So this past month has been pretty... interesting. I spoke to it in my post "Walk by Faith," but apparently I have a femoroacetabular impingement (F.A.I.) or hip impingement.
It's just extra bone growth on your hip joint and is actually pretty common. Most folks who have one never even experience issues! Then there are some people, like athletes and myself (a non-athlete), that do. And it just so happened that my hip impingement coupled with an overworked hip flexor caused a tear in my hip cartilage.
Now, I'd love to attribute this injury to a marathon or triathlon, but in reality it probably happened over time-- one airport sprint too many-- and a few weeks back was the tipping point. I woke up with my hip joint "locked" and in intense pain so needless to say, it's been an adjustment!
After bumming a ride to the orthopedic clinic, an x-ray revealed the impingement and torn cartiledge so the doctor prescribed a medication and a few (five) weeks of physical therapy.
That's where this journey begins...
During my first appointment, my physical therapist had me try a few exercises to practice avoiding putting too much work on my hip flexor. As she was explaining it to me she pointed to the muscle and said, "We want to shut this muscle off and strengthen the ones around it."
That's when it hit me:
Sometimes we need [spiritual] therapy when we need to restrengthen the areas of our walks we're neglecting or when our walk takes a hit.
You see, God's not trying to hurt us. Through spiritual therapy, He's trying to get us to focus and get us back to our optimal performance. The pain gets our attention and the Good Doctor gives us our prescription so that we can focus on our redemption.
God used my first physical therapy show me I also need to focus on repairing other areas of my life I've been neglecting. And because He won't stop until I'm completely whole/healed (that's just the kind of man He is), He had to shut out a few distractions i.e. sit me down to do it.
So the remainder of my physical therapy I decided to focus on spiritual strengthening working to reactivate those core muscles of my faith and regain my agility in Christ in order to get back into the flow of things.
"Flow" is like the peak performance/best level of a person's physical and cognitive abilities. When you're "in the flow" you're in a physical and mental state where everything just clicks and you're completely absorbed in the task at hand.
It's exactly what God was wanting from me, but I wasn’t sure about what "flow" in Christ looked like or how to get there. Like in my experience, physical therapy was a track to improve my mobility and muscle strength and we achieve Christ-flow through spiritual therapy or strengthening.
In my case, the Good Doctor prescribed me some spiritual therapy to intervene and improve the quality of my walk with Him. And the simplest way to chart progress is by the fruit we bear:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” -Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
| By working on our self-control, we strengthen our long suffering.
| Through embracing God's joy, we fully surrender and show others how to surrender to His peace.
| Through gentleness and kindness we show Christ's love.
There are a lot of ways the fruits of the spirit work together but, there are times our neglect of some of these is the beginning of our frustrations, our mistakes and even our brokenness. That's why it's exactly where we need to start our spiritual therapy or repair.
We should also know what a disjointed walk or limp with Christ looks like. There's "hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions” and the list goes on. (Galatians 5:19-21)
These behaviors and outward expressions mask deeper sources of hurt or injury and getting to the source of it isn't easy. Knowing, practicing and meditating on the fruits of the Spirit helps us refocus on good spiritual health (or a "good walk" with Christ).
Take some time this next week to have your own spiritual therapy sessions. Think about some areas of your life that don't seem as fruitful— friendships, relationships or personal spiritual health— and begin to start your own journeys to rejuvenation!