I rode my bike for the first time in such a long time that I cannot remember how long it has been since I last rode. As I pedaled down the country road, I wondered why I quit riding. I really enjoy riding my bike so why in the world did I quit?
Oh, yeah! I quit because of the diagnosis. That’s why I quit. The diagnosis.
When I was 13 years old, I had knee surgery. Whatever they did during the surgery didn’t make my knee “well” so I have spent 38 years adapting and compensating for a bum knee. It became my way of life. I was the walking wounded. I had accepted the pain. Lived with the pain. Lived with a limp that others saw but I was unaware of.
Then my sweet husband suggested I see a doctor about my knee. He thought it would be best to get my knee “fixed” while I was still young. (Still young. Sweet man.)
So I went to the doctor. They made me do therapy. Therapy made my knee worse. The professionals were stumped. They suspected a torn meniscus. An MRI was ordered.
“I have good news and bad news. The good news is that your meniscus isn’t torn. The bad news is that you don’t have a meniscus. Apparently, when you had knee surgery, they removed your meniscus.”
Great. Just great. I’m missing a vital part of my knee.
I didn’t know how bad the pain was until I got my first injection. Whatever was in that syringe was magic. Pure magic. No pain for the first time in a long, long time.
Until I got the injection, I didn’t realize I had been living every day with knee pain that was about a 7 on a scale of 1-10. I didn’t realize how bad the pain was because it had become a way of life . I woke up with knee pain and went to bed with knee pain. Until the injection.
The magic shot unsettled me. I realized life could be free of knee pain. Pain free for three months. Only three months. Then the pain was back. Pain I was told I would have to live with until I was ready to get a new knee.
I put the bike away. I had a diagnosis.
Wait! I had knee pain before the diagnosis so why did I quit riding my bike? Before the diagnosis, I rode often and far and long. I hauled my bike to Colorado on vacations. My knee hurt but I pedaled mile after mile. I pushed and pulled the pedals. I iced my knee after a ride. And I was okay with that – until the diagnosis.
Why did the diagnosis make a difference on whether I got on the bike and did something I really enjoyed? Because I listened to a voice that said I couldn’t. I let the voice tell me I couldn’t – shouldn’t – ride. The doctor didn’t say I couldn’t – shouldn’t. The diagnosis did. People missing a vital part of their knee shouldn’t cycle miles and miles and miles, right?
How many times in our lives do we listen to the voices that tell us we aren’t worthy, adequate, capable, sufficient, smart? And we let the voices – the diagnoses – keep us from doing the things we love – being the people God called us to be?
We let a spoken word discourage us. Stop us.
What voice are you listening to?
You don’t feel loved?
God says: I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3
Don’t feel adequate? Confident? Capable?
It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own.
Our qualification comes from God. 2 Corinthians 3:5
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
(I’ve quoted that more than a few times as I pedaled up a hill or into a strong wind.)
I could go on and on about the great things the Lord says about you. He loves you. Don’t let the other voices – even the voices of the “experts” or those closest to you keep you from being who the Lord says you are or wants you to be.
Let’s get back in the saddle! (That’s cycling jargon for sit on the seat) Let’s ride! Let’s ignore the voices that tell us we couldn’t – shouldn’t. Let’s listen to the voice of God that tells us we are loved. Listen to the voice that tells us we can do it with His strength.
What voices do you listen to?