“Surrounded by folks having knee and hip replacements, I knew I had a choice to make”

For decades there were issues with my knees and hip. In my late 20’s, a nurse friend heard my knees make a grinding noise and said they would be shot by the time I was 40. A few years later, a doctor said I had bursitis in my hip. As I moved into my 40’s, 50’s, and early 60’s, just taking a walk with my husband would have me struggling to keep up; afterwards there would be discomfort or pain. Sometimes my hip would feel out of kilter, which made bending over, going up stairs, or getting into a car difficult. 

Surrounded by folks having knee and hip replacements, I knew I had a choice to make. I usually “held to the truth” when difficulties flared up, and managed to do what I needed to do. However, I had fundamentally accepted the idea of myself as someone with a body that was totally stiff and awkward. I saw myself as non-graceful. Even, unattractive.

Last summer, as I talked with my younger daughter about what I should wear to her upcoming wedding, I made some disparaging remarks about how I would appearespecially in contrast to the elegant mother of the groom. My daughter immediately and emphatically responded that I was full of beauty and grace. Her words, and the vehemence with which she spoke them, were a wake-up call, like cold water in the face. They pushed me to see the fallacy of viewing myself as incapable of free and painless movement.

Afterward I thought more about the fact that we “live, and move, and have our being,” not in a body, but in God, who gives us unlimited strength and grace. Those ideas really began to take hold.

In early fall of 2009, while visiting my daughter in New York City, I spent some wonderful time in the reading room near her apartment. I also had plenty of opportunity to walk many blocks, and did so freely and with joy. Whereas before I had only felt secure walking when holding my husband’s arm (which slowed him down), now I was able to keep up with and even outpace him. 

We spent the week of Thanksgiving in Paris with my older daughter, where we walked for miles. She was surprised at how much faster I moved during our long walks. At one point she complained of aching, and I realized that all the walking had caused me no discomfort. After all this activity, there was no pain in my knees or hip.

The crowning affirmation of victory came, most appropriately, at the Arc de Triomphe.  It is a long way to the top of the Arc, and my intention was to take the elevator. But when we entered the base of the monument, the only path led to the spiral stone staircase. There was no choice but to go ahead. Prayerfully asserting that God was the source of my strength, I proceeded up the 283 steps. From the top, I gratefully enjoyed the grand view of Paris.

This was such clear proof that God constantly gives His children all the strength and grace needed. We do always live, and move, and have our being in Love. There is no safer, more joyful place.

Error can seem to talk for decades, but then something happens that breaks the spell, and you get it. The Truth comes in and the lie is gone. After that, when symptoms of whatever nature try get your attention, you remind yourself of that healing, that proof positive. It has an impact like nothing else.