I am 10 days into a l-o-n-g recovery. In the eternal scheme of things, 10 days isn’t even a blip of anything. Ten days is also a mere breath of what it took for me to get to the place of needing this round of surgeries. Ten days post-op has its own measure of healing benchmarks that the surgeons can celebrate. But for me, it’s hard not to get discouraged that I’m only 10 days into a l-o-n-g healing process.
The tedium of healing is a real lesson in moment-by-moment renewal. Healing and renewal go far beyond the physical. In fact, most of us, if we stop long enough to consider, find out that the deeper and more fulfilling aspects of healing and renewal aren’t physical at all. We find that the replacing or repair of something that is worn out, run-down, or broken on an emotional or spiritual level brings the most satisfying contentment and helps to replenish our inner reservoir.
I’m learning that actively experiencing the tedium is much more beneficial than avoiding the tedium. Most of us go to great lengths to avoid those things which are unpleasant. Not every avoiding behavior is overtly destructive, but avoiding those things we need to face only prolongs any healing or renewal available for us.
The other thing about the tedium of healing is that there are no shortcuts. It takes as long as it takes. I can’t do anything to make it go faster. I can, however, do plenty, to make it take longer. I need to be completely non-weight bearing for my ankle to heal properly. Trying to walk on it would not only prolong my healing, but cause other problems that would have to then be fixed.
I don’t have to like being non-weight bearing, but there are things I can learn from being non-weight bearing that will inform the depths to which I heal. I will walk again. But there are many others who won’t. What can I learn from my time not walking that will make me more thoughtful of those who can’t or will never walk again? How am I thankful and appreciative for all that’s being done for me when I can’t do it myself? What new explorations are there for me while I sit parked on the sofa? What can I be grateful for as I heal? How am I being renewed right now?
Most of all, I’ve learned to draw strength from the One who never grows tired or weary. God gives power to the faint and strength to the weary. And the imagery of a soaring eagle is definitely outside the scope of tedium!
Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint. ~ Isaiah 40:30-31