My proprioception is shot. Nerve damage sucks. It means my balance is all out of wack – particularly if I can’t see where my legs are. It’s one of the major struggles learning to walk; trusting where my legs are in space when I keep my head up and move my foot forwards isn’t easy. My body was made to work one way, and I’m learning how to make adjustments still as I retrain my body to live well with nerve damage.

It’s frustrating to say the least. My head gets frustrated that I can’t send the right messages to my legs, and my legs get frustrated when they can’t send the right messages to my brain. My right leg has been particularly angry this week. I’m still not sure what it’s been trying to say.

I’m still doing my best to take care of my body and my brain – and my heart – as we wrap up this incredibly difficult school year. By the grace of God, my heart was gifted an afternoon with two of the students closest to Bryce today. We ate cookies, laughed, and talked about how we all miss Bryce. I had an extra bonus of getting to call his fiancé on Monday which was good for both of us. My heart was filled after those beautiful interactions and the half a dozen other students who stopped by this past week. I even had some good friend interaction as I joked with Emily about how all my friends were leaving and she made me text another coworker to come join us at the picnic table for late night legal laughter. We stayed out til nearly 1am laughing at my inability to take a normal photo and the wonder touching a tractor irl inspired in a Jersey girl.

My head needed that healthy break too after a week of trying to teach students whose brains are completely fried from this beast of a year. I had some mental and emotional strain, but then an exciting chance to connect with and talk to some people who are wired and think like me. Friday afternoon was a blur as I turned up on campus and had enchiladas with the English department before taking my completely distracted G period outside to tell them Bible stories (which included a lot more Mean Girls quotes and selfies than the normal Bible 11 lesson). I raced home when the bell rang to join a podcast recording with Beth and Jeff McCord and three other incredible women who have similar experiences and motivations to me.

I certainly felt like the dumbest person on a podcast where I shared honestly about how my greatest fear is looking dumb, but what an absolute gift. This wild week has given me a chance to pay attention to a lot of things holistically, and I’m in a healthy enough place to embrace what I have to offer in meetings and interviews and mentoring conversations with no fear of messing up because I’m listening to Jesus. The podcast was a delight because I met three new people who taught me so much about how to be healthy in the ways that God has uniquely made me.

This week was so full, but I still made time to look at the trees. I also talked with Paige and Veronica about the chapter in our discipleship book reminding us to balance our up, in, and out relationships. One line that stuck out to me was about how if we are imbalanced in our approach to one, we wobble through life. I thought about my wobbly steps with someone holding my hands this summer and how I’ve made such progress in my spiritual, emotional, and mental health since then along with my physical health.

Every wall of the te whara tapa wha matters. And despite less progress in my physical recovery than I hoped for this year, I am noticeably closer to Jesus in all the other areas of my life which is equally significant.

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