Against all my better instincts, yet with all my ridiculous competitiveness pushing me forward, I made the decision a few months ago to start running. Let me preface this little reflection by saying that I HATE to run. I have asthma and patellar tendonitis, and I am just not a “runner” by nature. I love playing sports, but just never have the inkling to “go for a run.” I envy the people who do this habitually, but never enough to try it myself. I’m all for taking a walk, and love the evening air after a long day. But running? No, thanks.
Then, this year happened. I’ve gone through a super rough season in the last few months, and felt like trying something new. I don’t have much patience or ambition for things I’m not good at, especially something that certainly doesn’t come easily to me. But this just seemed like it would be such a rewarding challenge. And how right I was! I started this little training program with an awesome free app that creates your workouts for you, and even does the timing for you, which has been a great motivation.
All was well, I was going out to run every couple days and feeling great about it! Then last week, I hit a little speed bump. Not literally. But it really happened.
I made the mistake of looking ahead at the next workout and saw that it had a couple runs in it that were significantly longer than any I had done up to that point. And I got a little scared. Before I knew it, almost a week had passed and I had made excuses for every workout I was supposed to have had. I was too tired, or too busy, or would rather do anything else instead. And I was so discouraged, because I had been doing so well up to that point, but all of a sudden felt like I wouldn’t EVER run again, I was too afraid.
I went for a walk that morning to think about it. I thought just getting out of the house that way would at least help. And there I was, walking around the neighborhood, asking God what the heck was going on in my brain these last few days. What was I afraid of? Why was I so petrified of trying this next challenge on the workout plan? And then a few things clicked into place (thanks, God). First, I was afraid that I’d try this run and I wouldn’t be able to do it, I’d have to stop and rest. Seriously? THAT’S the big, paralyzing fear? That I might fail? And no one will know and there will be no consequences other than me having to try again the next time? Yup. That’s it. Ouch.
And it didn’t stop there. God wasn’t through with this analogy yet. He slowly led me to think about how I’ve been feeling lately, letting emotional words like “overwhelmed” and “anxious” float to the front of my mind. As I thought about it, He brought to mind the paralyzing fear that has had a grip on me emotionally, as well. I’m at a place in my heart where I have to take the next step in healing and letting go and I just don’t feel ready. I’m scared of what it will mean for me to say goodbye to some of my dreams for the future and to let go and let God stitch up some parts of my heart that have been left exposed to the elements. I’m scared that I will go for it and that it will be harder than any of the previous journeys and that I will have to stop and rest, and maybe even start over. Just like on the workouts, what’s the worst that could happen? No one is watching and waiting for me to fail. No one will know if I have to stop to rest. No one will know if I have to give up and try again the next day. What am I so worried about?
I’m worried about accepting the undeniable truth that life includes failure and brokenness.
And that’s where I am, smack dab in the middle of the beautiful mess that is life, surrounded by truths avoid accepting because they aren’t pretty or organized or orderly. And today, I will let God’s truth be my foundation: ““My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
I trust HIM above all else, and will look to HIM to run with me…or walk with me….through whatever comes next.
P.S. Also LOVED this fun little list on running from a fellow WordPresser, check it out! Things I Have Learned from Running