I planned to walk 2,023 miles in 2023.
For three months, I kept pace by walking at least five and a half miles a day. By the end of March, I had accrued 513.4 miles. I was well on my way.
But God had other plans.
My doctor, who had been evaluating my persistent balance issues and relentless headaches, ordered an MRI of my brain. The next morning, I went on a 5.5-mile walk. When I arrived home, my doctor called. She told me I had a 4.7-centimeter mass in my head, and I needed to get to an ER immediately.
While in my local emergency room, a very kind on-call neurosurgeon explained that what I had was likely a meningioma. Its size was alarming (thus, the directive to head right away to a medical facility); but I learned there was a 99.9 percent chance the mass was benign and the cause was unknown. I was told to schedule surgery as soon as possible.
Before knowing what was wrong, I had continued walking – sometimes haltingly. Once I was aware of what was wrong, daily walks were no longer on my agenda. Not only was I physically unable to keep up that kind of exercise, but my days were filled with neuro consults, lab work, and additional tests.
My walking goal and plans for the immediate future were derailed; God’s purpose for my life prevailed. On May 17, I underwent a craniotomy, and the meningioma was successfully removed.
Yes – it was terrifying to have my skull cut open and stapled back together. And, the physical therapy I have undergone post-surgery has been grueling. But throughout it all, I have been walking with God; He has been with me every step of the way.
My mileage goal is no longer important; what I’m striving for now is fulfillment of God’s purpose. With the Lord as my constant companion, I have been at peace throughout this whole experience.
The meningioma may have messed up my mileage, but I have gained something far greater: A renewed focus on God’s prevailing presence in my life.
As I know from Jeremiah 29:11, God has His own goal for me – and it’s way more significant than 2,023 miles. He has plans to chart a path for me — no matter the length — toward a bright and hopeful future, one with eternal dividends.