Monday, April 2, 2012

The Running Feeling

Photo credit: MPH photography.  Amazing Artist!

How did it feel? Is the first question my mother asks as I hobble back to the car after my first 5k.
It felt intimidating waiting to start the run with a group of people who belong on the cover of a running magazine.  It felt frightful.  What if I slip?  What if I can only continue for a short time and have to walk the whole way back?  What if my knee doesn't hold up and I just can't run through the pain?

Pushing past those thoughts...

It feels like your body is whispering words of thanks through every stride.  It feels like your feet are clusters of feathers and you finally realize that you have always had the ability to fly.

It feels like every can't, won't, shouldn't, is being crushed with every step on the pavement.  You feel like a champion crushing all the attempts to defeat your spirit and crush your heart.  You feel free.  Free of any form of mental disability and any attempts at lies that try to nest in your mind.

Even though I stopped running for several years, running always been there.  Like my running shoes, it waited quietly on the shelf for my return.   My return wasn't glorious or applause worthy.  I didn't run like I belonged on the cover of a magazine.  I just got up and ran.

As my mom followed me in the mini van full of my children, I realized that this running feeling reached over and touched the hearts of those I love.  My mother was full of pride.  She saw her daughter who a year ago was emotionally beaten down and wore the clothes of defeat hold her head up and face the long road with a smile on her face.  With every wave at my children at every kilometer I knew that this running feeling was spilling over to them.  I was showing them that life will knock you down but you will always have the ability to get up and run.

Taken by my 6 year old after the run.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bitterness Blooms

A fruit that requires patience and gentleness to really enjoy.

That day at court when the judge wouldn't hear the concerns I had for my children or the risks that I was trying to avoid - something took root.

That day in court when after speaking to the judge my soon to be ex-husband made immature faces at friends who came to support me.  That thing began to sprout.

Later on love escaped me - again.  I felt the vine growing and tightening around my feet and binding up my hands.

When I looked at my dreams, settled on my plans and was cautioned by my reality the branches now took a hold of my heart and anger bloomed.

In the minutes before my head found the pillow and my eyes released pools of loneliness, disappointment and rejection, I felt that bitter fruit take my breath away.

There it was - a bitterness I could taste in my mind, heart and breath.  After times in court with my husband when victory seemed to elude me I fell hard.  I fell back.  When I got up I waved that finger at God asking him about his whereabouts and his intentions.  I question his love and his commitment to me and my family.  I treat him like a wayward husband who is prone to abandonment and unfaithfulness.  Eventually I find myself turning away from him and ignoring his gentle calls to me.  How could he let me go through this?  How could he put my family through so much only to call us to this desolate place?  How could he?

Then something happens in the place that I crawl to beside him.  This place that he carefully carved with his arms where my body feels the weight of his protection and the comfort of his love.  He speaks to me and shows me his mercies.  He begins to cut away that fruit, cut down the branches and uproot that bitter plant that grew so deep.

I begin to see that he is carrying me and my kicking and screaming have only made him hold on tighter.  I begin to see that he won't let us go no matter how much others may abandon or try to hurt us.
I begin to see that he is waiting for my complete surrender and obedience.
I begin to see that out of my bitter circumstances something new can take root and bloom.

Then I begin - again.