.

Just because someone smiles and posts the picture on social media, doesn't mean they are happy… Click To Tweet

Really, a smile doesn’t mean anything except the muscles in the corners of your mouth work.

CORRECTIVE LENSES

We need to look through the eyes of Christ. The world is hurting. Don’t take it personally. Don’t make assumptions. You can’t look at another’s heart.

1 Samuel 16:7, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” NLT

THE REAL STORY

Maybe the young mother who threw an ever-loving fit at the receptionist’s window cried all night because her mother is dying of cancer.

Maybe the young couple you haven’t seen at church since Mother’s Day are grieving their third miscarriage.

Maybe the slim, tanned woman with diamonds hung like ornaments on a Christmas tree isn’t snobby after all. Maybe she’s distracted by the scars on her daughter’s wrists..

Maybe the neighbor who barely speaks when she sees you in the yard just found out her husband is leaving.

Maybe the gray-headed couple who didn’t introduce themselves when you visited a new church were attending for the first time since they buried their son fifteen years ago.

We look through the wrong lens and assume it is all about us.

She is rude

She’s  unfriendly

She is a snob

He’s grouchy

Maybe. Maybe not.

Maybe what they really need is a friend.

Psalm 60:20, “Insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. I waited for sympathy, but there was non; for comforters, but found no one.” HCSB

LOOK

I see people weighted down, struggling with illness, despair, and unforgiveness. I want to share the joy I have found in my personal relationship with Christ. Let’s come beside others to encourage them to discover what is available to every child of God. Point to the ray of sunshine peeking through the storm clouds to show others that God is on His throne and He redeems all things to bring good for His kingdom, even in our darkest times. Joy for the Christian does not depend on circumstances but rather in trusting a sovereign Lord who knows what is best for us even when we cannot see it. Don’t focus on the hardships of the moment but on a glorious ending only God can see.

I made all these stories up, but they are likely true. Except the part about the contact lenses, that really happened.

Wanna borrow my glasses? If my perspective challenges you I would love to send my next post to your inbox. Leave your email address in the box. See you in the rear view mirror.

 

 

You are my prisoner, but I don’t even know you

Let me go

The prison of unforgiveness

I googled my name. Wait, hear me out, I had a good reason. Besides, you’ve probably done it too.  My actions were motivated by slacking, which I suppose is the ultimate oxymoron, but it is true. I discovered someone was in a self-constructed prison of unforgiveness.

2 Corinthians 11:30, “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weaknesses.” NIV

RATE A DOCTOR

Multiple websites are available for patients to provide feedback about their doctors, so googling my name yielded multiple results. Over the years, I have had my share of positive and negative reviews and I am mostly immune to it. Still, I was caught off guard by one particular entry.

Proverbs 22:1, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” KJV

SLACKER

For the third time, I am participating in the Siesta Scripture Memory Team. Every other year, Living Proof Ministries host a challenge for women to memorize Bible verses. I usually record my scriptures in a spiral notebook of index cards, but when I opened it I noticed a page was left totally blank. Apparently, I forgot to write down my verse, much less learn it. I thought I could find it if I googled my name. Instead,  I was heartbroken when I noticed a new review.

She was rude. I am glad she is gone.

NEGATIVE FEEDBACK

My skin is pretty thick, but this review was dated June 24, 2015. Why would someone post an on-line rant about me three hundred sixty-four days after I quit practicing medicine due to a debilitating disease?

Proverbs 30:32-33, “If you’re dumb enough to call attention to yourself by offending people and making rude gestures, don’t be surprised if someone bloodies your nose. Churned milk turns into butter; riled emotions turn into fist fights.” MSG

LET ME APOLOGIZE

First, let me say I am truly sorry. I’m not upset about the review, opinions are fickle anyway. I just feel terrible that someone out there is still dragging around ill feelings because of something I said over a year ago. It is conceivable she misunderstood my bluntness and concern for rudeness. Of course I must admit, I am perfectly capable of rudeness. Perhaps I had a bad day or maybe I was sleep deprived or possibly facing a life-altering diagnosis (I battled ocular myasthenia gravis for six weeks before the disease generalized). Nevertheless, there is no excuse, so I apologize.

Romans 7:18, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” ESV

THE COLD, HARD TRUTH

I am sorry I caused someone to stew about me for so long, but as gently as I can, I would like to tell this person:  I honestly don’t remember. Do you hear what I am saying? I have not thought about her, I have not lost one minute of sleep and I don’t even know who she is. Admittedly, that may indicate I have been rude to more than one person, but what really made me sad is to realize that she is my prisoner. She has chained herself to me for over three hundred sixty-four days.

Let me go.

2 Peter 2:19, “For by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.” NASB

SLAVERY

One of the biggest challenges I have ever faced is forgiving those who have wronged me. Two doctors betrayed me and the breach in trust was nearly as incurable as my disease. Although I retold the story and nursed the grudge, I am pretty confident they were  left relatively unscathed. In fact, they probably don’t even remember me. Unforgiveness destroys the offended and not the offender, they are free. So let them go.

1 Corinthians 7:23, “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” NKJV

BREAK THE CHAINS

By the way, what is that you are dragging behind you?

Are you attached to someone who has not thought about you in a long time?

Do you lay awake at night harboring a grudge against your…

  • ex-husband
  • step mother
  • brother
  • co-worker
  • teacher
  • church
  • doctor
Forgiveness sets you free from a self-constructed prison #forgiveness Click To Tweet

Fill in you own blank, then unchain yourself. Even if you never get a well-deserved apology, cut yourself loose. Don’t be a prisoner to someone who never gives you a second thought. Trust me, I understand forgiveness is not easy, it is a choice. Hard choices require constant effort, but the alternative is to keep dragging it around. That’s exhausting. Isn’t it time to move on?

Forgive others. Forgive me too, and  I’ll try to be nice.

Ephesians 4:32, “Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” NLT

This post was actually the beginning of my own journey to forgive. Click here to order my book, “Dressing the Wound: Give Yourself the Gift of Forgiveness.”