“It’s too hard. I’m not good at it. Why me? Why now?” I’m sure these words have gone through your mind a time or two. I want to tell you a story about a time I had these thoughts, and the power that came from taking the next step.
 
In August of 2015 I tore a ligament in my knee. Not serious enough to need surgery, but serious enough to need to take it easy for 6 months before I did anything too strenuous. My doctor told me these things never fully heal. It would begin to feel better but eventually if I worked it too hard I could hurt it again. I hated it, I complained and I had a bad attitude. There were plenty of things to do that included needing the ability for my knee to be at it’s full capacity.

I was staffing a school and into it I went with excuses. Excuses of "Well it’s not going to get better so why try? mixed with excuses of "If it's never going to get better anyways I will do what I love now and let it get worse later in life." Neither one is the healthy answer.

What I don’t want to tell you is to not trust your doctors advise. They are very skilled in their fields and we should listen to them. But something inside of me was screaming why will my knee never be completely better when God is calling me to staff a school where I need to backpack and walk more than I ever have before?

I did it, I would go on hikes. I would walk miles and miles a day with a knee brace on not truly enjoying it because of the pain I was in. Halfheartedly I went through this phase because I thought, God can heal this, if He is calling me to it then of course he will heal it, but the other half wearing my brace believing my doctors words. “it will never fully heal.” Inside I was angry, isolated, trying to believe that God was healing me, while on the outside putting on a pretty face and saying “God’s got this.” It’ll all be okay.

A few weeks into the DTS I was asked to lead a team to Peru and that our hike would be the Inca Trail. There is so much hype around that trail and I didn’t want to miss out if my knee was bad.  So again the excuses came, I can do it because I am strong enough. Or I shouldn’t do it because I could risk hurting it more. I worried about it constantly even when I wouldn’t let on. I asked everyone I could think of for advice. I did this because I didn’t want to ask God for fear he would say no. The advice they gave me was the same “Ask God”.

I did eventually, it was my last resort. God said “Do it, trust me. I want to heal your knee. You’ve made every excuse, you’ve doubted that I would heal even when I said I would.“ I signed up for the Inca Trail. The night before came. We went to pay the last of the deposit, the excuses came. My knee still hurt. I thought of backing out, of giving up, thinking God hasn’t healed it yet, he’s really just going to heal it tomorrow?

I went, I actually still went the next day because I wanted to. I thought I was going for God but looking back I wasn't.  And my knee hurt . Just a few minutes into the hike I was saying to myself “Why did I do this?” Then a voice came, it was God saying  “I’m the only one you have left to trust. Do you want to take the step? Trust that if you do I will bring healing.” I gave up, I said yes. The only one I had left to get me through was Jesus. To this day my knee isstill healed. 
 
I took the step (metaphorically and literally speaking). I trusted God. He did what He promised. Now I look back and think. Why did I go through all the trouble. Why didn’t I just trust Him first. He was teaching me a lesson to depend on him when I couldn’t see or feel the answer. That is what faith is. Do you see the power in it? When we trust and depend on God and God alone that's when it happens. That's when it's powerful. It changes us and changes others.

Most of the time we will never see or feel the answer when God is asking us to trust Him. We will never know the full picture. When we do though, it's more beautiful and breathtaking than we could imagine. So take the step. Let God change you.

-Sarah Martinez