I have had this blog in my mind for days. But I've really been procrastinating posting it. It's somewhat of a raw one, with raw emotions. And sometimes it's hard for me to write these things because, well, sharing to the depths of the heart is revealing and can be scary. But why stop now? So, let me tell you what I've been putting off.
I have decided not to run the full marathon in September. I have decided to knock down to the half. It has been an agonizing decision for me. I wanted the full so badly. For so many reasons. It was to prove things to myself. To prove things to others. It was like carrying out a conversation with my mom still, since it originated with her. So, the decision has not been an easy one for me. It's made me feel quite humbled for saying to everyone....don't tell me I can't....and statements of the such. The entire process has been one of growth and learning.
Last Saturday I went out and "ran" 15 miles. I'd been having some nagging doubts about it, but I set out pretty determined. By mile 12 I was in tears. Not because of pain...to be quite honest my muscles were really not bad. But it was because I knew what my decision needed to be. I'd never make the 6 hour cutoff time that this marathon has. Based on my times that day, I knew it. So i cried. Really I wept. Seems silly probably to you. But it is hard to give up a goal, even if the decision is made in wisdom. I shouldn't say "give up" the goal. To be honest, I was mad. I didn't want to quit on this goal. But I was reminded that I"m not quitting it...I'm postponing it. I'll set out to do one in the spring. I still want to do one. I just really wanted this one because it's what mom and I talked about together in her last months. But I've been humbled and have to admit that it's just not going to happen. I"m tired. My body is tired. I've faced a lot of exhausting events in 6 months time. So, my body is telling me to wait. And slowly, I'm beginning to accept that. I will still do the half. And I am hoping by that time, I will be in full acceptance of this, and really enjoy the race. Enjoy the moments I have with Michael in those couple days. I'll keep telling you about it. It's hard to admit this. I think there will be some who say "I told you so." Or some who make comments such as..."well, you could still...why are you giving up?" And I'll just have to take the comments with humility. (Easier said than done.) I want to finish well. Not just finish. Sometimes the goal is just to finish. But in this case, I want to do it well. So I'll keep training. I was also reminded through this last week and this decision, that maybe I lost sight of the real prize...and what i'm really trying to attain...which is in my heavenly destination as Paul talks of in several different passages of scripture. Goal are fine and good even, but when they becoming consuming, well, it's not a God-driven goal. So one step at a time, I accept this. I am humbled. And so in a sense, starting over in some ways. Remembering what my goal is and working towards that...both heavenly and here on earth. And that my goal is not just to finish in this life , but to finish well. I want to hear Him say to me one day, "well done." Right now, I'm not there. And that's raw honesty.
LIfe is like that...the process of working through grief is like that. It's a cycle . Reminders. Training. Learning. Growing. Feeling pain. Feeling humbled. My running journey often parallels my life journey. At the same time I learn a new aspect of training in distance, I'm usually learning spiritually. And when I am knocked down physically and taken down a notch in my marathon journey, typically God is teaching me something spiritually. it's crazy how they really go hand in hand for me. I wanted to quit for a little while-I won't lie. But i know what running does for me, and that would be crazy. It was the discouragement speaking. Happens that way for me in other ways. They just kind of parallel each other. And I'm sure that God didn't do that by mistake.
Grief hits at strange times and in strange ways. In some ways , for me, letting go of this particular marathon, is letting go of my mom a little more. I don't think that anyone really understands that, but it's how it is for me. I'm still accepting that. Oh, I know mom is better off. And I know that I wouldn't wish her back here because she is perfect and not sick in heaven. And I was ready to say goodbye as much as I possibly could. But when I say letting go, I mean learning to live without her. She is always a part of me. But well, just letting go of this race at that distance is letting go a little more. And accepting a little more. Please don't tell me to move on. Or let go. Or be done with my grief. It takes time. And this is another step for me. I've shared that I have been diagnosed with depression. Well, people with depression often feel to deeper level and take more time to process through things like grief. I just thought I'd share that with those who don't know that. For those who think I cry too much or feel too much. It just is who I am. And I am ok with that. Oh, I hate it sometimes. It's my "thorn" . But one day, I think somehow it will be used. And someday maybe I won't have to take medication for depression. And if not, I'll just have to keep accepting my "thorn".
I often work through things through music as much as through my running. I love music. Steven Curtis Chapman has some really amazing songs that have touched me deeply through this whole process. I read a book by his wife while my mom was in her last months. It was called Choosing to SEE . Anyway, they lost a daughter suddenly when she was run over by a car. This book touched me, as I could really relate to some of the things she shared. And Steven Curtis Chapman wrote a CD from this time in their life, titled Beauty Will Rise. I am closing this blog by sharing one of the many songs on that CD that I have played over and over and over. I hope the words strike you, too. I am continuing on, even in my running, one day at a time.....
I am broken, I am bleeding, I am scared and I'm confused,
but You are faithful. Yes, YOu are faithful
I am weary , unbelieving,
God help my unbelief.
You are faithful
I will proclaim it to the world, I will declare it to my heart
I"ll sing it when the sun is shining
I'll scream it in the dark.
YOu are faithful. You are faithful.
When you give and when you take away
Even then still your name is faithful.
You are faithful
And with everything inside of me
I am choosing to believe You are faithful.
I am waiting for the rescue I know is sure to come
cuz You are faithful.
I've dropped anchor in your promises and I am holding on,
cuz You are faithful.
Though I cannot have the answer I am wanting to demand,
I'll remember you are God and everything is in your hand.
In your hands You hold the sun and moon, the stars up in the sky
For the sake of love, You hung your own son on the cross...to die.
YOu are faithful, yes, You are faithful
When you give and when you take away,
Even then, great is your faithfulness! Great is your faithfulness!
And with everything inside of me...I am choosing to believe...You are faithful.