Saturday, November 1, 2014

Don't Cry While You Have Acupuncture Needles In Your Arms and Hands

Backstory - I'm getting acupuncture done once a month in hopes that it will prevent or shorten flares. I had success a couple of months ago when I started flaring and getting acupuncture GREATLY reduced the duration and intensity of the flare. May have been coincidence, but I am all for trying something new - the consistency aspect that is, since I've been getting acupuncture intermittently for several years now.

Main Story-

So I was lying on the table while my Awesome Acupuncturist was doing her needle sticking thing and we were catching up over the last month of activities. We've become friends over the three years I've been going to her and she had just completed her first half-Ironman and I wanted to hear the awesome details of her amazing accomplishment.

She was doing a few extra needles in my arms due to a rough week of nausea and my desire to take as little Zofran as possible (side effect are BLAH). She asked how things were going and I mentioned the fantastic camping trip I went on and the decent hike we took and how it slightly kicked my butt, but not too bad, and I realized I needed to get in better shape for the upcoming Patagonia hike, so I sought the advice and input of a friend at work who is a personal trainer and she gave me homework. Awesome Acupuncturist asked "what was the homework?" and I answered, "the main part is to put a workout schedule together. And that's a really big deal for me because…"

And then I started crying.

When you are laying on your back, with acupuncture needles in your arms and hands and legs and feet (thank God she hadn't put the one in between my eyes yet - that would have HURT!) and you have tears dripping down your face, you can't really wipe them away (moving anything with those needles in sends fiery shocks up and down your limbs)- so that was excellent impetus to control the emotions.

Awesome Acupuncturist just looked at me knowingly (she knows my health history) "you're afraid you won't be able to finish the workouts, aren't you" and I just nodded (giving her a thumbs up was out of the question thanks to Mr. Needle in the base of my thumb and wrist)  She kindly encouraged me and we chatted a bit more, me sniffling as delicately as I could (tears were bad enough, but if my nose had started running!? Gag!), and then she left me for the 45 minutes to rest while the needles did their thing.

I usually take a nap. But this time, this time I spent thinking and praying over my emotional reaction to a spreadsheet.

Fear is so interesting. I feel like I have tackled fear in certain areas and then, before I realize it, it's been lurking in an area I never even thought of.

I just recently (say four-ish months, since going off the Big Bad Liver Killing Med) have been feeling better. I could have attempted to start working out again, but I didn't. I was expecting to get sick again. And I did - a few days here or there, but not prolonged, like the last 4 years have been.

I have about six different workout schedules that I have created over the last four years when I reached an In-Betweens and I never got more than a week or so into them before I would start flaring or something new would pop up. And believe me, these workout schedules are very very gradual - I'm not going out and running 5 miles or swimming 1000 yards or anything like that.

And here I was - afraid. Again. Afraid I would be yet again disappointed by an uncrossed-off workout list. So afraid, that I wasn't even trying anymore.

I thought about my necklace and the verses I have memorized to combat that fear that can well-up so quickly:

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?" - Psalm 56:-34

Okay, remember that.

I then thought of another verse I was recently reminded of during my bible study a week ago:

"The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent" Exodus 14:14

(Moses told the Israelites this after they headed out and were facing the Red Sea and Pharaoh's chariot army rapidly approaching from behind.)

For me, this verse means quieting my mental voice, so I can hear His. I can toil and moil over things I cannot control. I need to back off, trust in Him, and let Him work out His plan. I want to fight and argue and add 1000 "buts" to anything that comes my way.


How does this look for this workout schedule that I sent (I honestly hesitated when I hit "send")? It means I focus on taking one day at a time and actively, by His Grace, seek to trust Him. No matter if I can't do the workout that day or days or weeks and no matter if I can do the workout. Regardless of how many excel spreadsheet merged cells (oh yeah) get grayed out, He is still working His plan. He is still fighting for me. I need to be silent before Him, listening to Him, heeding His word, His direction, His instruction.

And to be clear, when I say I need to be silent, it doesn't mean that I stop praying about it, or bringing my hurts and desires to Him. What I mean is my constant  and sometimes subconscious "what-ifing," my "toiling and moiling" needs to stop, needs to be silent, because I can't hear Him over me. As John says in chapter 3:30 "He must increase and I must decrease."

And the finishing note - I got my gait (i.e. how I run) analyzed on Thursday. I ran, they filmed me and gave me exercises to correct some weak muscles that are causing the knee pain I've been having at some recent run attempts. And, the big news. For the first time in THREE YEARS, I bought new running shoes.

It felt great walking out of that store. By His grace, I will trust in Him to be able to use them, and if He has other plans, by His grace, I will trust in Him to give me peace and contentment in His plans.

His will. Not mine.