identity

Yesterday, I came to the conclusion that I have always had something to find my identity in, but I think that is true of most people.

When I was a young girl in school, I was smart.

When I got into high school and college I was a cheerleader. I told everyone that.

My last semester in college I started dating this guy so I was his girlfriend for 4 1/2 years.

After we broke up, I started running. Then, I was a runner. I found myself telling people so and it was a fact most people knew about me for my adult life.

Then, the unexpected happened. I was injured training for a marathon and never really healed. I didn’t know who I was. I couldn’t hang out with those friends anymore because they were doing something that I could no longer do -> run.

I struggled in trying to find my place in this world. I suddenly didn’t know where I belonged anymore.

I had been back in church for a year or two at this point so I was slowly but surely starting to recognize the gospel. So in the past 2-3 years I have found my true identity.

And, that brings me to yesterday I was sitting in church listening to the message when I had to write my ideas down.

I don’t ever have to wonder who I am or where I belong anymore, because I know that I am His and He is mine.

identity

That is where my identity lies from now till forever, in the love of Christ. I don’t ever have to wander this world alone again. I am saved by grace through faith.

For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.  {Ephesians 2:8}

What about you?  Where do you find your identity?

unanswered prayers

unanswered prayers

I thank God every day that my ex-boyfriend and I never got married.  That was 5 years ago and I can’t imagine where I’d be if we did.  I can only think lonely, depressed, and unhealthy.

So, sometimes He says, in His infinite wisdom, “No.”  We may be hurt and cry and pout but, in the end, we thank Him, because like an earthly father he is acting in our best interest, even when we think He’s being unfair.

I’m sure you’ve seen or heard the saying – God has 3 answers for our prayers: Yes, Not Yet, or I have something better for you.  It’s so true, right?

I love this illustration of how we want to hold on to something so badly we don’t see what He has for us is so. much. better.

Just-trust-Me

We only need to trust.  Are you trusting today?  What is God asking you to let go of?

and if not…

Perhaps that is why, in His bewildering mercy, God sometimes shatters our fondest dreams, or at least allows them to be shattered.  (Whether He is the cause or merely allows it to happen, the result is the same.  And in the midst of the pain, the distinction doesn’t always seem important)

In His sovereignly run universe, the unthinkable sometimes happens–the nightmare we thought we’d never have to face.  And no relief comes, sometimes not for years.  More frequently than untested Christians expect, God removes the one source of joy and meaning that we were counting on to make our lives worth living, and replaces it with nothing.

These are the words from Larry Crabb’s “Creating a True Spiritual Community” that I was reading as my phone rang a few weeks ago.  I received news that my grandmother was being taken to the hospital in an ambulance.  No one could tell me what had happened or what they were doing.

I’m a thinker and sometimes I think that I think too much.  What’s going to happen?  What am I going to do?  What can I do?  But the truth is – God has already thought it through.  He already knows where it’s leading and where it came from.  He knows.  We always hope that the outcome will be good, that we will like His plan, but that’s not always the case.  We have to remember those wise words of Ann Voskamp:

And if not, He is still good.

things i miss about running

So, I think, I am retired from running.  I know all you runners are gasping at this and trust me, it’s not an easy thing for me to say.  I have actually been considering it for a while now.  Ever since I injured another part of my body while my torn hamstring was healing.  Don’t worry, these were not my only injuries ever as a runner.

Truth is, running is hard.  It takes a lot out of your body, especially long-distance running, which was my preferred method.  I’m sad.  There are so many things I will miss.

things i miss

  1. Exploring the city on foot
  2. The feeling of accomplishment as I top a hill
  3. Crossing a finish line
  4. Being one with nature
  5. Seeing how far and fast I could go
  6. Jamming to my playlist
  7. Making up a new playlist
  8. Runner’s High
  9. Reflection
  10. Running in a summer rain

Some of these things I can experience by walking around or hiking.  I plan on doing a lot of hiking now.  That is something I never would have done before because I was so concerned about getting my run in, but now, I have all the time in the world.  It’s kind of weird to think that.  I started running when I was 26 and I am retiring 5 years later.  I don’t want to, but my body does.  I have to listen to my body.  It’s not worth not being able to walk when I am older.

Have you had to hang up your running shoes?  What would you miss if you did?

Oh, and don’t move AT ALL

womp womp womp womp. BANG BANG BANG BANG.  CLANGITTY CLANGITTY CLAGITTY.  CLANG CLANG CLANG.

real

Yes, my friends this is what it sounds like inside of a MRI scan.  I only had to be in there for 14 minutes but that was long enough.

The technician handed me ear plugs as I laid down.  The machine was already making a noise.  I didn’t think I really needed the ear plugs for that.  I could handle it.  After all, I am a first grade teacher.

He told me that would hear a lot of banging and not to move AT ALL.  Well, ok then.  (Truthfully, my knee started aching about halfway through.  I think I was holding my breath because I didn’t want to do this again.)

All week I had been fine.  “I’m not nervous about the MRI,” I told co-workers and friends.  “I am more nervous about the results and what’s to come,” I said.  This is a girl who spent the majority of her teens in tanning beds.  (I know, I know.  I don’t go anymore but I did during 2000-2001 prom season.)  Surely, it couldn’t be any worse than that.  I mean, a tanning bed actually closes over you.

Ok, here’s the truth.  That noise was scary.  Not in the way that I felt like I was going to be harmed scary, but in the way that haunted houses are scary.  You know that nothing’s actually going to happen to you but there’s still a healthy fear there.

Not only was I in this tiny enclosed space, but it was so loud.  Literally, my head is throbbing right now, but inside there I was not hurting.  I was nervous.  Irrational anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks.

I just started praying and praising.  Worship over worry, right?  I’m thankful to be healthy, to have an able body, even if I can’t run right now.  It will come, all at the right time.  I could be battling much scarier things than a bum knee.  I know that and do not want to take that for granted.  I’m grateful the overabundance of people who care about me and share a common thread in my life.  I’m overwhelmed by the love I feel that I desire to share what I can with others so that they may make their lives shine brighter.  As the name states, I live with an overwhelmed heart and for that I express gratitude.  So, no matter what that scan reveals, I know that I have enough.

gratitude

 Have you ever had an MRI or a scarier scan?

What has your worse injury been?  How did you overcome it?