Today I ran. Not the hobbling, oh man this doesn't feel right but I have to try, the I'll just walk for a bit until it gets better shuffle, the dismayed "this is my new reality" walk. But I really ran!! In the rain, head held high, maybe not Olympic level... But for me who felt I would never be able to really run again, it felt go-ood.
It brought me so much courage that I was convicted to write again and shout out that God is good, that He is a healer.
If I'm honest, I haven't changed. You can read more about that on my guest post at Sara Kiiru's Two Story House Blog, as part of www.sarakiiru.com. (When you have a moment, go back and read all of Sara's amazing work, as well as the guest posters in the Two Story House blog. I am honored to call these women friends, and I know you will learn as much from them as I have). As I wrote there,
"In reality, this process of moving on from a painful, teaching time—building my second story, so to speak—has exposed some really ugly things in my foundation. There’s competitiveness, pride, and jealousy in there, and I’ve come to realize this: the work God has done and is doing on my body to heal it, simply pales in comparison to the work He is doing in my heart. While I thought I had finally had that formational experience that many people talk about in their lives, the one that brings them closer to God and changes them forever, I realized to my dismay, that while I may have had such an experience, I am the same me. The me who used to compare my good deeds to those of others…still compares. The me who used to analyze every little thing I said to be sure I sounded humble enough… still analyzes. I may have grown in these areas, but boy, do I have a ways to go. In this season of my life, the Lord is calling me out of myself."
Equally as convicting as my ability to finally run without inhibition, was the sermon "The Struggle is the Same (Me Too) by Pastor Furtick from Elevation Church, in which he says, "Your struggle is a sign that God is working in you. If the devil had won, he would have taken you already! God is still at work in your struggle." Such good news, and though I still have some down days (as we all do!) I am seeing God at work every day- in my beautiful little girl who radiates joy, in new perspective, in new opportunities.
As my physical struggles ebb and flow, the emotional ones manifest in ways I thought I had conquered. I thought I had empathy down, mastered. I am constantly being taught that there is a time and place to tell my story, and that in those opportunities I must shout out about the pain and its resolve as a testament to God's glory, but there is also a time purely for empathy. Simply extending comfort and love, as Pastor Furtick explained, as opposed to advice based on our own experience. Just yesterday someone shared with me that their experience post baby was challenging. Something in me just couldn't carry on with the conversation without sharing the tale of my own struggle as opposed to the empathetic "I'm sorry, that must have been so hard" that I would have wanted myself.
I'm still in my struggle. My humanness makes me want to share my pain and trials, but my salvation makes me want to forget about myself and simply offer the message that God is so good. He WILL heal. He WILL conquer. And he WILL faithfully walk with us through our pain and deliver into moments blanketed by the Holy Spirit.
This moment, just the beginnings of one I am working on for Mama Giraffe, represents one of many cathartic moments of healing, blanketed in love and relief, just like the run.