Enjoy this Devotional by FlourishWriters Student Katy Parker
Arriving for my induction session at the gym, I felt a bit nervous. After all, I hadn’t been to the gym since my accident over a year ago. As I walked in, I swiftly heard a voice calling my name from the corner.
“Yes, hello,” I answered, turning my head toward the familiar voice. I immediately recognized the woman greeting me from behind a computer screen; she was the Pilates instructor whose classes I had attended prior to my accident.
Given how overwhelming it felt to come to the gym again after such a long break, I was relieved that my instructor was someone I had met before. I told her about my accident, my long recovery, and the setbacks I’d endured along the way. She listened to me, then suggested appropriate exercises. I was slowly calming down, knowing I was in good hands.
She demonstrated a few exercises, mainly stretches. I needed to increase my strength and wanted to lose some of the weight I had gained since my accident. Before the session finished, we moved to the back of the gym for some final stretches on a mat. In that area, one entire side was a mirror wall. My eyes were fixed on the mirror, examining every movement as I tried to follow her instructions. While doing the last exercise, I was mechanically repeating the exercise when my mind wandered into the past. I had been in this room before, but at this moment in time, it just didn’t feel the same.
When looking into the mirror, I could see a girl trying to do her best, aware of the progress she had made over the past year but unable to avoid comparing herself to the girl who’d come regularly to the gym before her accident, when she was able to do so much more. Suddenly, a big lump in my throat prevented me from swallowing, and I couldn’t fight my tears any longer.
“Are you okay?” asked the instructor, aware of the tears in my eyes.
I felt so silly, so weak. I was struggling, and I needed her help. But I didn’t want to ask for it. I wanted to be able to cope by myself.
“I am so sorry,” was all I could say in a breaking voice, as the tears rolled down my cheeks.
“No need to apologize,” my instructor answered gently. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And I believe you will get out the other side so much stronger,” she added with kindness in her eyes. “You just need some time. You are not alone. Returning to the gym after such a long break feels overwhelming for many people. You have done so well today, and you will get better. Believe me, I know you will.” I could still hear her words as I walked home from the gym.
How often do we try to rely on our own strength? How many times do we think we can do everything by ourselves—and then get angry and upset when we can’t manage, or we struggle? But doesn’t the Bible tell us in Proverbs 3:5 that we should not lean on our own understanding?
Alone, we can’t do anything, but with God, everything is possible (Matthew 19:26). We can cast our burdens onto Him. He listens to us; He is always there for us. We just need to call on Him and trust Him. If we can trust humans we barely know, then surely, we can trust the one who knows our every thought and move, even before they happen. He has a plan for us that is often much better than we could ever imagine: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 NIV).
God knew I was carrying those heavy emotions, this pain inside me for months. He knew that those emotions needed to be released to get them out. God sends others our way for a reason. So, a soul full of caring, empathy, and understanding crossed my path so I could safely let go of those painful emotions. God planned everything perfectly, as He always does. He always knows what we need most. He is our good Father who knows our worries and our struggles and wants us to let them go and let Him take care of them.
My friend, whatever you are going through, I also want to let you know that you don’t need to be ashamed of your feelings. Cry if you need to cry. Give your tears to God; cry out to Him. David cried out to God in need and despair in his prayer and song (Psalm 18). His emotional outpouring sealed his strong personal relationship with God. He trusted God in times of adversity and surrendered to Him.
And we can do the same in our suffering. The Bible instructs, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1 KJV). God is there waiting for your call. Cry, scream, talk to him, and surrender.
As I was praying that evening, I cried my heart out to God. And I felt such a warmth inside as I surrendered to Him. I gave God my hand to lead me in my recovery. I reminded myself not to be that girl who wanted to rely on herself, rushing toward the finish line. Instead, I would have faith in God and His timing. And I would lean on Him because, without Him, nothing would work.
So, wherever you go, trust God. He will always be with you, bringing you back to Him (Genesis 28:15). No matter how slowly we walk, as long as we walk with God, we will always be in safe hands.
Katy Parker was born in Slovakia but lives with her husband, Chris, on the South Coast of England. She returned to writing following a very long break after her traumatic accident in 2020. Katy believes that God left her in this world for a reason, and during her recovery, she created a safe space for trauma survivors to share their stories and let others know they aren’t alone. Katy shares her journey of hope and healing on her Journeyofsmiley blog, where you can also find her free e-book, 7 Keys To Self-Healing, A Trauma Survivor’s Guide.