January sixth, these are the words I wrote :
“It doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger. Nine months later it still stings just as much as the day it all fell apart, but today it hurts a little bit more than usual. Today was what would’ve been the start of my senior season. Some days I feel on top of the world and others it still feels like the world is on top of me. Some days I feel like even though it’s hard I am strong enough to get through, and others it feels like I am barely staying afloat. I know the truths and I recite them day by day – My strength comes from Him. He will not leave. I will get stronger. – but some days I just struggle. Some days I need another hand. Some days my goal is to simply make it through. And Slowly I am learning that that’s okay. It’s okay if it takes all I have to just make it through. It’s okay if it takes all I have just to convince myself to do some squats. It’s okay if it takes all I have to just run 5 minutes. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to scream. It’s okay to not understand. BUT it is not okay to give up. It is not okay to hate yourself. It is not okay to get mad at yourself. You’ve come too far to give up now.”
I wrote these words after I got back from my run – my attempt to run. Allow me to explain. Since my surgery I have lost a great deal of muscle which in turn gives me a limp when I run. The brace I have to wear feels like it is 20 pounds which only adds to the limp. It is exhausting and devastating. Not only am I trying to get back in shape, but I am also trying to literally teach myself to run again, a task that came natural to me. I felt as if I was supposed to be so much farther along than what I was. Nine months is a long time to still have a limp. I had slipped my old shoes back on and was angry at myself and once again, at my circumstances. I just wanted to be “normal” for one day. For one run. For 20 minutes. If we are being honest, I have ran a total of three times since being cleared in October and there is no reason for it other than fear. Fear of getting hurt again. Fear of being too hard on myself. Fear of going too fast. Fear in every way possible.
Shortly after this run I became determined to do something about it. I started working out consistently to regain my muscle but then a week in something felt off. My knee was off. All the fears seemed so real to me, and as usual, the internet gave me the worst situation possible. (Don’t trust the internet. Just don’t.)
January sixteenth, these are the words I wrote :
“I haven’t done anything. I have only ran three times. 3. I have worked out for one week. 1. There’s no way I could’ve messed it up and if I did I will be so upset with myself. I can’t do this again. I can’t. I lost everything I had last year and I can’t repeat it all. It feels like everything is starting to crumble again. I can slowly feel the rocks start to roll and soon enough, an avalanche will hit. I try to remain positive right now but tonight is hard. It’s just hard. It may fall apart tomorrow morning, and if it does I pray that I will remember that when it all falls apart it falls into His hands.”
Fear had consumed me. I lost my ground and had been consumed by the most gut-wrenching awful feeling ever. It is crippling and it had crippled me. I felt like I was about to repeat my previous year and I was angry. Despite my feelings, Ev would not take no for an answer and signed us up for a 5k. The next morning I got answers to the strange feeling I was having.
Scar tissue – a process of healing, and the best way to help it was to run.
Years ago I asked someone how they were able to run marathons and their response was, “Prayer and Advocare – in that order.” Leading up to the race all I could think about was this response, less of the Advocare part but more of the prayer part. Back then I thought it was silly to pray to be able to run, but that had become my prayer for the next week and forever more. Saturday rolls around and it is race day. I started off walking. I walked about half, give or take, and just decided to go for it. I left my brace at home but something told me to run, so I did.
It was the best feeling ever. I was so overwhelmed. All I could think about was the past week and how I thought I was hurt. How I thought I couldn’t do it. How I thought I did not have the strength to carry on. How the prayer I thought was silly had been answered and became so real to me. I was embarrassed by the fact that I thought it was silly, but so grateful for limitless grace that is still true even when I doubt Him.
Hebrews 12: 1 – Run with patience.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Life is hard and some days your strength will look different. Some days you will be strong enough to check everything off the to-do list, eat healthy, and drink all the water. Others, it may be that you are strong enough to simply get through, and that is okay. Those strengths are not different. Those strengths are not less than the other. That’s part of healing. Today you may be like I was, just trying to get through, and that’s okay. Tomorrow is a new day and it is filled with new mercies and new grace. There’s no valley low enough and no trying time too hard that grace can’t reach you. There’s nothing greater than it. Fear is not greater, I promise.
Cling to His promises. Cling to His love. Cling to hope. Cling to peace. Cling to grace. Simply, cling to Jesus. He tells us to not fear because He has overcome the world. There is NOTHING that could separate you from Him. No valley. No tunnel. No darkness. No shadow. He is Light and His Light seeps down to the deepest and darkest places and lights them up. He is your strength. He is your song. And your story does not end here. Keep pressing on. There is light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope, even if it does not feel that way. There is a reason for this season, and one day you will look back and be so glad you did not give up.
Stay humble. Remain strong. Keep fighting.
“I will praise You
You see every season of my life
I will trust You
You’re using every moment by design
In between expecting
In between receiving
Before I know the answer
Before I see the reason
You’re moving in the meantime.” – Hannah Kerr