Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Coping vs. Overcoming

I have been dealing with a frozen shoulder over the last year. It is not a pleasant condition, for your body just refuses to move in perfectly normal ways for its own undisclosed reasons. After much prayer, six months of treatment, determination, and continuing exercise, it started to move again. Thankfully, the only problem I have had in the past few months has been occasional stiffness which is relatively easy to work out.

The word I heard often in my discussions with my osteopath was ‘compensating.’ My body had been through some injury and overuse (which we were never able to pinpoint) and legitimately compensated for the inflammation by limiting movement in the affected joint. However, it got stuck in that coping mode, mistaking it for the new ‘normal’, and by its stubborn refusal to move, spread its atrophy and twisted way of doing things down into my ribcage. The chain reaction of coping and compensating became an immobilizing disability that tried to redefine how my body moved, or rather, force it to remain static. And it is a long process to convince the muscles and joints that, yes, they are capable of so much more; if they have done it before, they can do it again. I am sure you can see where I am going with this.

Because of the wretched state of our world, we all experience pain, trauma, and injury. And God has developed wonderful coping mechanisms that enable us to be protected while we heal, but we cannot let the coping BECOME our healing. It is a very poor substitute, and will result in the withering of an area that God has intended to be filled with life and movement instead of walled in and shut down. I am determined to pursue total healing. I do not want to stop short, even when my body or emotions or will say it is impossible to go any further because the trauma has changed everything. I will let the creator be the definer of ‘normal’, not my experience. He said I could be more than an overcomer and I will settle for nothing less, for he who made me is abundantly able to sustain, repair, heal, and invigorate my being. He is life.

2 comments:

Lynn said...

Matte,
Blogging was made for you!!
I love your articles.
Check out Resonate.ca. I have joined, but when I read articles by people on there, well, it's a community you would fit very well into.
Lynn

Doug Floyd said...

Lynn's note is interesting because that is what I was getting ready to say. You are perfect for blogging. Quick thoughts that capture profound ideas. I love reading your stuff. Keep it up!