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This past August I begrudgingly became aware of a persistent, annoying lower back pain. It wasn’t until October that I admitted my usual exercises and tricks to alleviate back pain were not working. It was no longer simply an annoyance, but had become an all-day, devilish nuisance.

I went to my doctor, who sent me to a physical therapist. I’ve dealt with minor to severe back pain throughout the past decade, but oddly, I’d never been to a physical therapist.

At the end of my first appointment, as is typical with physical therapy, I had my first homework assignment. Breathing. Breathing?!? To be honest, I thought I had mastered that a long time ago. I’ve literally been breathing for a lifetime. But now, I had to re-learn it.

I’ve spent this first month of physical therapy learning, or re-learning, not only how to breathe properly, but how to stand, and how to walk. Such basic things. Over a lifetime, doing these most basic and essential things, I’ve spent very little time thinking about the particularities of the movements and actions. I’ve just done them.

All it took was a short explanation from my physical therapist, or a small corrective measure, and I found myself constantly recognizing an unhealthy posture, an unhelpful stance. These days the pain is slowly dissipating, though it is largely up to me to notice and make changes based on what I’ve learned from my physical therapist.

My going out and coming in, rising up and lying down is being slowly reshaped by small little lessons twice a week from a physical therapist.

I read The Twelve because it is often just the tweak I’m looking for: perhaps a small change in perspective, an idea I’d never considered, a nice, fresh breeze blowing through my whole long lifetime of sameness. It can be just the balm I need for a growing ache in my life, a glimmer of hope I hadn’t yet seen.

Supporting the Reformed Journal, and The Twelve, is an acknowledgment that, in our lifetime of accustomed sameness, new perspectives are helpful and good.

Like any meaningful project, any good prescription, there are costs. No matter how many volunteers give their writings to this page, technology’s hunger for improvement is voracious. We can support the good of the project and the need for on-going improvement in small, one-time gifts, and by on-going monthly gifts by clicking the blue button below and finding an option that works best for you.

I hope you’ll consider supporting this good project and all the ways it will likely inform, instruct, and encourage your life in the year ahead.

Thank you for joining us on the journey.

Support The Reformed Journal

Your monthly financial contribution allows us to continue to express the Reformed faith theologically; to engage issues that Reformed Christians meet in personal, ecclesiastical, and societal life.

Katy Sundararajan

Katy enjoys writing here at the Reformed Journal about the small things that give us pause and point us to great wonder, the things that make our hearts glad and remind us of where our hope comes from. You can find more of Katy’s writing through Words of Hope free daily devotionals, and in Guideposts’ All God’s Creatures: Daily Devotions for Animal Lovers. Give Katy a good book, a pretty view, or a meal around the table with laughing people and she’ll say, “All is well.”

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