I can’t remember when it began, but for the past few years, a constant pain has hugged my lower back. It was enough to wake me up at night. I tried Advil. I tried stretching. I started a new workout regimen to strengthen my core. I told our children I couldn’t pick them up or let them sit on my lap.
With each solution, the pain faded, only to come back in a few days or weeks. Eventually it crept down to my tailbone. I had to modify the way I stood up and could only sit on cushioned chairs. Still, the pain persisted.
And then one morning, it went away, never to return.
I wish I could say healing came because I called upon the Lord. But for whatever faulty reasoning or theological neglect on my part, reaching out to Jesus to heal my minor-but-persistent back pain didn’t cross my mind. I had, though, called on a physical therapist and yoga teacher for help. We sat cross-legged, facing each other, even though sitting like that hurt my back. Instead of stretching or moving through postures, we talked.
I told her about the creeping pain in my lower back and tailbone. She nodded, as if this came as no surprise, especially when I mentioned that I kept trying different solutions and nothing helped. I also talked about my newest hypothesis—that the pain was a result of my exercise regime, a result of overworked or imbalanced musculature.
“Any time someone talks to me about balance,” she said, “I think the work of healing needs to begin in the mind.” I didn’t fully register what she said. My own thoughts poured out, a list of discord: the tension between being a supportive wife and a woman trying to establish her own career, the conflict over being a mother and making ...1
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