A couple of weeks ago, I hurt my hip while on a run. It was a Sunday, which also happens to be our longest run of the week. I had made it 6 miles out of Chadron. When I turned around, it was only a couple of steps before my tendonitis in my achilles started to ache and pull. I ran over 5 miles back with a pronounced limp.
Since then, my hip has been persistently aching. In the middle of runs, it begins to pulse and throb. The pain is constant; I feel it when I walk, and sometimes it keeps me from sleeping.
After a particularly painful run, I finished in tears of frustration. The college trainer, TL, came over to me in my ice bath as I was trying to keep my silent tears a secret. He had been working with me for two weeks to try and figure out the source of the pain. Initially, he had just assumed it was my hip flexor, but after the injury hadn’t gone away, he began to fear it was a tear in my labrum.
Somberly, he sat me down and cautioned me that if it was my labrum, I would most likely have to get surgery. He also warned that it is incredibly difficult to correct, and a tear can be career ending in some cases.
In five minutes I had gone from thinking it was a minor injury that would soon run its course, to worrying that I had stumbled into the end of my running career. TL told me to come in early the next morning and talk to Don, the head trainer. The goal was to set up a last minute chiropractor appoint to see if a doctor would have better information. I was supposed to be leaving for Regional cross-country the next day, and I was racked with nerves. I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to race.
I spent the night in prayer. Not that God would heal me, but that his plan would be carried out in my life. It was one of the hardest things I have ever asked for.
Early the next morning, I left to talk to Don. When I asked him if there was any way I could make an appointment before 2, his face showed little hope. He dialed the number anyway. I watched him intently, begging God that there would be an opening.
“Okay, great. We’ll have her there at 10:30….” My mind was flooded with shock and absolute gratitude. I thanked Don repeatedly and headed home. 10:30 came slowly.
I drove to the chiropractic clinic with my heart hammering. My paperwork was filled out with a shaky hand. I sat bouncing my knee nervously and playing with my hair. I was about to find out how the next four years of my life would unwind, and the stress was overwhelming me.
I began to vaguely realize that the clinic was playing my favorite Christian radio station. As I began to tune in, I heard the words “When everything falls apart, your arms hold me together.”
I smiled to myself. God has never let down, and he has never led me astray. Even if I couldn’t run anymore, that is not what defines me. God is what defines me, and anything else is just extra. In that moment, all my nerves dissipated.
Whatever happened, I was going to choose God over fear. Sure I was still hoping it wasn’t my labrum, but I knew it would all work out exactly how it needed to.
When my name was finally called, I walked followed the assistant into my room. I waited patiently for the doctor, and I smiled a smile of relief when he told me it was an inflamed tendon instead of my labrum.
I am much more at ease knowing my injury is only temporary, but I know in my heart that I would have continued to follow God wholeheartedly, no matter the results.
Even if it hadn’t worked out how I wanted it to, God is still sovereign. He always has been, and he always will be.