On the first day of this month, I sat in my Orthopedic Surgeon’s office, dumbfounded by her latest revelation.
I’m 35 years old; how am I just now learning about this???
I fully blame Covid. My neck and now back have been failing me left and right since the pandemic and our excessive home lives began. I’m not saying that I was a marathon runner prior to the pandemic or that I was reaching my daily Fitbit step goal, but I know that the stubborn 20 pounds that I’m currently trying to lose did not belong to my thighs and belly back in January 2020.
This was my third time seeing this specialty doctor, as I had seen her twice last year for my neck pain. I don’t remember if I mentioned it, but that pain was caused by my poor posture. Apparently, I do not sit in a manner that is healthiest for my body. Go figure! Anyway, now I was seeing her again for back pain that had been an uninvited guest for 32 consistent days. As my doctor looked at my xrays, she made a statement in a very matter-of-fact way that assumed something that just was not true- no one had ever told me about a curvature in my spine. In fact, when I looked at my xray, had it not been for my very visible waist beads in the imaging, I would not have believed that they were my scans. In the 26 days that have followed, I have discovered the only thing that keeps my pain at bay- walking. When I sit- because of my poor posture- pain radiates from my back, eventually finding its way to my neck and possibly my arm. It’s a slippery slope that is avoided altogether by simply going for a walk.
So I made a vow to myself that I would walk at least 3 miles daily. Every. Single. Day. Rain or shine, heat or freezing temps, morning or evening, outdoors or on a treadmill- I would go for a walk- every day. I recruited some accountability partners and I am grateful to say that I have upheld my vow for 22 days (including today). To know me is to know that I love to walk and I have never viewed it as a form of exercising. Walking and dancing are natural so I have no problem doing either. However, this commitment to walking so that I can avoid pain has been one of the more difficult promises of my life simply because…
The first mile is the hardest.
To be honest, God placed those six words on my heart weeks ago but I had no real clue what they meant or how to use them for a post. Instead of praying about it, I chose to just sit them on the back burner and write other pieces. In the wee hours of yesterday morning (when I should have been asleep), God sat me down and repeated the words, this time adding some context that I feel may benefit you as much as it blessed me: the hardest part of every journey is the beginning when the end seems so far away. You see, when I begin my daily walk, that first mile feels like it takes hours to reach. It seems like I am walking forever and ever, waiting for that vibration from Fitbit that indicates one mile completed. Each day it seems like it takes longer than the day before yet when it does come, the subsequent miles seem to sneak up on me with no warning whatsoever. Next thing I know, my journey is complete and I am free to commence the rest of my day.
Beloved, that is the whole post. That is the entire message that I’ve been tasked to share with you today. You know what God has tasked you to do and though it may seem challenging and arduous beyond words, you must press- fully relying on God- until the journey is complete.
Oftentimes it is hard for us to commit to God’s plan because we cannot see the fruit or benefit of the plan. We stare at the ask and initial sacrifice, far too overwhelmed to move forward in faith. We have often heard that the first step is the hardest but I beg to differ. We can all do one day of a diet, commit one day to not drinking, sacrifice one want for solid budgeting… but what about beyond that? The first step is easy in comparison to pressing until that first measurable milestone. It is in that stuck moment that God is reminding us to hold unto His hand. He knows that the first mile is difficult but He promises that He will be beside you every step of the way.
Sweet friend, grab your phone and Fitbit, secure that Fanny-pack around your waist, double knot your shoes and let’s go on this journey with the Lord. There is beauty waiting for us… even though the first mile is the hardest.