Posted by Heather Conrad at 8:11 PM

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Have you ever found yourself in this place? A place in time where you knew you were approaching a moment where you would soon need to make a decision, a decision that would take a part of your life and change it? Often times I ponder... okay, often times I over-analyze... "think" myself around my choices and the consequences I believe will follow. In fact, I spend SO MUCH time pondering, that I wallow for a while in the indecisive pool, unable, or even paralyzed in my ability or even desire to take that next step forward. What if I choose the wrong step, the wrong path? What if I destroy people in the wake of my super-foolish decision-making ability? What if I fail, and I can't take it back? What if....

Pretty exhausting isn't it? Very unsettling, lots of worrying, not a whole lot of joy or peace is left in the dust from the tornado-ing thoughts. Well, I really didn't mean to do down this trail, but here we are. I write this as my thoughts wander back 1 week. It was early morning, and I was running on the treadmill, well, struggling on the treadmill really. I found myself at a point where my desire is gone, my body is unwilling, and my spirit is dry. It has been a struggle for the past few weeks, but I've dutifully pushed through, knowing this has been so good for me on some levels in fighting through my winter-blues. I had set aside time, made it a priority, and followed through, so why all the heartache? I knew it was time. Time to ask the question. Time to face the music. The Lord of my heart and soul needed to be consulted.

This particular run I somehow willed myself through 2 miles, then chose to do 2.5, and as I approached the 3 mile mark, I knew it was crossroads time. I simply laid out my heart. "Lord, I'm simply confused. Lord, I just want to know your direction for running in my life. I truly desire to keep enduring in this way, but if your direction includes me slowing, walking, or even stopping. I trust you. Lord, I need to know." I watched the 30 second countdown, I watced my body's reaction, I tuned into his thoughts, his peace.... nothing changed. Okay. So... I pressed the "walk" button. With eybrows furrowed, I have to admit I was confused, puzzled, a bit disappointed, but knew this direction was clear.

As I began this new path, or mind-set if you will, I felt a release. A release from things I didn't quite realize I was holding onto. Up to this point, this "running" in my life hadn't been about the distance I traveled, the calories I burned, or my caloric intake for the day. My mind hadn't been consumed at times with the "duty" of making sure my exerices check-box had been filled that day to earn my worth and to feel "good". It hadn't been about competing (even against myself). It hadn't been about the cat and mouse games of reading labels to see if I could consume said food item or if I would chastise myself for eating it later. It hadn't been about me, at all. Somehow, I became part of the "slow fade" (one of my Casting Crowns' favorites). You see, I had slowly inched my way over to the driver's seat, creaping ahead with my own knowlege and my early coaching experience, that I really didn't choose to allow him driving privileges in this area of my life. As if to say, "I got this one now Lord...really."

Scary reality, ultimate freedom. As I walked with him a bit further, it was as if that Holy Spirit whisper just brushed over my soul and said, "Do you see the gift I've given you?" I knew immediately what He was referring to - the gift of my husband. You see, about 6 months ago, out of the blue, he bgan running as well. Never "ran" before in his life. It has been an amazing interest to share in together, and he continues to this day. In fact, we're able to have a get away next month, and guess what, we planned it around running a 5k race together! Truly a delight, but until this point, there's been a pace difference. On that walk, during that moment, I knew the Lord's plan was to slow me down, not to hold me back, or to punish my competitive edge, but to allow Aaron to catch me - to be able to "run" together. Precious Jesus, you are SO GOOD!

So here we are, crossroads. I could give you so many examples of my pitiful attempts to figure things out on my own, and yet here is one example of how someone can fall into Him, and recieve and even greater gift that one could plan out on their own. He is mighty to save! He is faithful! He is trustworthy!

Psalm 32:8
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.

Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Lord, I thank you for providing firm ground for me to stand on. I thank you for being a personal God, in delighting in all the small details of my life. I thank you for answering my prayer of direction. So many times, I find that when my heart yields to you, it it then that you can speak to me, and not my built-up wall. I thank you for allowing me to learn lesssons as I veer of course, because there is where I recognize my need for dependence on you. It is there where my peace resides, and my freedom can be found. Thank you for the joy of running with you, and especially for the added joy of running with my life-mate. I thank you also for the joy of watching our son thrive, learn, and become passionate about basketball. Thank you for allowing his earthly father to coach from the sidelines as he prepares to hear from his Heavenly coach as well. Looking forward to worshipping together tomorrow! I love you.