Saturday, December 19, 2009


So I was running this morning as I do almost every day. It is my favorite part of the day. I have a drive and compulsion to run and pray. It is not about discipline or losing weight so much anymore. There was a time when it was, now it is a beautiful and treasured part of my day. God taps me on the shoulder early every morning and wakes me up (I know that seems a little strange, but there is no other way to describe it. Most mornings my alarm does not wake me; I wake before it goes off). Then He waits for me on my treadmill. I love to run with God; its almost like a metaphor for my life. As I run with God every morning, it helps me run with God for all of my days. I talk to him; I listen to him. I pray for people and for God's will for my life and wrestle with some of things that I struggle with or seek to understand. I gain perspective and let Him order my priorities and show me what I need to let Him change in me. I let Him give me vision or just expand the vision He has given me to show me a bigger picture or the next step. As I run with Him, He makes me hungrier for him and causes me to desire freedom and change more than I desire complacency, comfort and excuses to remain where I am or have been. I want to be free so I can be used to free others, so that nothing hinders me from knowing Him and making Him fully known. So I can shine His light everywhere I go and push back the darkness. I want to love every human being as He loves them and reach my hand into their lives and make a difference to impact them in an eternal way. It is here I gain His strength and grace to live in a place where I can strive to live for him and with him. To know that "in Him I live and move and have my being," and to "love Him with all of my heart, my mind, soul and strength and to love my neighbor as myself"; He teaches me to make "to live is Christ, and to die is gain" a truth that defines and drives me. I learn to "lay down my life for my friends (which is every living being on this Earth, created in the image of God), and to "lose my life, that I may gain life in Him". Not that any of this makes me special or gives me any place to boast. It is just who I am; it is a part of me that gives me passion and reason to rise every day and live my life to the fullest of my ability. It is what gives me hope, peace, faith, strength, vision, passion and keeps me positive and moving forward. It is a gift that my beloved Father and precious Savior have given me. My walk with God is my most treasured possession. It means more to me than anything else, including my children, my talent and every thing I have. I would rather live in a cardboard box under a bridge with the Spirit of God than dwell in a palace and rule a kingdom without Him. He is everything to me. I know that if I have Him, I have everything I need and can be totally fulfilled. Without Him, it doesn't matter what I have, it is meaningless, vain, and empty. When He found me, or really when He revealed Himself to me, I was nothing; I had nothing. I was a pregnant drug addict, who was just months out of being homeless and eating from dumpsters. I had done drugs while pregnant b/c I was selfish and self destructive. I had no hope and had never been loved by anyone. My parents hadn't been capable of loving me (I forgive them for this b/c they did not know what they were doing and had not been shown how to love). I had NOTHING and I was NOTHING, when He found me. I think that is why I love Him so fiercely and passionately; everything I have He gave me, everything I am He made me; everything I ever hope to accomplish is tied into Him. When David Fees stood me up the first night I walked into the church and said, "The Lord wants me to tell you He loves you and He has seen your tears," I was forever changed; it broke me; it freed me; it gave me hope, and joy, and faith, and purpose. Suddenly all the pain, torment, and struggle didn't matter any more b/c it all had reason and meaning and purpose. He would redeem it all and use every tear and every hurt, pain, and abuse. No one had ever loved me, so those words were like water to my parched soul. Someone loved me. Wow!!! He loved every broken, devastated, dirty, sinful, awful piece of me. My Savior reached His hand into the sewer I had spent my whole life in; he reached into the broken, hopelessness that had defined my existence. He looked at what everyone else saw as worthless trash and saw a beautiful treasure; He saw the potential that He had placed in me from birth and knew what His plans were for me and He has been faithful to hold tightly to me and lead me on the most amazing and indescribable journey. It has been an adventure and He has been so faithful to strip away layer after layer after layer and drive His healing deeper and deeper into me. He has never let go of me and never let me get stuck or give up. He whispers in my ear when I am tired and when I despair that I will ever be whole and says, "take heart my beloved, look how far I have brought you, look how different you are, doesn't your heart hurt less, don't you see how many of those heart cries and prayers I have answered." Then He takes my hand, picks me up and we continue walking and it get easier. Some day on one of these posts I will tell the whole story of how I met him.
Wow, that is not really the direction I thought this post was going to go, but I started and then my heart took over. Even as I wrote these words, I could feel the tears pouring out of my eyes and down my cheeks. I still cry when I talk or write about meeting Him. I just cannot even describe what my heart feels for Him. Words cannot describe. One of my favorite bands is Me Without You. He has a line in one of his songs, "If all the trees were pens and all the oceans ink." If all the trees were pens and all the oceans ink, I could not describe or write who grateful I am or all the ways He has blessed me.
My prayer is that everyone would find their treadmill. Not that it even has to be a treadmill. That is my place. Everyone will have a different place. That place is between you and God. It is where you meet Him. It is the place where the things of this Earth grow strangely dim in the light of Him. It is where you meet Him and are changed, fed and led. It you don't have a place, pray for one. Ask Him to give you a place that is just for you and Him. You will find that you rush anxiously to it and that every time He is waiting there for you even more anxiously. You will find that you want to spend more and more time there and that you cut out things that may not be as important as you thought they were when compared to a beautiful and precious time with The Creator and Savior of the universe who loves you and desires to walk with you every single moment of every single day.

So the original point in my post. I was running on my treadmill. I was having a little trouble with my legs, feet and ankles hurting. It takes some of the joy in running away when I am struggling through pain. As I pondered the reason for the pain, I realized it had been my choice of food. The last couple weeks I have not been really following the manner of eating that I know I need to.
That eating pattern has a little history. Right after my youngest daughter, Chloe, was born, I got very sick with Rheumatoid Arthritis. We were able to put it into remission with a total over haul of our lifestyle. Most people that know me wouldn't even ever be able to tell I had it. We caught it early enough that it did not damage my joints. That whole story and process is for another day. The point is that I do still have an autoimmune response. I have to eat a very healthy, very clean diet. Sugar, flour and processed foods must be limited. If I don't eat this way, my body begins to have symptoms of this autoimmune disease. (If you have ever wondered why I eat so weird, that is the answer.) So since Thanksgiving, I have not really towed the line. There is enough of the symptoms left over to remind me that I don't get to just eat whatever I want.
As I ran and fought through the pain that I had caused myself by making unwise food choices. I pondered the implications of this. My body will not tolerate processed fake food. Many people can eat these things with no discernible consequences (poo on you!) I feel like so many things in my life are like metaphors to teach me lessons. When we don't feed on the nutritious, healthy word of God our souls will exhibit signs of sickness or symptoms of disorder. When we feed our souls an unhealthy counterfeit, we cannot grow stronger and cannot live. Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life"; he is the "bread of life". We desperately need Him and His word. Just as bad food causes my body to respond with pain, bad food to our soul will cause our pain in our souls. Could some of the struggle and pain, depression, anger, hopelessness, and discouragement be remedied by some good food?

1 comment:

  1. First-I am praying for God to show me a place, to open my ears and shut my mouth because I know He is telling me things and I am not hearing.
    Second- You will not hear jicama comments from me anymore! :)
    Third- You Rock!!