“I’m tired. I’m worn. My heart is heavy from the work it takes to keep on breathing…”
The lyrics to Tenth Avenue North’s latest radio single, “Worn,” seemed alien to me a week ago.
What a difference a week makes.
The thread holding me together unraveled when my foot doctor told me that I would have to wear my walking boot for another 3-4 weeks. It didn’t come completely undone until I was fitted with a new walking boot because the one that was guarding my left foot was falling apart. Tufts of stuffing were sticking out from the places where the fabric wore thin. The heel wasn’t quite so high and there were visible scraps from where my boot fought the sidewalk. The copper permanent marker declaring me as “LOVED” was fading from the front toe bed and the velcro straps didn’t hold like they used to.
The boots were only made to last 6-8 weeks, my doctor explained, as I stared at her in disbelief. My boo t had lasted me for 12 weeks, and it simply wouldn’t not hold out for another month. Instead of ridding myself of the old boot, I was given a brand new boot. Then the technician who fitted me with the boot threw my old boot in the trash bin. I wanted to pull it out. I’m not sure why. Was it a sentimental attachment? After all, we had spent the past 12 weeks together. Was it a rejection of the new boot?
I left it in the trash can and hobbled to the car.
I was worn. Worn out. Worn down. Worn to the very fiber of being.
A few days have passed, but the feeling of being worn still lingers around me. It’s not that I doubt God will heal my foot; I know He can and He will. My faith isn’t lacking and I don’t believe God isn’t in control of this detail. I know He will use this for my good and His glory. I know it is better for my foot to heal in this boot if that’s what it needs, even if it’s not what I want. I KNOW all this.
I am just worn. I’m tired of hobbling around with a walker or cane. I’m tired that going out of my apartment requires extra planning. I want to go shopping at places other than Walmart and Target because they have the riding shopping carts and I don’t want to ask Sarah to put the heavy transport wheelchair. I don’t want to sit alone in the narthex of the church during the 9:15 AM service while the rest of the praise team chats outside at Lemonade on the Lawn. I want to take my dog for a walk or just be able to walk to the mailbox.
Instead of getting closer to these goals, I feel like I’m trudging along the same path. I want to be grateful that my right foot is finally healed or that I have the ability to drive and get out on my own. I want to be thankful for medical treatment for my broken bones. I want to sing “Blessed be the Name of the Lord” without tears streaming down my cheeks. I know God is good; I know He is. Some days, like days when I’m worn, it’s harder to feel like I believe it.
Even though I feel worn, I am making a conscious effort to remember that in my weakness, God is my strength. I can’t do it anymore, and really, that’s a beautiful thing because this is something only God can do. To Him be the glory.
On my own, I am worn out, dried out, and hopeless. Yet God promises to never leave me, never to forsake me, and to renew me.
When I got home from the doctor, I found my copper Sharpie and began to adorn my new boot with words including Habakkuk 3:19, “He makes my feet like the hind’s and enable me to go to the high places.” The Amplified Bible says it like this: “The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!”
I may be worn, but God is not. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.