Bounding up the stairs in a hurry, I was reviewing my ever-expanding mental “to do” list when a sudden sharp pain in my right foot made me stop and suck in my breath. Mission forgotten, I hunched over, gently massaging the top of my foot.
Triggering Old Injuries
I thought I could ignore the discomfort, heading outside to bury vegetable peels in the garden and bring in the laundry from the clothesline. But as I dug the hole and covered it up again with black earth, my foot was protesting. And by the time I had taken down the last t-shirt from the line, I was hobbling and wincing from the shooting pain.
Plopping down in a recliner, I tentatively rotated my foot in small circles, trying to stretch out the band of tendons that were throbbing in that all-too-familiar way.
“It’s been almost two years!” I groaned. “Why is this still bothering me?”
A fall down some cement steps over a year and a half ago has had long-lasting effects. Though the sprained foot healed eventually, every once in a while a minor mis-step or too-quick movement will make the injury flare up again.
Injuries of the Heart
My heart often acts like my injured right foot. Someone I run into in a restaurant, the aroma of a certain food, or a song I hear on the radio will sometimes “trigger” long-buried and seemingly forgotten hurts or painful memories. The hurt seems as real and fresh as when it first happened.
In that instant, I have a choice in how I respond. I can ignore it, pushing through the discomfort, until I end up limping and can’t go on anymore. I can wallow in the memories, nursing those grudges and embracing the bitterness, burying myself deeper in the hole of unforgiveness, and becoming immobilized. Or I can recognize the issue and address it – purposefully going through the steps of Processing The Issues Of Your Heart to deal with any lingering unforgiveness.
Today when my right foot reminds me of the sensitivity from that previous injury, I will take the time to stop and stretch it out, building up the muscle strength again. And today if I’m “triggered” by someone or something that reminds me of past heart injuries, I will choose to address those emotions. I will choose to forgive again. I will choose to release the pain to Jesus. And, though it’s sometimes slow going and there are setbacks and obstacles in the process, I will choose to walk in freedom and healing!
“Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.” Isaiah 58:8 (NIV)