Whoa! What a year it’s been! I literally can’t believe it’s been over a year since my husband Tyrone and I moved from New York to Atlanta. I’ll admit, it’s been one heck of a transition. I never would have thought in a million years that I’d...
So this weekend we spent our Saturday looking for some solutions to my Plantar Fasciitis diagnosis. If you don’t know, Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia). All in all, it is the most PAINFUL thing I’ve ever experienced!!! I’ve had this for over a year and it’s getting unbelievably worse. After two knee surgeries, I thought I’d be living a pain free life but, unfortunately, those 2 surgery recoveries made my feet more susceptible to the issue because I already have “flat feet”. The additional weight bearing on my feet became too much to handle. I’ve been struggling since last year and now at a point of wobbling every single day. It started out with my left foot and it has been dreadful. The interesting thing is, it transitioned to 3 different types of pains and each pain got worse. Then, my right foot joined the party and I’m currently at the 2nd pain threshold. My first foot doctor in NY instructed me to get better shoes but gave me no real definition as to what that meant. He gave me an anti-inflammatory which also causes swelling in my feet and 3 Cortizone shots in the left foot that did absolutely nothing. The second doctor I saw (after I moved to Atlanta) was much more specific on how we can treat this and actually very honest with me. I left with $50 orthotics that made me feel a little better (if they fit in my shoes), she gave me pictures and names of better shoes to wear, directions to drink more water, lose weight and a different anti-inflammatory that didn’t cause as much swelling since I mentioned that was a concern. Well, I will be honest and say I didn’t get a better shoe until probably about 3 months ago and although it was better, it was the BEST! I mean seriously, the shoes suitable for Plantar Fasciitis are the ugliest shoes ever! Forget about being cute! But after almost a year of being here in Atlanta and not feeling any better but worse, I’ve had to learn to accept that part of it. So, I’ve since joined a FB group for informational purposes and have been researching and looking for ways to heal or at least feel less pain. Most solutions are temporary and short-lived relief! Some days I’ve had to result to ice bath soaks for my feet. Lord Jesus help me!! I try to massage them regularly with Lavendar oil (and coconut oil as the base) and it feels great but again, when my feet hit the floor in the morning, it still feels like knives digging into the bottom of my feet. So, since February, I’ve done more research and decided on a kiosk in the mall called “Custom Feet.” I chose them for 2 reasons, 1) The store is co-owned by a young man named Jesus – and it’s literally JEE Sus, NOT “haysoos” so I definitely couldn’t forget him, and 2) they guarantee restoration of your alignment. There are follow-up appointments every 3-6 months to see if it has been corrected. He suggested I come back in a month and a half because my alignment is so off, the orthotics will wear down quickly. It was just terrible how far off my alignment is. I can feel it in my knees and back. So, I made 3 purchases!The first was a pair of custom orthotics by Custom Feet that Jesus made to fit my feet on site. He took pictures of my feet and alignment and molded the orthotics based on where my feet are to where they need to be. Amazing how off my alignment is!The second purchase was with him as well. I purchased the XPDS 18 which is an electric stimulator. My Physical Therapist used this at every session for my knees so I know it will be helpful. I’m really excited to consistently use this to see how it assists in some pain relief. The third purchase was a pair of New Balance from Champs! It seems that New Balance is a brand of sneaker that helps Plantar Fasciitis patients so I’m trying these. I wanted something black and simple so that I could wear them to work without looking completely crazy!So, I’m praying this is a start to some pain relief. I’m also working on other areas such as more water and ridding my diet of inflammation provoking foods. Some days are just really rough because this condition is a hindrance in my every life function as well as my how I worship and dance for God! I will definitely follow-up after my follow-up with custom feet to see how my alignment has progressed! J
So, I love love love the theme of this book. It seems that many people have missed the whole purpose and point behind Pastor Gray’s intent for authoring this book! So many have focused on the deeds he’s done rather than the healing journey he is offering to those who need it. I believe he was really trying to give us a dose of transparency so that we, (those of us who can relate), can see that we are NOT alone in our failures. The book sheds light on people who are in positions of leadership that bleed the same blood as those who aren’t. We may be leaders, but we still have the same issues, hurts, frustrations, sins and downfalls as any other human being. We, like anyone else, also need to be cared for in the same way we care for others. We need someone to ask if we are ok. We are often broken ourselves while leading others back to a place of wholeness because God has gifted and anointed us to do so. PJ drove that point throughout the book. There are many creatives out there who need to know that even though we have completely messed this thing called life up at times, that doesn’t mean we are no longer useful to God at all. Our purpose is still waiting for us to find strength and pursue it again. Our destiny remains….albeit there was a little detour, the destination remains. PJ uses Jacob as his main point of reference to show that even though he had a lifestyle that was sinful in nature and needed to change (without a doubt), his destiny, OUR destiny was still integral and needed to happen. He didn’t just have destiny, he had one of the most important destinies in history! Now, note, PJ is careful to point out the fact that there is still a process, a breaking, an exposure period and a healing period. “Running from the process can shift your destiny timeline.” Lord! The level of screaming I did when I read that line! I think I probably did a few fist air swings too! It’s the absolute truth! We run from the process and find ourselves right back there to work that same thing out in us! If we never make it through the process we stay full of ourselves and PJ clearly states “anyone full of themselves cannot be filled by the spirit of God.” Whew! It also drives the point that although our destiny still waits, there will surely be a cost for it all. PJ writes “The enemy will always send you what you THINK you need, he just NEVER tells you how much it costs. He gives it to you first and will send you the bill after.” If