When the doctors told me to sign up for disability, I signed up for the gym.

This morning, God reminded me of where I used to be and how hard I’ve worked to get where I am now. Years ago, when the doctors told me to sign up for disability, God encouraged me to join the gym. Sweet friends, I struggled even to open the gym door. My hands hurt so bad that I struggled to adjust the machines. I used to cry and pray through my workouts.

So many times, I questioned God. I wondered if He was right. Could I really get better?

My shoulders were so traumatized at one point that I couldn’t curl my hair. I bent my head to reach my hair without lifting my arms. So many times, I tried to get ready for my work day, and I hurt so badly that I cried my makeup off faster than I could apply it.

As I held my weights this morning and worked my shoulders, I saw the muscle definition, bringing me to tears. I’ve fought so hard for every ounce of muscle on my body. Every day, I fight the damage that amniotic band syndrome did to my body.

I fight to hold the weights because of my hands.
I fight to grow the muscle around my scar.
I fight to run when my foot causes my pelvis to twist.
I fight against the pain in my feet when I walk and run.

But I’m SO INCREDIBLY THANKFUL TO BE ABLE to do everything God blesses me to do.

I’m so thankful God was right, and I was wrong.
I’m so thankful He healed my body and gave me a second chance at life.
I’m so thankful for my hands, feet, and all I can do.
I’m so thankful God heard my prayers and understood my tears.

To me, exercise is not a punishment. It’s an answered prayer. I will not focus on what I can’t do but praise my Lord for all I can do.

When I lay in my bed, barely able to get up, overwhelmed by pain, I begged for the opportunity to feel good again. My life is God’s gift to me. What I do with it is my gift to God. Every day, I want to show up and praise Him for answering my prayers and allowing me to live. Instead of telling Him how grateful I am, I want to show Him.

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