COMING BACK STRONGER!

Written by Richard Pidgley (Birmingham UK)

Richard Pidgley is married to Lynne, has two adult sons and two super cute grandsons. Richard is an AoG minister who leads Millpool Hill Church in Birmingham U.K. Richard has an MA in missional leadership and loves to teach the Word of God. He also loves early morning trail running.

June 21, 2022

Micah 7:8 (NIV)
Do not gloat over me, my enemies! Though I have fallen, I will rise.

Last year, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.
My running journey had spanned two years by then, and I was regularly running a total of 40km each week along canal paths, heathland, woodland trails and sometimes just around the block. Yes, at 55 years of age things were looking good! 

On the whole, I’ve been blessed with relatively good health.
However, there was that issue with a painful varicose vein, and when I finally saw a consultant, he said that he could help me by surgery. I was booked in for the procedure on 10th November 2021. 

Of course, my first question to the consultant was, “When can I run again after the operation?” 

The answer wasn’t good.
The consultant duly informed me that my leg would ‘look like a baseball bat had hit it’ and there would be no running for at least 6 to 8 weeks, and even then I would need to take it easy. 

I went into the hospital for what was supposed to be a day surgery, but ended up spending the night in hospital with a bleeding complication.
Thankfully, I was able to go home the next day and quickly understood why I couldn’t run.
My leg was incredibly bruised and recovery was very painful.
The surgeon saw me a few weeks later and informed me the operation had been a success.
Oh, thank you Lord!

Although I was really keen to have the operation done, I wasn’t so keen on the consultant’s orders to not run for at least 6 to 8 weeks after the operation.
For a runner to be ‘on the bench’ for 6 to 8 weeks,  it can feel a life sentence!

“IT’S NOT UNTIL YOU LOSE YOUR HEALTH THAT YOU REALISE JUST HOW MUCH YOU APPRECIATE IT”

Whilst recovering, I began to be more appreciative and thankful to God for my overall health.
I realised then what a blessing it had been to be able to run along beautiful wooded trails and marvel at the sun rising over the lakes.
Recovery was a time of enforced rest, and also reflection –  I needed to stop taking things for granted and be more thankful for the blessings that I had.

When I finally managed to start running again, around 7 weeks after my operation, it was much harder than I had anticipated.
Just running 3km seemed to be a real effort! 
Although my vein surgery was healing, it felt like all my energy and ability to run regularly had evaporated over the recuperation period and I felt disheartened.
The discouragement seem to amplify when I compared my runs and times to others posting on social media, but the truth is that it was crazy thinking! Indeed, ‘comparison is the enemy of contentment’.
I had to learn to be content with the health that I had and take the time to heal and increase my pace and distance.

A SHORT RUN IS BETTER THAN NO RUN! 

Sometimes, due to health issues, lack of time or energy a 3km or 5km is as much as we can do.
Nonetheless, it is at times like this, we have to remember that a short run is better than no run because when we run…

  • We are increasing our overall fitness and well-being 
  • We are spending time in God’s amazing creation a.k.a The Great Outdoors 
  • We are able to get away from distractions and enjoy time to reflect and pray 

For me, it has been a bit of a journey back to health – My run distances are not so far with 10km being about as much as I feel like doing. 
It is a push to do a sub 28mins for 5Km, but I remind myself that no matter my results, I’m lapping everyone sitting on the couch!
And here is something else, an easy pace run in a place of outstanding natural beauty gives you time to take it all in and enjoy it even better…

The enemy of our soul loves it when we fall, be it physically, causing pain and injury, or spiritually, into sin.
As members of Kingdom Runners, let’s continue to support one another in Christian love.
Let’s encourage those who are injured and taking time to heal.
Let’s cheer on those who are chasing their running dreams and goals, and most of all, let’s all remember this running truth: 

‘NO MATTER HOW FAST OR SLOW YOUR PACE, NO MATTER HOW FAR OR HOW SHORT YOUR ROUTE – IF YOU RUN, YOU’RE A RUNNER!’

Prayer and Reflection:

  • You can pray using this prayer below for yourself.

Dear Father,

Through Jesus, you created me and by your Holy Spirit you now live in me – I thank you for the gift of health and especially for the ability to run. Heavenly Father, right now I can’t run, my body needs rest and healing. I’m feeling fed up and frustrated. Please help me to sense your timing in these things and rest in your peace for I know you are working all things together for my good. Whilst I am healing, I choose to use my time to worship you Lord. Teach me new things and direct me in your perfect will. Thank you that although I’ve been feeling low with my injury, you are healing me and I will rise again and run for your glory. Amen

  • Who are you believing and depending on for your healing today?
  • How is Romans 8:28 being embraced in your life, in your current situation?
  • How can you echo Micah’s words and by faith proclaim ‘I WILL RISE AGAIN’?

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2 Comments
  1. Joyce

    Praise the lord for restoring your health. This is such an encouragement.

    Reply
    • Daryl

      Hi Joyce! Glad it has encouraged your heart too! Our God is a restorer!

      Reply

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