for the longest time i’ve been a runner.
i’m not talking about the kind that runs for fitness, but the kind that runs for cover. for most of my life, my heart and soul could never see the way out of pain and hurt…so i ran. away.
my feelings of being unseen and misunderstood ruled over reality. and i somehow felt helpless to explain the depths of who i was. and words, well the words just never came out right. so my voice felt empty. like vapor.
so there i would sit. stuck. condemned. and feeling sized up by others who saw me as flawed and mysterious. and i almost believed them. i almost agreed that i was too much, too different, too difficult…and that i was being that way on purpose.
what i now understand more fully is that being an introvert is quite honestly a puzzle to most people. quietness can come off as an affront and aloofness, especially to those who are bent and determined to figure people out and put them neatly in a box. the discomfort takes them off their game so to speak.
those awkward impasses are what left me heading for the door.
the scenario had played out dozens of times. enough times that i had figured out how to skip that song on the record with a scratch through it. and how to minimize the pit in my stomach from the oh no, here we go again feeling.
i learned to cut my losses. and run.
until the day God crashed in and tripped me mid-stride.
because He knew i was missing the point.
the point of His gospel. His death and resurrection were on my behalf.
to rescue me. redeem me. cover me.
His covering of grace has always been meant to dismantle our strategies of self protection and self reliance. all, so we never have to run for our own cover.
i don’t have to run for my own cover.
i can be undone, and misunderstood, and look a fool, and not need to come to my own defense or hide. and when i am caught with that tight,punch in the gut feeling, i can stop. battle my urge to run. catch my breath and give myself permission to step away from a relationship or situation. not to escape but to sit in my ache and look.
look deeper into my story and God’s purposes in the pain. time and time again, when i choose to sit with Him in my hurt, confusion and failure- He comes right down. and when i open my hands and lay down my need to run for cover, He lifts my head to see that He is a God who never stops pursuing us and pouring out His love. and that’s the whole point.
Thou hast enclosed me behind and before, And laid Thy hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. Where can I go from Thy Spirit ? Or where can I flee from Thy presence ?
His love allows me to look bad, be a mess, be quiet and be different. it opens me up.
and i cannot out-run it.
His love says ” come toward Me, don’t run away when things get ugly. and let’s see this through together, let’s see what beauty might come about on the other side of offense if you …stay.”
Jesus thank you for holding me, fidgeting and squirming like a defiant child, until i stopped resisting Your infinite embrace.
yours in the beautiful mess of “staying” xxoo jamie