I’ve done somewhat dangerous things. I’ve taken public transport in Africa, and volcano boarded/crashed in Nicaragua. I’ve eaten street food in Cambodia. I’ve couch-surfed in Singapore, and hitchhiked in Thailand.
But last week during Thanksgiving break, all I did was take a nap. A nap, yall….
I thought I was taking the average food coma break, but when I woke up, I felt a very strange pinch in the back of my neck.
I thought it was just whatever people call it… a crick? Yeah. No!
The crick stretched all the way toward the side of my neck, to my collarbone. If you are a geek like me, you’ll enjoy saying the word of the muscle I strained:: sternocledomastoid. Mm. So I got hurt napping. Yes.
But picture this… me just enduring the thing, not taking any meds, not doing any cold or hot compresses, but instead trying to tough it out. IT STARTED HURTING OVER A WEEK AGO! I finally cracked *ha* and went to the nearby CVS 2 days ago, bought all the goodies and started trying to take care of it.
I had my first REAL massage by a real masseuse and sweet friend Erin. She shed a lot of light into my situation.
So here’s the struggle:: my injury is physical (duh) but also spiritual.
I am an intercessor. I’ve been carrying a lot of pain on me and toughing it out. It’s showing up all over my back, in knots. The pain scurries from one place to another, even during the massage, it would move around.
My neck is a picture of my struggle with myself. There’s a tug-o-war going on. One side of my neck is tense and short, the other is strained and swollen. I’m out of alignment. One side is compensating for the other, and something had to give.
if I am choosing stillness, the lies say “you are lazy”
if I am choosing productivity, the lies say “you are striving”
/////let the tugging begin\\\\\
The enemy attacks my motives, turns me against myself.
if I step up boldly to lead, the lies say “you are proud”
if I delay, the lies say “you are disobedient”
It’s a paralyzing war inside, a war I thought I had understood but that feels so different when it’s attacking my work toward Phylla House. It’s not just attacking me.
Erin asked me what my definition of grace is… my answer?
Grace is the victory that is given to me regardless of whether I succeed or fail.
Somehow my loss is counted as gain.
Grace is the steady hand and love of God in my wavering, my injury, my weakness.
Grace is the hand that grasps me while I’m falling short of the glory of God, and it pulls me to the throne room of the Almighty God, grips me while He works in me.
Grace is the hand that holds mine through the hardest of times, the voice that wakens me in the morning, and the landlord evicting fears out of my heart.
Grace is the retrospective wisdom to know that God wasn’t being mean or holding back His mercy on me in the past, but that it all led to this. THIS.
The more time goes by, the more I see that it was worth it all.
My orphaned heart, yearning to be loved, made a lot of mistakes, yeah. But I’ve been given a new heart, a crown, and a ring. Now I have the privilege of holding women who are grieving, who let me embrace them because they know my story. I can’t ever cheapen the grace in all of that. Ever. Grace dispels what my past would say of me.
Grace is that my neck is healing and will heal, and that the pain I felt was for this very purpose, so that I could share with someone who needed to hear it tonight that this crazy grace is available to them, to have and to hold.
It’s clear now that I’ve been carrying burdens literally on my back and that the conflict I have within myself has to end because it’s paralyzing and painful. God brought it to the light, He made something internal become external. My weakness manifested this week, and it’s a work in progress.
Now it’s time to put on IcyHot on my neck and try to decide if I like the weird tingles or not… still torn. Have you ever put IcyHot on your neck? You should try it and let me know how it goes 🙂