Dear Me ~
Remember when you wrote this? Remember how this process began? Do not ever forget.
I remember when I first started to run almost a year and a half ago now. I could barely make it twice around the subdivision. I would eagerly give up after I hit that second loop because I was tired and ready to be done. But now I hit that second loop and have no problem pushing right through the breathlessness. I really don't think I am in any better shape. I have had a pregnancy and two months of no exercise. The difference is that my view of pain has changed. When I was pregnant, I wanted so badly to go out and move. To run, to feel the wind, to have that outlet. But I couldn't. I could barely make it through a day. I think two years ago when I started using exercise as an outlet, I knew in my spirit that I was about to enter a defining time of my life. I didn't know then all that would come down, but I sensed it. Having lived the past two years, I have learned to lean into the pain, knowing it will make me stronger. I no longer run from it. I have learned to lean in.
Tonight as I ran, the snow was melting all around me. Water was running down the street in cascading rivers reaching for the drainpipes. It was as though I could visibly see the snow hills shrinking. I couldn't help but feel it in my soul too. Tonight I felt the thaw. So much has happened and I have gone to such lengths to protect my heart, that it has been safe, but frozen. Which means all but dead...dormant. Tonight as the streams of melting snow ran down the road under my feet, it was as though it was running out of me too. That maybe, just maybe this is the beginning of something new. That spring could be on the horizon. That new life is about to spring up, and the parts of me that have laid dormant will awaken in the warmth of the spring.
I didn't want to thaw. I resisted it. I knew I was choosing to remain safe and to keep my illusion of control. I loosened my grip on hope and faith and love. I all but let it go. But Love held me. And the warmth of Spring is gently beckoning me. And my heart, while still buried under a mountain of snow, can feel the sun seeping through, and instead of refreezing in an attempt to be safe, I think I am going to give into the thaw. I had convinced myself that to thaw was weak...to trust, to believe, to hope, to dream...it all felt weak. But I am learning that to open up...to take risks...to even begin to hope is the strongest action I can take...because it takes a thousand times more courage than does staying holed up in my protected safe zone. I hope to go forth smarter, wiser...but with the same heart that God created me with. There may be cracks and scars...but its still mine. I am still me. I don't want to be held back by the bondage of shame and fear and hurt that has held me captive. I want to go forth in freedom. And to do that...I must give in to the slow thaw. I must begin to dream again...to hope...to love. And that starts by simply opening up my hands, and lifting my face to the Son...basking in His warmth, knowing that in it and through it all, He held me. And He holds it all.
Do not ever forget, me. Do not forget the journey, and the lessons that you learned along the way. You will use them your whole life through.