I am grounded. I want to go to the gym, run to the store, work on a song, do absolutely anything but sit here barely moving. Sciatica has other things in mind.
I was 19 when this first struck. That was almost half my lifetime ago. One doctor told me I was too fat (I wasn’t fat at the time) for the way the human body evolved, and our weight and builds were poorly suited to walking upright. My question, had I not been in so much pain at the time, would have been how the concept of evolving into something “better” could happen in a way that we are “poorly suited” for. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of the theory of evolution?
I went to another doctor back then who diagnosed me with Degenerative Disk Disease, osteoarthritis, and sciatica. He also told me I’d be in a wheel chair within a year and probably need back surgery to fuse something. Neither took place, though I did have to spend approximately two months staring at the ceiling above my bed wondering if this was the best view I’d ever get on a regular basis. I spent another month or two working my way back to “normal” activity levels.
One thought that made it all bearable came from a dear friend, my Sunday School teacher at the time, who told me, “Sometimes God MAKES us to lie down in green pastures.” Whether we want it or not, God grounds us when we need it. Sometimes He gives us no choice.
I had several other flare ups through the years, not many as bad or long lasting as that first. As lazy as I can be, I still resist rest. God knows that about me… So, that idea of surrendering to God grounding me, making me stop and rest for a bit, remained a comfort.
It was not a comfort today. I woke up to the news that Alan Rickman passed away which made life seem even shorter and more fragile than I am already over-aware of it being. I then saw far too many posts about love stories and the world seemed even lonelier than I wish it were. All of this on top of the worsening pain and increased limitation of movement in my back and hip this week was more than I could handle. Just as I was completely fed up with today, in came the barrage of reminders.
Hope and wait. Those have been messages from God lately. If I take a second to distance myself from my hopes, to shrink down in size the crazy dreams that I have, God will smack me upside the head with a message to keep hoping and not shrink them down to anything resembling comfort or sanity. If I feel like I will never get to the next step or even figure out what the next step is, God will smack me upside the head with the message to keep waiting because He’s working far beyond what I can see and understand.
Hoping and waiting are the same thing. If you are waiting for something, you are hoping it will come about. If you are hoping for something, you are waiting for it. Once it has happened, both the hope and the wait are over.
There are many Bible verses saying “hope on the Lord” and “wait on the Lord” and various other similar phrases. They are incredibly interchangeable in many instances. So, as I’d rather pout and rant at God about why He thinks I need this bad week, feel better and get things accomplished today, or a million other scenarios; I am making a conscious effort to let go of it all and rest. I’m trusting God in His wisdom that the things I don’t accomplish because of this setback are not going to irreparably alter my path to where He wants me. No matter how short and fragile and lonely life feels; that I don’t have to DO anything right now to make up for my sitting on the bench.
Today, and for whatever days may come, I may be grounded; but I’m trying my hardest to remember to stay grounded in hope.