Hello 2017, Goodbye Stress Fracture!
In 2016, our family had a lot of stress—moving stress, job stress, buying/selling house stress, changing churches stress, and bone stress. Yes—that was me—I was the one with the bone stress. It all started with the infamous big-toe-yoga injury of March 2016. There was some power-walking too. Then came the primary care provider, a podiatrist, the retirement of ALL the flip-flops, some medicine, an MRI, and a cross-country move. Finally, six months after the infamous big-toe-yoga injury of March 2016, there was one more primary care doctor (she’s a keeper), an Orthopedic surgeon, a diagnosis and a boot.
Stress Fracture: Lesson 1
I never considered I might have a stress fracture on the outside of my foot. Because the first few doctors didn’t diagnose me, I thought it was something entirely different. I knew that it all started when I felt a terrible tearing in the bottom of my left foot, behind my big toe, when doing this:
Our bodies are designed to work a certain way. My body was not designed for downward facing dog split. Then, my foot problem went from bad to worse. To compensate for the big-toe injury, I began limping, wearing stiff-soled shoes, and walking on the outside of my foot. It was quite attractive. Picture this: Quasimodo in Born wedges.
Adapting your walk to avoid pain can have harmful effects.
Walking on the outside of my foot was supination. Walking like this was bad because I normally have a tendency to lean toward the inside of my foot when I’m walking, which is pronation. You can see the difference in this short video, below. If the video does not appear, refresh your browser. If you are reading this from your email, you will have to visit my website to watch.
Using my foot in the wrong way caused much of my troubles. God designed my feet, which pronate more than supinate. Not everyone is like that, but I am. To compensate for the big-toe pain, I adapted my walk. And it was all downhill from there! More on that next time.
I’m not trying to make too much of my stress fracture, but it was my unwelcome companion for almost nine months! Over time, God revealed to me that there were some object lessons in it. For me, learning from a difficulty is often the way that God redeems it. I could see the larger lesson. We work best when we follow God’s design.
Stress Fracture Lesson 1: We Work Best by Following God’s Design
Here’s what I’ve learned: when take your first faulty steps, there’s a window of opportunity that you don’t want to miss. Pay attention. Walking in a way that feels wrong, often is wrong. Don’t get used to it. Find a better way to deal with your pain. For instance:
- God designed us for community, but have you ever missed church or Bible study to dodge a painful relationship? I have. A cringe that started in my shoulders, settled in my heart, and just squeeeeezed…ouch. Avoiding didn’t bring resolution or reconciliation, but it felt easier.
- God designed us for relationship with Him, but have you ever stopped praying because you were angry at God or hurt by His plans for you? That’s me, again. When God’s plans turned my world upside down, I didn’t taken it well. I held a grudge against the Creator of the Universe. Yeah, brilliant, right?
- God designed us for holy living, because He is holy, but have you ever gone along with bad behavior to avoid conflict? Yep—I’ve got friends and relatives who love a juicy bit of gossip. Gossip is tricky; it takes at least two people, someone to speak and someone to listen. I listened, knowing it was wrong, but stopped short of confronting the sin. Disagreeing in my head didn’t make it stop. Instead, turning a blind eye sets the standard for every future conversation.
Let’s avoid being broken by stress! We walk best when we follow to God’s design for us.
Look carefully then how you walk,
not as unwise but as wise,
making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be foolish,
but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 5:15-17, ESV
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