Persistence

You endure what is supposedly unbearable, and before you know it, you would have done the impossible by bearing the unbearable ~ Donovan Inniss

It is so much easier to stay stagnant.  Easier to live in the current status quo rather than to be uncomfortable, challenging yourself to grow.  Yet, we find ourselves complaining about where we are, what we do and what we don’t have.

Most of us desire to live our lives more fully - whether that is in a different profession, in a meaningful relationship, or in a deeper relationship with the Divine. 

These advancements in our quality of life require more than words.  Speaking our desires is an excellent beginning - words are only the initial fertilizer of growth. 

There is a requirement of action to push us out of the settling cement of sameness.  Persistent action.  Repetitive effort.

But we are so easily discouraged with one failed attempt, surrendering dreams with no plan of attack on the naysayers who kill the desire...the desire which was lovingly gifted to you by the Divine. 

Lately, I’ve been studying persistence and I am reminded of almost 30 years ago when I learned to walk for the second time in my life. 

After a tragic car accident left my pelvis shattered and hip fractured, I laid in traction in a hospital bed for three months - my feet never touched the ground in those 90 days.

I was transported to doctors’ appointments via ambulance because of my confinement to the bed.  This was in 1988 and apparently, my orthopedic specialist believed in human persistence more than physical therapy. 

In what would be my last visit to his office in my ambulance limo ride, he told me and my mother that when I returned home, I needed to get up and start walking.  When I came back in a month, he expected to see me walking in alone.  Those were his only words.  He did not give me a wheelchair, a walker or even a cane.

I clearly recall the 35-minute ambulance ride home.  My mom and I decided we would need to wait for my dad to get home.  The EMT in the ambulance suggested a walker might be helpful and that we would need to move slowly sitting up and hanging my feet off the bed.

After lying in bed for 3 months, with no large muscle movement, no physical therapy, and no type of exercise, my muscles had atrophied - they were small and weak.  And I couldn’t even imagine how I was going to lift my body out of the structure I had been restricted to for so long. 

While my mom and I waited for my dad, we strategized.  She moved a chair as close to the bed as possible.  We thought sitting up with no support would be the first challenge - and it was.  I was overcome with light-headedness but persisted until it passed.

When my dad came home that afternoon, he stood on one side and my mom on the other - each holding a forearm.  My feet, initially tingling from the touch of my weight on the carpet, quickly began to burn and my parents sat me in the chair my mom had strategically placed. 

I remember feeling exhausted after the quick pivot from the bed that had imprisoned me to the blue chair which I saw as my first step of freedom.

With assistance, I moved between the two pieces of furniture for a couple of days.  The first day I attempted to walk farther, I realized my weakness and, just as an infant learning to walk, I had to revert to a crawl.  I'm not sure what it was like for my parents to see their 17-year-old daughter crawling, on hands and knees to get around the home she had learned to walk in 15 years before. 

It didn’t phase me then.  I never thought about what I looked like - I was purely determined to be independent and walking, just as I was 3 months earlier. 

Just as a toddler, I went from crawling to walking with support.  I used a walker for a couple of weeks and then a cane.  I would tire easily and my parents would want me to rest, fearful I would fall in my weariness.   I wouldn’t stop.  I was persistent. 

I am persistent. 

When I begin to feel overwhelmed by the dreams and goals I’ve been blessed with, I remember I am still that same 17 year old - determined...persistent...tenacious. 

Some days, I may feel as though I am crawling through the weeds growing around the dreams Divinely planted, but I am on my way to standing tall to decipher what needs to be cut down and what shall be left to grow. 

Some call it hard-headedness.  I call it Persistence. 

Believe. Create. Live.

© 2017 Rebecca G. Townsend

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