I am sure some of you will disagree, but to me Facebook is full of wisdom and inspiration. I read an encouraging comment the other day that talked about spiritual muscles being developed in the hard times, and how heavy weights are what make you stronger and how pain and hard muscles are a sign of growing…. And I thought to myself, what about stretching????
You see, I have been dealing with a nagging discomfort in my right leg for a few years now, no major pain but enough persistent discomfort and weakness, that lately my mind started to run wild (without restraint), what if its bone cancer? Yes, I went there, my mom had bone cancer in the same leg, and those fiery darts were enough to make me decide it was time to see a Doctor.
They took x-rays of my hip since they believed it had to do with the sciatic nerve, then a ultrasound of veins in my leg in case there was a blood clot, then an x-ray of my knee before they sent me to physical therapy. (actually they had suggested therapy from day one but I didn’t want to waste my time and money with “stupid “exercise. (I know it makes no sense, but just give me grace, ok?). Come to find out, my back and “core muscles” are weak which makes my body compensate somehow to where my leg muscles get so tight that it causes the discomfort, stiffness and pain. To that, add and the normal wear and tear that comes with age (ughh) So my physical therapist gave me some STRETCHING exercises to help me regain my mobility, flexibility, and strength.
STRETCHING IS NO JOKE! And I am not just talking about my body. I am talking about a stretching that God is requiring as we prepare to answer to the call, “A HOLY STRETCHING” that is necessary for the new assignment in the mission field, the HEAVY WEIGHTS!!!
I have learned that the first thing you lose as you age is your flexibility; so stretching is not easy, it’s uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and at times, painful. And that NOT all our parts stretch equally, LOL. But I have also learned that stretching prepares our muscles as well as the structures of our whole body for the demands of any upcoming “workout”.
For the last two months we have done a lot of muscle pulling and streeeeeeetching, so much that it feels like I am becoming the elastic woman! I think I have been pulled way beyond my comfort zone on a daily basis since we sold the big house! Having to face the reality of the clutter and stiffness that was keeping me from being able to MOVE FREELY wasn’t easy, we had to intentionally focus on only the “core” things, the important things, and be ok with letting go of the fluff (that at some point was considered “necessary” for whatever reason)
This whole stretching season has demanded that we make painful “moves” with long term purposes, to reach levels of flexibility I didn’t know existed in us. It has helped me understand that just because stretching (extending, widening, enlarging) is good for me doesn't mean it won't hurt sometimes. That progress no matter how small the step I take or how far I go- is still progress, and it will get me there. And the good news is that stretching; when done right, is simple and it’s gentle, and makes life much easier.
I am so glad my gentle and wise “Therapist”, who knows me and loves me so well is teaching me how to do it right, and is giving me enough time to learn to extend my spiritual muscles to their full length. So I can live a fruitful, balanced, and deeply fulfilling life.
Note to self:
Remember, you can always stretch further than you think you can. So just do it!
Blessed are the flexible for they will not be broken, so stretch and don’t break!