The weather this weekend was divinely gorgeous so I spent a good chunk of it outside walking and going up and down steep inclines. As a result - MY. LEGS. ARE. SORE. My soreness is one of those pains that almost feels good though - because I'm making progress and living well and being kind to my body. It feels like a reminder of where it feels good to change and where sometimes pain, while still painful, means that something good is happening inside of you.
All of this reminded me of something my dad said that has stayed with me since I wrote about my brother a couple of weeks ago.
"I too have sore spots in my memories; almost as fresh as they were back then. But I am thankful for those sore spots and I hope that I can live the rest of my life feeling the same 'pain' because I know that A.J.'s life had and still has an impact on who I am today, and I never want to lose that."
I'm thankful for the sore spots.
I'm thankful for the pain.
I'm thankful for where pain has had an impact on me.
I see where pain has made me who I am today.
I don't want to lose the reminders of where pain changes me.
Those words came from my father. A man who has both loved me and hurt me in my story; who has walked through some of my pain and been the source of some of it too. Those words have been soul-soaking for me. There was a time that I might not have heard words like this from my dad because of where my heart was hard and angry. It feels good to see where I am soft enough to really hear them. He spoke these words from his heart and it has invited me to be curious about my own "sore spots."
The pain I feel in my legs today remind me of where I can be thankful for the sore spots in my story. Some places feel easier to feel thankful for than others, but I am recognizing where gratitude has sprung from the places that was the home for all of my hurt.
Pain has changed me and made me more than I was. I hope it continues to. I hope to always be thankful for the sore spots.