You couldn’t convince me that I would ever be a runner. To tell you the truth I’m not sure that I still qualify as a runner. I jog or better yet as my pastor describes it “slogging”. Being fast will never be an issue for me. I’m not looking for my next “PR”. I don’t belong to a running group or have the latest gear. However, I have discovered the gift of moving my body in a rhythm outside in God’s creation. The freedom, joy and peace that comes when walking/jogging/running is empowering, liberating and worth celebrating.
This post isn’t about training programs, running schedules or stretching techniques. That might be for another post. Tonight I write to heal, to share to connect. Tonight by typing, I’m running toward the light.
I have spent most of my adult life dealing with anxiety, fear and shame. Running from things and avoiding confrontation was a way of life. Facing my “stuff” head on wasn’t something I embraced until 2005 when I was introduced to a ministry called Celebrate Recovery (for another post). This is a new way of viewing life. I’m not running from, I’m running TO something. I’m running toward peace, love, grace and lasting freedom.
I’ve found that running away from something doesn’t make it go away. Out of sight really isn’t out of mind. Quite often I’ve been consumed with guilt, shame and fear. These days I’m ready to run into the pain, the sorrow, the shame call it what it is and allow it to be released forever. Some of the hardest work I’ve ever done is truly facing grief, loss and pain. For the last few months Nathan and I have been meeting weekly with our pastor to work through some losses in our lives. Thought patterns must be changed, fears released, dreams spoken and old agendas tossed out so reality can be recognized.
Dead ends are just that…dead. I’ve been running so fast and so hard toward something that wasn’t leading anywhere. These dead ends are painful reminders that I’ve been pursuing a path that was never mine to experience. I’ve been looking for joy and peace by running down someone else’s road and it has only brought me pain. Change is necessary. Change although hard can be life-giving. Yes, I fear what I don’t understand but if I can still my soul long enough to be honest…I’m tired.
The runner’s high is wearing off and fatigue is setting in on my soul. It’s time to feel the breeze again and run for running’s sake. It’s time to have no agenda, no pace, no time constraint. One of my favorite movies that I enjoy watching with my children is Secretariat. This movie recounts the story of a world renown race horse and it’s record-breaking times. It is a drama filled with passion, faith, family, love and inspiration. There is a great line in this movie “This isn’t about going back. This is about life being ahead of you and you run at it, because you’ll never know how far you can go unless you run.” It’s not just about “Big Red” running his race. Secretariat is about the owner, Penny, running her “race” and living life full of passion, ambition, love and faith.
My life doesn’t look like anyone else’s. I’m not where I thought I would be at 38. Parenting isn’t what I signed up for, my marriage has struggled through things I never though I would face, my dearest childhood friendships are mere memories and I’m a mere shadow of the woman I thought I would be/could be/hoped to be at this stage in my life. YET….there is hope. 40 is a big age for some. I know many people, especially women who are scared, sad or bothered by 40. I’m running towards it. It’s more than a number. My teens brought rebellion. My twenties brought a falsehood of stability but were really years of mistakes, trial and error, and stupidity. My thirties and have been plagued with fear, doubt and pride. The 40’s…..well they are going to be fabulous full of freedom, faith, fun and clarity.
One foot in front of the other. Head up, chest out, eyes open I’m going to run into this life fully awake and engaged. I’m SO done with fear. I’m SO done with chasing paths that lead to dead ends. Weary doesn’t even accurately describe how over I am trying to run someone else’s race/path or trying to make others run my race. With God’s grace I’m going to allow my children to grow up and pursue a peaceful path of their own as they run toward the Creator. My husband can feel the breeze of the Holy Spirit as he runs his own race. This life was meant to be shared with others but my journey is just that….mine. So here’s to running my race, a good one, and trusting that even if I get lost, fall down or stop for a breather that I will finish well and my prayer is to hear “Well done….”.