A scraped windshield…

It is amazing how the little things can set you off…

Today a coworker scraped my windshield. The same coworker who had listened to me pour out my woes about a fight with my best friend last week.

I cried watching Gilmore Girls.

Sometimes it is the little things that mean more than anything else.

Last week my best friend turned on me. The girl who knows how much it would hurt. I was left crying at my desk, stunned. That ache is horrible.

She called me hours later and we talked, made up, even improved our friendship. But I still ached. Then in church on Sunday, as I begged God to show me what to do as I still ache, He told me to choose to love. To choose to love her because even though I hurt she deserves it.

I needed that. I needed someone who I know loves me dearly to hurt me. Why? Because it showed me what it is to choose to love. And I can apply that lesson to those who I need to love whose love in return I have not experienced.

I ached, but I’m learning to accept that ache. I’m learning to accept that life is not lived in not aching but learning to move forward through the ache…. Healing is not “not hurting” but learning to move forward despite the pain…

And I’m learning… little by little…

Crooked lines.

I’ve always been afraid of breaking. I’ve been afraid to love – not so much for fear of getting hurt – but because I was afraid that hurt would break me again… Like it did before. And I never want to go back to that broken place.

But healing doesn’t mean not hurting. Healing means that the pain will not take away my peace, that the pain will not overwhelm… that when I feel the pain breaking me, I will discover that I am held.

Presence.

That is what this Advent is all about. Presence.

And isn’t presence what I have ached for my whole life? Is it a longing to be known, loved, found, and seen. And isn’t that what the babe in the manger does?

How is it that I am discovering more and more what it means that he is coming because I am breaking?

Crooked lines.

And today, that was the counsel I received. As I knelt and poured out my soul… That because my friends turned on me and my fear was actualized, I’ve realized that I can walk through my worst fears of being unloved and rejected.

And it was that same priest who listened to my heartache today who scraped the snow off my windshield. I wouldn’t even have known it was him had I not walked out at that exact minute.

He makes the ways straight…

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Hip Pain

Well, I didn’t run my marathon this year.

But I did manage to win every race I ran this season. I surprised myself. Racing does that to you.

“Your biggest challenge isn’t someone else. It’s the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs, and the voice inside you that yells, “I CAN’T.” But you don’t listen, you just push harder. And then you hear the voice whisper “I CAN” and you discover the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are.”

I learn that every race. And the funny thing is that in hindsight I can’t remember any of it… not the ache, nor the sweat, nor the moment on that half marathon when I really thought I might just prefer to crawl up that last hill in mile 12.

But there is a nagging hip pain… Not real pain, not “lay me up and I can’t work out pain”… but “stand up from my desk and slightly wince pain”…

And that little pain reminds me of everything I put into it. I came out of this running season a different person – as I do after every race. I am stronger. And yet all the effort that goes into it and the determination required and the self-knowledge attained doesn’t come at no cost… There is a nagging hip almost-pain… which reminds me that I did something I didn’t think I could, that I am a different person… And that transformation isn’t always painless.

Disclaimer: I have consulted a medical professional on the hip pain and it nothing to be concerned about.