Something kind of unusual and interesting happened at church today. After the message, we were told to find someone and pray with them for a few minutes, to just pray and ask for God to speak something into our hearts that he might be wanting to say to the person we were praying for. This is a bit unusual for me. As my regular readers and real life friends may know, I’ve been at this church for a little over a year. Speaking prophetic words from God is not something that the other churches I’ve attended in the past have put a lot of emphasis on, and so far I’ve never been asked to do this here like I was today. However, I don’t necessarily see a reason to believe that God can’t give prophetic words to someone in this way.
Anyway, a woman who I didn’t know was sitting near me, and she prayed with me. Something she said, not a specific word or vision but the words she used to describe a more general blessing from God, stood out to me and made me wonder if that was the specific word that God was speaking to me. But I’ll come back to that later.
After the service ended, someone else came up to me and told me that she felt that God had given her one word that he wanted her to say to me, and a vision of what that might look like in my life. She asked, “Does the word ‘run’ mean anything for you right now? Are you a runner?”
I’m not. But I used to be. And, as far as I know, she had no way of knowing this.
I hated running growing up. I wasn’t good at it, and when I had to run the mile in school, I never finished it without stopping to walk at least twice. I often had PE in the morning, and I couldn’t breathe when I had to run in the cold damp air. Once I was done with PE, I did very little running for about a decade, and I had no plans to do any running unless I was playing a pickup game of some sport that involved running (which happened maybe once a year on average) or something was chasing me (which hasn’t really happened at all; there was the time I was traveling the country, and a bear saw me in Shenandoah National Park, but I ran for about a minute and stopped when I noticed I wasn’t being followed… but this was after I had started running for recreation again). If I was going to get recreational exercise, it was going to be a bike ride. I picked that up in my young adult years, during my seven years of living in the most bicycle-friendly city in California, and never really stopped.
In 2003, I was visiting my Virginia friends, and they brought me to the gym. I was surprised at how well I was able to keep up running that I started running for recreation when I got home. It didn’t take long for me to be able to run a mile without stopping, and I kept it up until a few years later I could run without stopping for well over an hour, on one occasion even running eight miles without stopping.
The year 2016 is ending soon, and it looks like it will be the first calendar year in which I have done no running since 2002, probably. A little over a year ago, my foot started hurting and pretty much never stopped. The doctor said it was probably plantar fasciitis, and he recommended some high-quality shoe inserts (which haven’t helped) and some stretches I could do (which I’ve been doing very, very irregularly and sporadically). (And I should admit I didn’t seek professional help for this until two months ago, after it had been going on for almost a year.) I really, really miss running. I have friends who are hard core runners, and whenever they post a picture of themselves after having finished running, whether it be a 5K or a marathon, I always think about how much I miss running. Granted, I never did any organized running like that, I always just ran alone through the neighborhood (and for free), but still, it reminds me that I haven’t run in a long time, and that I’m in too much pain to run.
As I said, my friend from church had no way of knowing all this. The foot pain started right around the same time I started going to that church. But she told me that God told her to tell me, “Run.” She asked if I had ever been part of a running group. I said no; running and cycling have always been primarily solitary activities for me, just me, the open road, the sky, the trees, and a kick-ass playlist (but only in one ear if I’m on my bike, because covering both ears is illegal and unsafe). But that doesn’t mean I never will be part of a group. I need to try new things, remember. With this conversation about running, and something that the other woman who prayed for me said (which I started to mention earlier) making me think about my foot pain, I wondered if I was suddenly going to get up and feel no pain. I wondered if this was going to be one of those miraculous healing stories that those in Christian circles tend to hear about every now and then.
But it wasn’t. I’m still in pain. But at least now I have some direction. I’m going to be praying for healing. I’m going to be extra careful. I’m going to go find what the doctor said about stretching. Any of my friends who have particular personal or professional knowledge regarding plantar fasciitis, please feel free to add your suggestions; I just haven’t gotten around to asking most of you because I’m overwhelmed with so many things right now. I’ll probably have to take it easy dancing for a while too. Because I will heal from this. And I will run again. Because God has something planned for my life that involves running.