Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you are with me—Psalm 23:4
I’ve worked in rehabilitation as a Speech Therapist for 6 years now. From a distance, I’ve observed many people with physical impairments transition through Physical Therapy. Witnessing patients go through physical rehabilitation can be tough. There are tears, frustrations, disappointment, and even anger at times. However, there are also some indescribable joys. One of those joys has been seeing patients go from literally getting rolled in on actual stretchers, barely able to sit up in bed unassisted (let alone stand or walk) to WALKING out of the building. Yes, you heard me—- WALKING!
Wow. It honestly gives me chills just thinking about it.
When this event occurs (walking again for the first time) there are normally smiles, laughs, maybe even tears of joy. I imagine it was this way when we were babies and our parents saw us take our first steps. Oh the excitement! Knowing my parents, I’m sure there was clapping involved and even a melodic “Go Dana, Go Dana, it’s your birthday, it’s your birthday” lol… knowing in fact it was NOT my birthday.
I don’t remember taking my first steps as a baby but I do recall taking my first steps with Christ. I got baptized two weeks before my 17th birthday. I was so excited and would describe myself as “being on fire for the Lord” for years after that. But somewhere along the way, I strayed. I veered off path and wanted to be on my own– to do things my way. It wasn’t until I was 28 that I can truly say that I began WALKING with the Lord consistently again.
Let me say this a different way.
The Lord has been walking with me always. Hebrews 13: 5 tells us that He will never “leave” or “forsake” us. However, a couple of years ago I made the intentional decision to join Him on this walk through life. I’m late to the party! lol
It hit me as I was rushing to work one cold morning. I was running a bit behind for my first patient of the day. Me and other hospital staff were all hurrying from the parking deck to our desks to complete our work duties. I was right in the midst of the chaos and confusion. I began to breathe so hard that I looked down at my FitBit and it read I was now in “fat burn” zone………. I was in such a hurry (heart beating out of control, panting), my FitBit thought I was in the middle of a workout.
That’s when I heard Him say “Slow down; don’t be so anxious”.
In Philippians 4:6-7, we are told “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). But how many of us can truly say we obey this instruction? I know that I struggle with it daily— I’m always in a hurry, always worrying or being nervous about things that are yet to come. Sometimes I worry anxiously about things that are weeks or months away—never being fully present in the moment.
Not only does Philippians 4:6-7 tell us what NOT to do, it also tells us what TO do. We are to tell God what we want (even though He knows are every want and need anyway). It is then that we can find a peace that covers us from all that worry and anxiety. God wants us to be at peace in our hearts and in our minds. We were never meant to carry the burden of anxiety. That’s a very heavy life and God wants us to travel light as we walk.
So here I am. At 30 years old– learning how to walk again lol. This time, there are no cheers or claps or pictures taken. It’s just me and my God– step by step. No one can walk this walk for me and my walk won’t be like anybody else’s. I may slip sometimes but guess what? I’ll just get back up when I do. I feel good about walking this Christian journey, because as Psalm 119:105 reminds us:
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
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