A Kilometer in My Shoes
Updated: Jan 19, 2019
I got my Cinderella shoes Santa style nearly five years ago, and I've worn them almost every day since. They've gone through about five pairs of shoelaces, and are duct taped on one toe, and both of them have electrical tape on the inside to keep the sides from wearing completely through. Each heel has a hole with padding puffing out as well.
They've been fairly faithful shoes for all they've been through across three continents and about a dozen countries. The braces give me the support I need when the Nikes just aren't enough. I love those special Flyease shoes too, but these days I'm spending more time with the Swiss Made braces trying to trek longer distances. This week I finally made it to the cafe in the grocery store half a kilometer down the road and enjoyed a nice cup of coffee on my own before walking back with my fancy green custom made shoes.
I have always known they wouldn't last forever which is why the two pairs of Nikes have been such a blessing to extend the life of these ridiculously expensive shoes that my insurance didn't want to pay for (because she has a wheelchair, so why does she need shoes?). Last week at youth group, I discovered one of the other youth leaders actually works in shoe repair and retail. She heard my custom shoes were falling apart and said they could certainly be repaired - but then after learning more of the damage said they were likely better off replaced. As a shoe expert, she was pretty sure she could find the right kind to get that would work with my braces.
This past Friday, Haley brought up the shoes again and mentioned she had a pair she thought would work to replace mine. Today at church, I swapped out my faded green friends for a nice pair of Merrell walking shoes. Growing up spitting distance from the world headquarters, I'll always feel partial to my Nikes, but this new-to-me pair of shoes slid right on over the braces and fit around my feet with the extra bulk in a way the Nikes can't manage.
I'll try out this pair for a bit and keep my eyes on my toes to watch for any unexpected blisters, but I'm so grateful for the gift of another pair of shoes to take better care of my feet. I'm making such great improvements here - see the above mentioned coffee trip for evidence - and I'm so thankful for the many gifts that I've received already during my sabbatical here.
Another awesome gift I had this week was the chance to share a bit of my story at youth group on Friday. None of the students had yet heard why I was in a wheelchair, and Matt had the really cool idea to share my testimony alongside a message about miracles. I absolutely loved the juxtaposition as I listened to Matt talk about all the healing Jesus did in the Gospels then share a story of miraculous healing in his own life before introducing me to the group. My story is one of amazing healing, but it isn't limited to the physical walking. I am so blessed to get the chance to share a glimpse of life in my shoes, and I tried to make clear to the students that I joyfully follow a God who heals just like I try to testify to that every week when I write updates here. Hopefully you can join in that kilometer in my shoes as I walked down the road to get a coffee, praying under my breath the whole way, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, you are my Healer," and recognize the joy.