We find ourselves in a very challenging time right now. Having spent 2020 in Queensland, Australia, I have a lot more freedom in my day to day life then in many other places around the world. But there are still challenges. I won’t be able to see my family in the UK for sometime. My parents are over 70, they’re okay but naturally, I would like to see them. I have been lucky enough up until this point in life, not to have any health concerns, but a few months ago I injured my back. Long story short, when my scan results came back they revealed I had a disc bulge which stemmed from a predisposition I had in my back from a young age.
As I have recovered, the pain and inability to perform the simplest tasks wasn’t the difficulty, it was the waiting and the unsureness of what was wrong. For the past few months I’ve felt like I’ve been in a different body. Usually I am boxing and running several times a week and doing pretty much all activities at a fairly rapid pace. I had planned to go gel blasting (a milder form of paint-balling) for my birthday and my plan if things didn’t go my way was to tackle people to the ground and disarm them (probably not allowed in the rules – but figured if it’s your birthday anything goes?!) 😉
As fun or terrifying as it sounds – being able to push my body to its physical limits is when I feel the most alive, peaceful and connected to God. The thought of not being able to physically exert myself to maximum intensity is unbearable. When I received the results of my back injury there were some pre-existing conditions that I didn’t know about. I sat with a good friend to process the information. There were still so many unknowns about my situation. When she prayed, she directed the prayer not at the situation but to who God is. We prayed to a God of hope knowing that hope does not come from our physical abilities. She prayed for healing and comfort but it was from that deep place of us knowing who God is and knowing that He is near.
Our reality in 2020 changed – some of us have lost loved ones, know people who are really sick or we have had to face insurmountable pressures. With or without Covid – we can have many burdens in life. I personally have not had to bear much in my own life, but I have had to choose this year not to just hope that my reality changes but to hope in God alone. As we hope in God, it could be that our circumstances change and get better but they also might not. However if we choose to hope in God – we are given a promise in the bible that we will again praise God (Psalm 42). This is in the midst of grief, suffering, hard news, unknowns and all the general muckiness that life can bring. We can choose to hope in God and somehow experience the joy of praising Him.
The good news for me is that my back has improved immensely and I will be able to resume my usual physical activities soon. There are some underlying conditions which I will always have, but funnily enough the main theme of advice for that is to just stay as active as possible – which I will have no problem doing! From now on I could allow my main source of hope to be border restrictions lifting, seeing my parents, my physical ability improving etc. These are good things to hope for but we cannot neglect our source of true joy in the process. Two weeks ago, my Christmas tree had decorations which read “joy, hope, gladness”. Despite how this past year has been, these words do not seem out of place, in fact I see them as more relevant than ever before.
Lucy joined us on staff in 2013 from the UK. She is one of our DTS leaders and loves seeing people grow up in God and discover their unique identity and calling. She enjoys boxing and running and loves living in a place with so many palm trees.