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Despite having been taught the lesson several times throughout my life, the other day I bought a new pair of boots and instead of slowly breaking them in, I immediately went on a 3-mile walk through the city. It was great, until it wasn’t. I was not ok … the first, and worst blister, was on the back of my heel; two others cropped up later. My walk turned into a limp.
The first few days afterward were agony, but slowly the pain started to taper off and I could walk around like a normal human. Then an interesting thing happened; my big blister on my heel scabbed over, it started to itch and – I felt relieved. Although I had to put up with the discomfort of the itch, I knew that it was part of the healing process and that knowledge gave me relief. Finally I was getting to the point where I could enjoy my boots.
A few days later, I felt this same sensation in my spiritual life. I had lots of small tasks to get done and it was stressing me out. Or so I thought. I set myself up in a coffee shop and one by one, I checked off all the things on the list. I felt no relief. I still couldn’t concentrate, and couldn’t find peace in anything; it was endless restlessness. I hadn’t done my holy hour yet that day and decided to stop in a church to pray. Still, I was restless … until the final 15 minutes when I finally admitted to myself: I am not ok.
Without me realizing, and through various ways, a number of insecurities had crept into my life. It was causing me pain and discomfort and I’d misdiagnosed the problem. It wasn’t that I had too many things to do, rather, it was that I was neglecting my spiritual life. God showed me that clearly during my holy hour.
Just admitting to myself I am not ok was a huge relief. It was liberating. Though the pain and discomfort didn’t go away, I knew I was taking a step in the right direction. I started to bring my insecurities and pain to the Lord in prayer and I felt the same relief I felt with the itch. Although I had to put up with the discomfort, I knew I was being healed.
This is part of the series called “The Human Being Fully Alive” found here.