Fear Of Causing My Brother To Stumble Almost Gave Me Scoliosis
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by Crystal Sprague. She is the director of MyRefugeHouse.com. Has your posture or health been negatively affected by this fear? Leave a comment and let us know. I have bad posture/lower back problems for the same reason, and I’m really curious to know how many others there are out there. – Lauren
I’ve had pretty severe back problems for years.
A few months ago, I tried out another Chiropractor.
X-rays confirmed that the abnormal grade of my spine was somewhere around 7% off with the unnatural curves in my upper and lower back extending in opposite directions. I don’t look terribly abnormal when I stand up, because the two sides balance each other out, but underneath the skin, my back is a bit of a mess.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to try Physical Therapy. The first thing the doctor said to me was: “Stand up straight. Stick out your chest. Pull your shoulders back. Stick out your butt. Your back is supposed to have an arch. Why aren’t you sticking out your butt? Like THIS.”
And then he proceeded to pull my posterior into a position that was not only uncomfortable from a decade of disuse, it also made my inner soul scream out in mild panic.
You see, as much as I loved my church in high school, and my pastors, they were pretty passionate about not hindering men/boys with unnecessary thoughts of lust.
When I say “pretty passionate,” what I mean is, it was usually a source of conversation weekly. And wearing something “inappropriate” would get you a private counseling session as well.
Because this is the thing: I was the girl whom God saved, wholly and passionately. He was filling my hurting little heart with grace and strength to push forward in a life that doesn’t always (or ever) make sense. And I wanted so desperately to please that God, AND the church who wrapped their arms around me so lovingly, that I went the extra measure. Or an extra 100 measures, if I thought I could.
With my whole self I wanted to please God. And if that meant not causing my brother to stumble, than I would go to every. single. measure. Even if it meant hiding my female body. And if I wasn’t accomplishing it, I must be at fault.
Cue baggy clothes, weight gain and over a decade of unhealthy self-worth. Cue standing in ways that hid my chest, my butt. Cue hunched shoulders and the inability to stop guilt and mild panic when men look at me. Cue eating disorder. Cue extreme back pain.
It wasn’t really my pastor’s fault. He saw an eager kid with a willing heart in a sea full of teens who often just didn’t want to listen. And I learned things during that stage of my life that have shaped me and changed me, in every way, for the better.
We live in a world of extremes. All in or all out. Yes or No. With us or against us.
But if I could go back, I would beg someone to show me a bit of balance. Plead with someone to show me that it’s ok to not be perfect in this crazy world, even if God is in your heart. Appeal to someone to show me that extremes are easy, and balance is more challenging… but much more sustainable.
And if I could go back, I would beg someone to tell me that my body is beautiful and a gift from God. To tell me that yes, I can and should stand up straight.
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