Walking is a Blessing

I remember when I was a teen saying this; “If my legs ever don’t work, just let me die.”

Tragic. I know. I am so embarrassed to even admit that.

I know it is very self centered. I also know where I was coming from. I really despised being at home. I was not loved there. I was cared for. I did have food on the table, went to private school, had extra curricular activities. I was not loved though. There is more sadness there, but that is another post. Basically, if my legs could not move I would be trapped in a terrible, cold and unloving place dependent on the mercy of others just to survive. That situation would eventually suffocate my soul and I would die. Stillย  sounds incredibly selfish to me but as a teen, this is where I was at.

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The year before I had been in a pretty bad accident. My back was pretty damaged and I was having severe pain in my back during the early pregnancy. The doctors told me that due to my previous accident I needed to abort my baby or I had a really high chance of never walking again. Wow. There are your words coming back to bite you! Funny how your whole perspective changes when you add love into your mix. I kept her to the dismay of the medical personnel. They then informed me that I could never have an epidural due to the way my back was damaged. So serious pain meds were out so was a C-section that I would not be completely knocked out for. Okay. Well, millions of women before the 1950’s gave birth that way so I felt that I could do it too. Remember , the medical community did not even think I could make it through “A” pregnancy with out injuring my back to the extent of not ever walking again. The fact that I made it through the whole labor and delivery was not even to be expected. The Grace of the Lord got me through 4 pregnancies, labors and deliveries and I was still walking. Now I was ready to sacrifice that gift of walking as hard as that is to say, to have those four precious little ones in my life. They were worth the risk.

Yet I was still granted the gift of my mobility.

A few years ago, on thanksgiving, very early in the morning one of my daughters was crying for me due to a bad dream. I went to get out of bed and crumpled into a pile of sheets on the floor on the side of my bed. I could not move my legs. They did not hurt or tingle. They just would not move…at all. My husband is up now concerned as to why I am on the floor! My daughter is still crying too. I had to send him off to take care of my littlest one as I sat there dumbfounded as to my predicament. Honestly, I just was more concerned as to who was going to make the turkey now and that I had just ruined thanksgiving for the family. What a perfect time to have this happen. I was not concerned with the fact that I might never walk again just that I had picked a holiday to have it happen. Ugh. Well I guess the Lord was just giving me a glimpse of how my life may eventually turn out. A few minutes later, when the littlest one was comforted and my husband was back to check on me, my legs refound their purpose. They just started to work again! Yay! I then wentย  on later that day to make the turkey dinner and be thankful to have that day.

The Lord has granted me a few more years of being able to walk. Just this past year I found I have shrunk. I know that means my disks are even more squished then before. I forgot to mention that I have a double curvature of my spine as well, so a squish is a bit more of a problem for my back. I am now 2 1/2 inches shorter than I was last year. Yup. That is a quite a bit of height loss. I have more back pain than before and it is getting really strong. I still took the girls out for a hike yesterday. I could feel my back telling me that this was probably not a good idea. It could be my last hike. I was feeling the numb and I have been feeling it more often. Its really weird.Now I do not say this for pity. I am so blessed. I really feel that I have been given almost 20 years of walking, even in pain, to share with my husband and kids. If this is all I have, then this was a blessing that many others will never have. I have walked holding the hands of all the most important people in my life. I have gotten to run with all my children when they were small and chased them around the yard. I have gotten to lift them all high in the air and hear them giggle. I have been more than privileged. This was a gift from God.

Now my words as a teen come back to haunt me.

“If my legs don’t ever work…” then I have lived more than was expected and I have a new adventure to embark on.

My legs and mobility do not define me.

My God, my faith, my love and my family are my everything.

I am who He has made me.

I will do as He commands.

He defines me.

He has brought me this far, stood by my side, brought me my husband to change my world for the better, blessed me with children and friends that help me to grow.

I am blessed on many levels.

I will take as many walks as the Lord will allow with my family.

I will hike the mountains drinking in His beauty.

I will cherish every step in the store as I walk with my children shopping for even the most mundane items.

I will smile as I feel the sharp pains of movement, glad that I can feel.

It is amazing when you think about it. How some thing so simple as walking can be such a great gift on many levels. It gets you from a to b, then for some of us,

me,

it is a constant prayer of thanksgiving.

Thank you for this step Lord.

Thank you for this step Lord.

Thank you for this step Lord.

When my steps are finished, be they here or in heaven, I will give thanks.

Thank you for all my steps Lord.

They were amazing!

Thank you!

What a blessing!!

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