this is not the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Goodness!!! I can’t tell you how many times something seemed so perfect but the cost drained me to no end and was just not worth it in the end. Another point I loved is his recognition of the fact that leaders carry a heavy weight and tend to get weary and tired. PJ warns us of the importance of being careful of getting weary. When we get weary, “we make bad decisions and make use of things we shouldn’t because we aren’t focused.” He tells us not to “forgo our birthright because of our weariness in the moment.” I’m sure you can think on how many decisions you’ve made that could have easily voided everything you’ve worked for. I sure have! He warns us not to “Give away our value to someone who doesn’t deserve it.” Then he spoke briefly on an area that I struggle terribly! Taking care of our temples! Hearing him say it’s our “personal responsibility to help God get the maximum glory out of our lives.” He encouraged us to think about being in a position where you can’t fulfill your purpose because of your health. I feel this daily because of the chronic pain in my joints. Sometimes I feel like I’m not giving the best I have because I’m limited in movements while I worship. “We have to make sure we are physically able to do what we are created us to do. He gave us some questions to think on and I love to read books that give me some homework so that I have something tangible! So when all is done and said and we get that name change like Jacob/Israel, PJ says to remember, “you may be in the same body but you are NOT the same person.” So our homework is to know that since we haven’t LOST our call, purpose or destiny, then we should go forth! Sow whatever seed we need to, whether that’s getting things right with family or authority or just making right on places we’ve erred. Then, think on what God gave us to do. Pray on our team, who God called us to and who He called to us. So, if you haven’t read “Win from Within” yet by Pastor John Gray, go grab it along with your favorite cup of tea or coffee and enjoy!
REJECT TAKEOVER So you feel rejected? LOL Join the club! You wouldn’t imagine how many people you come in contact with daily feel rejected, alone and unsupported but yet still seem to smile and love just as if they don’t experience those feelings. If I can be transparent, I used to often feel and have felt rejected by people who were and some who are still dear to my heart. A few years back, I felt rejected and extremely hurt over some things and I unofficially and spontaneously counseled with clergy regarding these feelings. Much to my surprise, he advised me to go back and read the story of David from the place I am currently in. I have read the story of David so many times and couldn’t possibly imagine what would be different this time but I’m so glad I was obedient. It’s amazing how the word of God will always be relevant for what we are dealing with. There are so many feelings that moved through my heart just by reading such a short portion of the scripture. I then started a reading plan “30 Days with David” in the Olive Tree App. The portion of scripture that really had an impact was is 1 Samuel 17-18. So many times, I have wondered why? I felt rejected in so many primary relationships that should have been my place of refuge and support. I wondered what I had done wrong or what I could have done different. Just reading those 2 chapters brought so much peace and comfort to my heart and really turned my heart toward God even the more. I know you are asking why? Well, I looked at David and I saw that David was rejected, accused of things he didn’t do or even have a heart to do and accused of just being downright evil. When we take a leap of faith to do something for God or to help people, satan always attacks and the most troubling thing about it is he often works through the people we love and/or trust the most. Sometimes you don’t even have to take a leap of faith, but just have a purpose and call on your life to serve and work for the Kingdom which makes us a mark in the eyes of the enemy. So many times the rejection and lack of support can make you feel less able or qualified to do almost anything. It can make you look at the task and wonder how in the world you are going to conquer what’s ahead. Even today, after reading in those moments about David, I feel empowered. There were and are so many things I can relate to. 1) His siblings did not include David in the things they did; 2) His brother accused him of being presumptuous and having an evil heart! If you have been rejected like David and I, I encourage you and so does the word of God, to turn away from it! Forgive those who have rejected and hurt you. Don’t allow that offense to fill your heart and hold you back because it will. God will use you and I to do great things. We have to be like David and encourage ourselves by recounting the victories God has given us in the past. Saul came right out and told David he is not able to fight against the Philistine. David didn’t respond in anger or frustration but he responded with facts. (1 Sam. 17:33-37) He began to recall every victory God had given him in the field. Ha Ha!!! Our field experiences are the experiences that build our faith and allow us to collect our victories before heading to main event! He recounted those victories and had confidence that God would come through again. What is even crazier is that after all of that rejection, we tend to second guess ourselves. We lose confidence in our gifts and our abilities. David did not! In fact, he tried to be obedient and do what Saul directed which was to put on the same armor everyone else used to fight. But the moment David put all that armor on and began to walk with it, he realized he was not used to that armor and would be unable to fight with it. We have to be confident in the fact that we may not be like everyone else and their journey is not our journey. God has given us our gifts that are made uniquely for us to use as He develops us. It is when we have confidence in who we are and what we do that we can defeat the giants. Take your gifts and use them according to what God has developed in you. Never try to put on someone else’s armor to fight a battle designated for you and your gift. Many times God will choose people to use who have been rejected and excluded. That’s me and most probably many of you! I graciously accept and promise you that the “rejects takeover” at some point in their life and do so with the power and strength of god. God will purposely choose those whom society would reject in order to show Himself mighty and strong! (1Cor. 1:26-29). Most importantly, when David goes to fight the Philistine, he tells him that he “comes to him in the name of the Lord of Hosts”!!! The reject took over that battle with the words of His mouth by proclaiming the Lord of Hosts! It’s time to takeover!