A lot has changed since I wrote today’s meditation over two years ago. I moved to a new state and pastor a new church, but my back pain still persists.
In regard to my back pain, I have limited my use of pain medication because of my fear of developing an addiction. I also have not considered surgery because my doctor did not want someone so young to endure surgery.
I wrote today’s meditation after going to physical therapy twice a week for six months. I also did exercises at home an additional two days per week. During those six months, the pain never got better. If anything, it got worse during that time. I was so discouraged and disappointed.
That opening line of my mediation was one I had asked every day for many months. How could someone in his thirties have this much back pain?
After my physical therapy battles, I started walking everyday with our rescue dog, Lucky. On days I was too busy or felt unmotivated to walk, Lucky’s happy promptings and persistence in following me around the house during our usual walk time helped to get out to walk. Something about walking helped my back greatly.
As I described the situation to my doctor—how physical therapy made my back pain worse but walking helped a lot—he told me there was a balance that I needed to keep. The physical therapy had strengthened my back which is what I needed to get better. But those strengthening exercises would aggravate and irritate a nerve in my back. So when I began walking with a stronger back, the pain started to go away. Long walks with a strong back seemed to be the remedy that helped lessen my back pain, although it didn’t go away completely.
My daily walks started as an attempt to heal my back, but they have turned into a way to nourish my soul. Often while I walk, I pray for the people of my church, I meditate on the scripture I will preach about on Sunday, and I think about how to navigate problems within our church. Time walking with my dog has turned into time with God, who guides me through my spiritual walk.
I still have pain every day, but it is much less than it was nearly three years ago. I am thankful that God has lessened the pain to a manageable point now. And I still walk with Lucky almost every day.
For more resources to grow your faith, connect with me at ChristopherLynnScott.com.