I am still waiting for my Star Word, and I rarely make resolutions, but for 2019, this is my declaration.
2019 will be The Year of the Body.
Well, maybe I should say, The Year of My Body.
There are things I want to do this year, and next year, and the year after that, and they would be more readily accomplished if my body works well, or as well as it can work. This requires sorting through the mess in the back of my mind that my foremothers handed down to me: your body should look right and work right without any obvious effort, because after all, it’s primary function is as God’s temple, so please don’t be too embodied, just enough to house the holy.
I’m in Week 4 of my second round of physical therapy for my hip and lower back, trying to regain some functionality lost to arthritis, both rheumatoid and osteo. PT has a rhythm. First the routine seems too easy, and then it feels impossible to maintain – my current situation – and then I get the hang of it and feel strong and even powerful!
And then it will be over because the insurance-approved sessions will run out, and I will leave with recommended destinations for arthritis-appropriate exercise. Last time, I resisted. I’ll walk, I said. I don’t want to join the Y, it’s too expensive. Who has time for those water-based exercise classes? They all meet during the work day, anyway.
The alternative, though, is circling back to where I was when I started four weeks ago.
I want to think this wasn’t exactly what God had in mind, image-wise, in the beginning. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t be gradually adding minutes on an underwater treadmill or doing sit-to-stands to try and regain flexibility. In this imperfect world, though, in the Year of My Body, I have to hope that God knows what it’s like to favor what is sore and to stretch what has grown stiff. I have to believe that even in my brokenness, I can still be a reflection of God.
Help me, Holy One, to live in the body I have, to care for it as best I can, not just to house the holy but to see in it a reflection of you. Amen.
This post was originally published in the RevGals Weekly e-Reader.