Beautiful Between

living fully in the now & not yet

I forgot how to pray. Physical therapy reminded me.

I’m practicing squats when my physical therapist brings the boxes over and sets the yellow pine stack behind me. They only come up an inch or so past my knee. I know what’s coming.

“Let me see those squats again.” He’s a former personal trainer and I’m about to get my tail kicked. He looks almost like a soldier, perfect posture and close-cut hair. He tells me to gently touch my butt to the top of the boxes, knees parallel to the ground, then stand and repeat.

The arch of my back protests, but I make it through the first two repetitions. By the third, that pain drops me to sit on the wooden boxes. I can’t help but giggle as I struggle, and fail, to stand.

I’m sweating and my breath comes fast as I push myself up with my hands. I fall again, still chuckling because it seems ridiculous that my body won’t move right. My PT checks my alignment, watches me fight through the motions.

“Tuck your tailbone,” he says. “You’re arching your back too much.” And like magic, my next squat is painless, though still challenging. Just altering the curve of my spine provides the stability my back needs to do what seemed impossible moments before.

The simplicity shocks me, that a tiny motion is the difference between painful muscle failure and stable movement. I haven’t stopped thinking about it, how simple things are the big things, the key things, the transformational things.

When I was hit by an SUV six years ago, my doctor said I may never run or dance again. I lost range of motion in my left ankle and foot and had serious pain in my right hip when I tried to run. If I tried to dance, my body would no longer bend into the same shapes and my back ached deeply. I’d feel it for days.

Nothing seemed simple then. I did my exercises, but I wanted a silver bullet solution to my pain. I didn’t believe it could be uncomplicated. There had to be something I was missing that would help me get better. So I didn’t push past the pain until the basics became second nature.

I’m astounded now that basic motions and exercises are remaking my body. Stretch your calves to regain that motion. Stretch your hip to release the pain. Tuck your tailbone and do your squats. You will get stronger.

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I’ve done this with my faith for so long. As a young believer, I didn’t seem to experience God in the same way that so many in my church did. I heard others describe God speaking in grand terms. But I couldn’t find the secret paths they all seemed able to navigate. Surely there’s something wrong with me, I thought. 

Slowly, though, simple foundations worked their way into my life. Over time, I was surprised to learn the simple things were the transformational things: showing up in quiet devotion, learning to love well, simple prayers and immersing myself in the words of God.

I’m relearning now, finding myself turning back to basics I so deeply need. I recently confessed to Micah I felt I’d forgot how to pray, how to connect with God, after a long and hard season of pain and questions. He told me I make the most dramatic statements and reminded me nothing has changed.

Oh, yeah. Why do I forget? Why do I assume it can’t be so simple? And it’s not just in physical therapy or my quiet time. It’s in everything.

It’s not a complex interpretation of Scripture, but simple, core truths that most alter our lives.

It’s not the latest fad diet or exercise craze, but simple disciplines that most transform our health.

It’s not some complex productivity solution, but showing up and doing the most important work that moves businesses and dreams forward.

It’s not the grand gestures in relationships that matter most, but showing up quietly day after day, being support in hard times, and practicing forgiveness and sacrificial love.

All these simple things, these little things – these are the things that matter and mold my life. These are the things worthy of attention, worthy discipline, worthy of practice.

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Just show up. Sit and listen. Open your soul to Him. Speak to Him like the friend He’s always been. Invite Him to teach and transform you.

I sit with a cup of tea and an open Bible, with a single verse from Proverbs to pray and meditate on. I can’t help but smile as I settle into this familiar space. I hush my heart for a few moments, breathe deep and choose to trust He’s right here. And just like magic, the simple things are again transforming me.

About Sarah

Hi, I'm Sarah. I love coffee, pancakes and street tacos. I'm a learner, a traveler and a creative mess. I've got a thing for redemption and seeing broken people living beautiful lives. That's the story I've lived, and the one I want for you. Let's be friends!

3 Replies

  1. Janet Robinson

    I wonder, when you are drinking your tea and meditating on a verse from Proverbs, might you be sipping out of your cup that you got from the bridal tea?

    1. I actually keep that very special teacup on the counter where I can see it 😊 It holds my rings when I wash dishes

  2. Thanks, Sarah, for this reminder. It fits so well with Jeff Goins’ latest post that I just read. Daily, consistently working on our goals! And the most important is the time we spend with God and in His Word!

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