The Psoas…… Have you ever heard of it?
I had never heard of it. I really didn’t even know it existed. But, one day I had excruciating back pain. Not lower back pain, but mid back pain. This pain, it would be there one minute and then feel as if it disappeared, until I moved just right again… I wondered what in the world could be causing it. I blamed the pain on my jelly belly (ie lack of core muscles), my chair (no support), my huge and heavy bag that I whipped over my shoulder on a daily basis, could it be the stress of my Master’s program, possibly the fact that I’m on my feet for a majority of my day (teacher-itis) and I figured that if I stretched my back enough, it would go away. It didn’t. Maybe if I cracked my back, it would go away. It didn’t. In fact, the pain just grew. I looked like a 130 year old person getting out of my van every day. Nothing I did improved it.
My family was headed on vacation and I thought to myself, if I don’t have a miracle occur I am going to have a complete “cannot move, get me to the hospital” type of experience and that was not in my vacation plans. I prayed and begged God to remove the pain, but no relief. I bargained with God… (have you ever done that?) I said “God, if you could please remove this pain…. I know I have neglected my body. I know this is my fault. I need to take care of the body you gave me. I will Lord! Just please remove the pain!” The next morning, the pain was still there, but the name Jess was in my brain. Jess is an amazing masseuse and work out guru, she’s a friend that I met through LAUGH…. “Jess, I’m desperate. I can’t move and I’m leaving in two days.” She welcomed me in and it was then that she introduced me to “Boaz, my Psoas.” (No, she didn’t call it that, but I have belovingly referred to it that way since the day we met). Jess pushed here and there and applied some direct (felt like finger-poking-through-my-body when she was actually only gently touching a very angry Psoas) pressure. She kindly but straightforward explained that she could tell Boaz was unhappy and that I needed to take better care of Boaz through preventative stretching and yes, core work, not carrying my heavy bag on my shoulder, etc, etc….. Jess explained to me that the Psoas muscle, though rarely thought about, can cause immense pain and do a lot of damage to the rest of the body if not taken care of.
Hmmmmm. Jess was talking about my psoas, but in my heart, I felt a much deeper stirring. Job 38:7-8 says “My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body.8 I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart.” I knew I had not been paying attention to the health of my body. If I’m completely honest, I had been relying on my own strength to balance my crazy life. God had opened amazing doors for me over this last year, opportunities that were beyond my wildest imagination and experiences that He had ordained and that were bigger than any human should attempt to handle on their own…… and in gratitude, I said “Thank you, Lord. I’ve got it!” And I did, I had it… until Boaz, my psoas, let me now that I had been neglecting important things. I had been neglecting my time with God and I had been relying on my own strength to accomplish things that were beyond my capabilities. Things that God created me for, but not things that I could do without Him. Thus, the need to meet up with Boaz. Boaz, my psoas, is my personal reminder that if I’m not purposeful and intentional about my priorities – it will fester and it will cause me pain and it can do damage to the rest of my body. Painful, harmful damage.
Philippians 4:13 says that “I can do ALL things through Him who gives me strength.” It’s not my strength. Boaz proved that. It’s God. I plan to rely on Him….(Sorry Boaz). How ‘bout you? Who will you rely on?