Feeling unbalanced?

Posted by Heather Conrad at 11:40 PM

Monday, September 7, 2009

For the past two months, I have been running in a different brand of shoe. I began running with Asics shoes, then I tried a pair of Newbalance shoes (in fact, my "first ever" post addressed this "new balance" in my life), then I felt at home in a pair of Mizuno, and lastly I've been running in a pair of Nikes. So, for the past few months I noticed a change. I experienced a pain, a nagging, familiar, grating pain that I had endured early on in my running journey, and I must say that I was not too thrilled to be giving it attention. In fact, I decided to simply ignore it.

This type of pain was not one to halt my forward process, but to simply slow it down. In my determination (and stubbornness), I kept on training, pausing to ice it and thrown down some Advil on the harder days. So what did my body do? It adapted. It adjusted. It tried it's best to meet the demands I was asking. It endured, yet in the strain, it's weakened state had no choice but to place more of a burden on the right side of body. The result - unbalance. It's effects - hip pain and knee tenderness. Again, not enough to halt all activity, yet enough to leave no doubt that my body was not functioning well due to the alignment issues it was forced to endure.

How else did I notice the unbalance? My husband told me. As we ran together one day, he needed to step in behind me on a busy street. He only needed eyes to notice my off-gait. What did I decided to do about this? I traded in my Nikes for my "at-home-feeling" Mizunos. The result? I have to admit that I feel balanced again. Though my body did adapt to it's off-kilter nature due to injury, it wasn't surviving well again the strain. Back in the "right shoes" for my body, balanced is restored. It will take a few more runs to fully readjust due to past strain, but I can already feel the difference. Isn't this an interesting analogy? How often do we push forward in our own unbalance, wanting to ignore the inconvenience, and strain to continue, even when it costs us things. In our self-seeking pursuit are we blinded to this unbalance, whereas others may see it as clear as day? Do we need to get "back-home" again to right our balance?

I got to thinking about this topic of balance on my run today. Though I realize I could perhaps be running the risk of over-analyzing, I believe the Lord had a lesson for me in this. You see, all summer I had been praying a prayer (along with Lysa Terkuerst from Proverbs 31 Ministries), that the Lord would unsettle me. I did not want to become too comfortable in my summer days, running the risk of becoming lukewarm in my faith as to settle with good enough, I wanted him to show me areas of my life that needed adjusting, that were a bit off balance. I just couldn't stop myself from thinking about the possibility that he allowed this time of physical unbalance to give me an illustration with how off-balance my spiritual life was becoming (and truth be told, my mental well-being as well), could there be a connection there?

God-timing never ceases to amaze. In looking back over the course of just the past two weeks, I can see how my prayers have been answered. And believe me, I had even forgotten I had prayed about the unsettling thing. In this time of transition with a new school year, a church home, and the lingering possibilities of a future move, God is helping me to look at some long-standing fears and hurts in my life. I believe he's bringing them to the surface, unsettling me, so that I may hold them up to the light and see the reality of what they are - so that I may call them out by name and that I may lay them at his feet, so that I may give Him the control, so that HE may carry the strain, one that He died for, one I was never meant to bear.

Matthew 11:28-30

28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

So many of the lessons I learn about my Heavenly Father come from the example I see in my children. As I was looking through pictures. I came across one I took of Brynn on her first day at preschool. She had not one fear about school. She walked in, hung up her backpack in the cubbie designated at hers, looked around at the choices, and quietly and confidently sat down at the block table. She glanced at me once (telling me "bye Mommy" with her eyes), and looked back down ready to focus on her task at hand. What an example of the balance that she possess in her young life (at that moment). Thanks for being an example to Mommy, precious girl. May I strive to seek my Jesus in the everyday moments of life so that I may share in those moments with you, my children. Lord, thank you for unsettling me. I want to be more and more like you, even through the pain. (You might have to remind me I mentioned this). I love you.