Has it really been a week since I have been in this space? Wow! Life moves quickly doesn't it?
How is life treating you theses days?
Things here are going well. I am learning to "just be" in these times when God gives Miss Courtney a time of rest from illness or seizure related complications. There is plenty of time to worry and burden carry but for today I lace up my shoes and enjoy a little of my favorite time of year...Fall.
I left the house this morning feeling heavy. It had been three days since I had laced these shoes and I knew my body would be talking to me in that language that is so unique to me.
My legs chimed in first with I am tired. Why do I have to so this?
I made a concentrated effort to lengthen my stride and lift my shoulders to take in more oxygen. I tried to keep my core pulled in but dag nap it there is a LOT of core there people and this takes a Herculean effort most days.
As I began to move from my fast paced walking into my "let's imitate and 90 year old whose had a stroke" jogging, my mind went into overdrive sounding like a cranky old lady...
"Listen sister, who do you think your kidding? You can't do this. Your freaking old, fat and the spandex your wearing is stretched beyond capapsity. Don't you want to head back home and slip into comfortable yoga pants, have a muffin or twelve, sit back and chill?"
I tripped over a lip in the sidewalk cement which was enough to shake me out of that little revelry. I needed to pay attention to where my feet were going.
I did my best to shake off the cranky old lady in my head and take in the sun on my face, breathe in the sweet breeze and the smell of fresh cut grass.
My heart rate was picking up and the sweat began to trickle (well let's be real...flood...) down my back and face. I concentrated on taking deep breathes and stretching my legs with each stride I took.
Then I saw my nemesis...a little spot in my daily route...it's a hill that's awesome to go down...but a bitch to run back up. I have yet to do it. I usually walk this part giving myself a little break halfway through my workout.
Today I knew for many reasons both physically and psychologically I needed to run up that hill.
I needed to go down turn and go back up...without stopping...
It is amazing what can go through my mind in the very moment I have decided to shut out the cranky old lady and focus on the power on the ONE Who Breathes Life into my very soul, every hour of every day.
I cranked up my iPod which was playing Jesus Culture's "I've Got to Sing"...
Words could never say the way He says my name He calls me lovely No one ever sees the way He looks at me He sees me holy Words could never hold this love that burn my soul Heaven holds me, oh heaven holds me
I began to go down the hill humming "He calls me lovely..." taking each stride, stretching as far as I could.
There is weight on these legs and this mushy core carrying years of emotional overeating, years of tapping down the pain of the the hand I have been dealt in life.
There is worry, doubt, humiliation, fear, anger, frustration, hopelessness and anxiety wrapped around my bones that jiggles every time I walk and when I jog...well...it ain't pretty...let me tell you!
Every weekness is there for all to see and I have recently made a choice.
I am done carrying it. Done I tell you!
I understand there is much work to be done to be rid of such burdens but I am ready to embrace the hard work and today that hard work began with this hill.
I breathe in and out, listening to the words and moving in cadence with the melody...
I can't hold my love back from You I can't hold my love back from You I've gotta sing, I've gotta sing, sing my love
I'm singing Jesus...I am singing with my every breath. Thank you Lord for these legs strong enough to carry the blessing that I've been given. Strong enough to bend and bow in prayer then arise when You have called me forth in service. Strong enough to carry the broken body of the one you trusted me to love back into your arms.
As I reached the turn at the bottom of my little hill, my legs began to burn. I wanted to stop with everything in me. That cranky old lady was laughing at me "Told Ya. You shouldn't have had that extra serving last night. Ha! Your never going to get this. Your going to scare the middle schoolers standing at the bus stop with your huffing. YOU CAN"T DO IT!! YOUR TOO FAT!!"
Tears sprang to my eyes and that old defeated feeling sunk into my heart. I can't do this. I just need to walk. I can walk fast. I don't need to jog. This is stupid.
I began to slow down...then the words came though my ear buds...
You would not believe the way He touches me He burns right through me And I could not forget every word He said He always knew me The earth could never hold this love that burns my soul Heaven holds me oh heaven holds me
He is with me right now. He has the strength to do this even if I don't. He's not tired, fat and overwhelmed with life. He is Jesus and He is the wind beneath your feet...so MOVE it girl...GET UP THAT HILL...YOU ARE STRONG...with ME ALL things are possible...BEAT this hill!
It wasn't pretty. It was huffy and puffy and sweaty and burning...but...I GOT UP THAT DAMN HILL!!
I cried at the top as I went back to my fast walk heaving and hiccuping trying to force oxygen into my burning lungs. Nope...no drama here. HA! But I didn't care what I looked like. I didn't care about the sweat that was pouring out of every part of me.
I DID IT!!
Those legs and core that hold too much weight...I moved them by the grace of GOD and I conquered the hill.
As I listened once more the music took over and I lifted my hands in praise..in the middle of the sidewalk...as I kept walking toward home and my comfy yoga pants...
I can't hold my love back from You I can't hold my love back from You I've gotta sing I've gotta sing, sing my love
This work that is in front of me is some of the hardest work I have ever done in my lifetime.
Embracing change is hard.
Trying to get rid of old baggage is so necessary and filled but such freedom but it requires constant vigilance over mind and body.
It requires my daily surrender to My Creator and His plan for my life.
But He is on MY side! He is on YOUR side! He loves me (and YOU too!) and wants me to love myself in return. This is the hardest thing for me...but I am getting there slowly...with lots of sweat and tears...both cleansing the toxins out of my body and soul.
That hill will be there tomorrow and I will greet it the same way as I did today...with sweat and tears bringing freedom and joy.
I can't hold my praise back from You I can't hold my praise back from You I've gotta shout, I've gotta shout, shout my praise I can't hold my praise back from You
I can't hesitate anymore. I need to let go of all the STUFF that has held me back from fully taking on this journey, this mission Jesus has just for me.
Change is coming. Life is meant to include suffering and trials. These are necessary for my faith to be refined and molded as He needs it to be.
"In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;"
Running from them just makes the meeting of them more painful.
So I shall stand strong, arms open to whatever He has in store for me today.
I will praise Him for the privilege of this life I have.
These incredible people I get to love every single day.
The community of believers I get to worship with every week.
The incredible group of Youth I get to minister to.
Life is full of possibility. There will be pain. There will be worry. There will be challenges.
There is an answer to all of it and that is the LOVE of Our Savior...