So this afternoon’s conversation with God went something like this.
God: “Are you ready?”
Me: (cause I am super honest): “I’m not sure.”
God: “Can you be ready?”
Me: (cause as of late I have learned to trust My Father more and more): “Yes.”
So I have taken off. And I am running, running. And it is a joyful freeing feeling, knowing I am running toward something awe inspiring. And yes, if you saw my Facebook post, I invited you to come along, because I have learned, and am learning, to let people in. So come join me.
Only, I am not quite sure where I am racing to. Or when. Or what will be there when I get there. So I race.
Now friends, if you know me much at all, you know I don’t run. The knees decided about 15 years ago (so let’s say I was around 27) that we weren’t going to run anymore. We were going to walk. We walked a lot of places for a lot of years. We walked fast, and slow. (Yes, we preferred walking outside, how can one stand to be inside when God’s beautiful world is just waiting for us to enjoy?) Eventually we got so we could lift weights, and swim. But we don’t run, so this constant mental image of running, and being completely and wildly joyful, is, well, bizarre.
Here’s the other thing. I have a lifelong habit of running away, not towards. Mainly from people. Yes, I have friends, good friends. And family that loves me. But on the whole, I have let myself fall into the habit of shying away from people. I am not sure entirely why. Part of it may be that ever since I was a little kid, I have known I was different. You know, off the beaten path different. It’s not that I wanted to be “normal.” I didn’t. I don’t. But, see, I couldn’t if I tried. I wouldn’t know how.
And I like myself, I do. Self confidence has never been too much of a problem. Well, mostly. I have a huge gaping weakness as far as relationships with people go. It is a deep and abiding sense of rejection that has haunted me to the point I would rather not try, than to risk being known, and turned away. So I play this game called “Safe.” I am safe because if I don’t try, I won’t be turned away, and stability will remain.
Now being an introvert, and getting my energy being alone, it isn’t much effort at all to stay safe. I can entertain myself for hours, (even without Facebook). Staying safe didn’t drain me of energy, on the surface anyway. But apparently it drained me deep down inside in a different way. It drained my soul, because I am not a person who does well being without a community. Despite thinking I didn’t need it, it wasn’t until I found it that I learned what I had missed out on for 41 years.
I wish it hadn’t taken a tornado to get my attention. But it did. And then something inside me snapped. The terror of my sense of physical safety was torn down, and the only way I knew how to deal was initially to pray (yes, alone, wasn’t there yet). And then gradually, to reach my hand out to help. I had no idea that so many people would take it. No clue that so many others would reach their hands out, and that we would find ourselves standing together, working together.
And instead of it wearing me down like I thought it would, being with people so often, it built me up. Yes, I am still an introvert. I still prefer 1-1 or small groups. I still get my energy back being alone. But something in me came alive that never had before. Belonging. Who knew? Me. I could belong just the way I am and just the way God made me.
Here is the path I walk on where I do my best “running.” This has become my safe place where I can talk to God, and just race into His joy. (Yes, this is in Rowlett).
Now I am quite certain life is about to get a lot more interesting. Because if the last week or two says anything, it will. Turns out running toward instead of away has that affect. Now I said I am not doing this trip alone, so won’t you come with me? I want you to feel what I am feeling, and know what I know.
Friends, we are so loved. We are safe, even when the world tumbles down around us. And we have a community that surpasses my greatest expectations.
Come with me and Let’s Go!!!