In the years before we moved to the little town where we now live, my family lived in downtown St. George, Utah. At the time, St. George was about 60,000 people. There was a bus system, taxi cabs, and of course plenty of sidewalks. Good news for a blind person.
When my kids were younger, we explored and entertained ourselves by riding the bus, walking and riding bikes and scooters all over town. I had limited sight then and used my ears to keep track of the boys vs the traffic. We had great fun and adventures together, traveling miles and miles all over town. We picnicked, played in parks, swam and fed the ducks. My kidneys were failing and my diabetes had to be controlled so I was exhausted, but it was a blast.
A few years ago when I shattered my kneecap, those days ended. I could no longer run, scooter or walk very far without horrible pain. The form of exercise I'd always used to stay healthy, in shape and active was gone. The physical therapist told me the best way to keep from becoming unable to walk at all was to keep my knee strong. The knee cap was gone but the muscles in my legs would support my weight and I could keep going as long as my legs held out. I went from walking miles every single day to steps, streets, blocks and eventually working my way back to a few miles. Downhill was a struggle, as my knee couldn't hold my weight. Uphill was also tough, but I figured out how to lift with my good leg and just support my weight for a second with the other.
The pain was the hardest part. Every step felt like someone had driven a knife into my leg and eventually I couldn't walk on it.
This new part of my life brought on new challenges I'd never faced before. I didn't know if I could keep up with my kids, keep up with all I had to do when walking was my only form of transportation, or just keep up my strength.
One day as I struggled down the sidewalk with my youngest, half limping, half walking to get him to his soccer game on time, I started to cry. How was I supposed to function as a mom, a wife, a daughter of God when I couldn't even walk anymore? As I struggled onward, each step painful and slow, I cried away my frustration with every step until I collapsed on the sidelines of the soccer field. The pain eased, the tears stopped and the soccer game went forward.
Yes, we were a minute or so late. My son cheered with the rest of the team and got on the field a few minutes later. I stretched my leg, rested, and gulped water like I was dying, but it eased until I could walk to the bleachers.
It was at that point, I realized. I'm never again going to ride scooters, run, or walk miles and miles with my boys. I'll never play co-ed softball with my husband or dance like I did when I was in New York.
I will however, keep up. God gave me the strength, the tenacity and the sheer stubbornness to do what ever had to be done. Isn't that what every one of us hopes for? The strength, and tenacity to keep going?
For some people its to keep up with their kids. For others its just to keep themselves out of jail, off the ground, or close to The Lord.
It doesn't matter what bone, or muscle, or body part is missing. It only matters that you have everything you need.
Everything to love, laugh, and go one more moment further.
I still ride the bus, walk, limp often, and skip some activities. I don't however let what doesn't work determine how happy, loved, or lucky I am. It could be a whole lot worse.
When keeping up with the neighbors, or the other moms, or with anyone else, becomes more important than doing what you can and being happy about it, then you're not keeping up.
God loves you. He has given you all the strength, wisdom and comfort any of us will ever need. More than we can handle if we look around and see how blessed we are. So , the truth is...What else is there to try to keep up with?