I can almost feel the endorphins flooding my bloodstream. Feet rhythmically brushing the pavement. Wind dancing around my face. Breathing. Moving. Racing. Sweating.
I’m a runner.
Oh how I have missed being able to say that!
My feet and breath have slowed to a walk but my mind has just started running. My post-workout smile falls. I watch it disappear in the long grass. My face now a frown.
I have always needed something to define me.
I thought I resented the designation of Pastor’s Wife – the pressure, the connotation, the expectation. Yet now that it no longer applies, I feel exposed. Naked. Vulnerable. The safety net has been ripped away and suddenly there is just me… In plain sight. Precariously aware that I have nowhere to hide.
Who am I?
Always defined by my roles. My job. My husband. My fitness.
I answer “How are you?” with news about my husband or my child or my relatives. Holding up these shields, deflecting attention away from my fragile heart.
I don’t want this.
I want to stand up straight. I want to look you in the eyes. I want to stand bold, clear of the shadows. I want to cry openly and not feel ashamed. I want to stand firm on both feet. I want to confidently speak and not constantly fear rejection. I want to be free of these chains that hold me back.
But I don’t know how.
I yearn to experience the worth I know I have. I crave to live like a beloved child who has her Father’s approval and it’s enough. I hunger to meet the world with the deep knowing that Christ in me makes me a precious, priceless vessel who has something to give! Who has limitless worth! I am an oasis of hope, love, grace and mercy that I myself receive in overflowing avalanche, every day.
Father, I need You to hold me. I need You to whisper truth in my ear. I need to feel Your presence. I need Your hand in mine.
I need You.
You are the God of the streets.
The God of the dark alleyway.
The God of the glitzy boulevard.
The God of the trendy laneway.
The God of the quiet cul-de-sac.
The God of the busy highway.
The God of the scenic avenue.
The God of the bustling arcade.
You are the God of every track. Every detour. Every roadblock.
You are the God of my missed exits, wrong turns, no entries. You are the God of my u-turns. The God of my well-worn, no-good expressways that lead away from everything good.
You are on every street I’ve ever wandered down. You tag along down every seedy plaza. You always go ahead. You meet me on the planned and unplanned journeys. When I’m window-shopping or stuck in traffic.
My life mapped out in front of me is saturated and dripping with Your presence. At every intersection. At every dead end.
There is no place You are not.
There is no place I can hide from Your love that radiates across the pages of my atlas of life.
He’s struggling to fall asleep.
I watch the sun show her face for a little while, shyly smiling from behind the patchwork of clouds. There is a jigsaw of light and shadow on the wall.
Two eyes stare up into mine.
I sway from side to side.
This movement has become second nature. The rhythm of to and fro. Shifting my weight from one foot to the other.
I’m never sure how long it will take. It could be minutes… Or it could all be in vain.
He knows this comfort now. This place close to my chest; this slumbering dance. He fights it. He wants to be independent. Exploring. Experiencing. No time to rest.
The sunlight lingers. Cars drone past; a constant trickling of movement. A tram bell tolls in the distance. Footy fans trudge excitedly by, regaled in reds, blues and yellows.
I feel like a spectator.
Watching life pass me by.
Seeing others succeed and perform and fulfil and achieve and advance and prosper. I’m sitting on the sidelines, trying to scrape together the enthusiasm to cheer them on. My voice catches in my throat as I question why I’m here.
I’m painfully aware that this is my season on the bench. A position I freely chose.
I look down and see heavy eyes slowly closing.
And my Abba holds me close to His chest; the motion of this sacred dance filling me like a glass with the clear, sweet liquid of rest. As I close my eyes I hear my Daddy’s heartbeat.
And I don’t want to be anywhere else.