Life has a way of stopping you in your tracks long enough for you to see that you’re headed off of the trail. If we are wise, we pause and take in the danger long enough to turn things around. Circumstances placed us in the driver’s seat and then throw a curve at us to see if we know how to pay attention.
I spent most of 2014 struggling with health issues. Reports from my doctors were dismal, yet I still tried to live out my “superwoman” persona. My desire to commit and “show up” outweighed my rationale for rest and better health. I said yes when my body and soul cried no, and would find myself exhausted at the end of the evening, set to do it all again the next day.
In the latter part of the year, I found myself exhausted, weak, irritable and stressed. On a fateful Wednesday afternoon in November, my body began to shut down slowly with numbness and the loss of mobility in my right arm. Two days later, I arrived at work, sluggish, drained and slightly incoherent. By noon, I would be admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with a stroke. I was mortified; I’d been walking around for months unaware of the symptoms.
My poor health forced me to assess how I used my energy and to make my health a priority. I had to slow down, sit down and say no. Forcing myself to move instead of standing still almost yielded me a death certificate that I was not ready for. Thankfully, God intervened and blessed me with a steady recovery and minimal nerve damage. I was fortunate to walk away with not only a testimony, but a well-earned lesson. Life is not a race to the finish, but a walk through grace.
If we slow down enough to inhale the awesome presence of gratitude, we are naturally inclined to better care for ourselves and the time on earth that we are given to prosper. We can then stand still, let the music of life serenade us, and saunter along joyously within all that God has to offer.
Isai Efuru is a 45 year-old writer and pastor who currently ministers in Charlotte, NC. Email her at email@example.com
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