Three little miles.
That’s what I’ve been running this week. I’ve been taking some time off…resting. And now, it’s time to jump back in. With both feet.
I thought you were supposed to give up bad things for Lent!
That’s what they’ve been saying to me these past months. It’s hard to explain—this surrender. After all these years of striving and reaching and trying to be good enough…the Mother–hand of God tapped on my heart and whispered, What if?
What if you don’t get the best grade?
What if your house is not the cleanest? If the laundry isn’t folded right away?
What if your kids aren’t picture perfect?
What if you were late, just once, or maybe…just maybe you have to call in sick to work?
What if you don’t write everyday? Post on the blog everyday?
What if your figure is not slim and trim? What it…what if you let yourself go?
I didn’t know. I didn’t know the answer to the what-ifs. It felt like maybe the world would end—the sky come crashing down. Maybe my husband would stop loving me, my children stop respecting me, others look upon me with pity.
What is the answer?
And then She told me. Plain as day the Goddess whispered it into my heart.
I will still love you, Laura.
And then, Do you believe me?
For so long I’ve tried to earn the love of those around me. Maybe if I make straight As my father will love me enough to stop drinking. Maybe if I am attractive enough my husband will do what I want him to. Maybe if my house is clean my girlfriends will admire me.
I’ve always felt that I had to prove I was good enough. I’ve had to work harder and do more…I’ve had to be more…to feel that I was acceptable.
It’s all good stuff. Cleaning and running and writing and working and painting and taking classes and sewing and leading and teaching and giving and holding and…
God said, Be still.
Be still and let me love you.
But I disbelieved. If I stop doing all these things, how could I be lovable?
So I did. I stopped the one that I have come to depend upon like a crutch. The one that restores my sanity when it is broken. The one that has been part of my life since I was twelve years old. The one that keeps me centered and healthy.
Let me be these things to you.
And these past weeks as I’ve slowed, as the cold mornings have given way to sun, as I watch the sidewalks fill with new runners, as I feel myself grow softer…
I have learned new things about myself and about the love of God.
Those mother-hands have held me close, whispered of beauty in my ear. The tenderness—the vulnerability of trusting these hands with these parts of me has given me a new sense of who I am—why I do these things.
And the what-ifs no longer frighten me.
Because there is this constant: A Love so big and beautiful to conquer any what-if that is out there. This Love is bigger than any change my body will undergo. It is bigger than anything I can do (or not do) around the house, or at work, or on the page.
My God loves me.
No matter what.
So, I start with my three little miles. And I know that I take each step for the right reasons. And each step falls properly in its place.