Sunday, September 15, 2013

The difference between easy and worthy and a shackle that is 28 years old.

My mom, Jeannette, is the Women's Minister at a church called Cottonwood. She also leads their Celebrate Recovery ministry.  Last Sunday she spoke about choosing a life a freedom to BE and to DO, not to just exist. If you would like to listen to her sermon, click HERE.

But in case you don't think you have time... I'll sum up a couple of the points that I liked the most.

One of the points that really has stuck with me over the last week is this quote... 
"We are not called to that which is easy. 
We are called to that which is Worthy!"

Maybe you don't live in a world where you are constantly asked, "which one is easier.." but as a teacher I am asked this almost DAILY! And while the choice between two art options are not life choices, it is a reflection on the priorities of students. And this transfers to adults too. Believe me. We all want easy answers. But sometimes, we have to step back and ask ourselves if we have shortchanged our very lives because we are looking for the easy and not the worthy! 

The other point that I've been pondering this week is that at times we may feel like we are living in freedom, but that we are actually living in shackles. Yes, we have freedom to move, but the shuffling that is required when you wear shackles gives you the illusion of freedom; but you are actually chained.


As a runner, I truly can't imagine what I would do if I didn't have the freedom to pick up my feet and run.

I think we all have areas in our lives that cause us to live as shackled people. Shackling takes many forms, for some it's addiction, others it's self-image. Anything that keeps us from taking a full step forward is in reality a shackle.

For me, my weight has often been an area of my life that has kept me shackled. My weight has left me at times feeling unworthy, ugly, unimportant and every other negative thing. Then there are other times when I have lost the weight, when I feel better and look better, yet, I still am shackled! I have to keep it off. I have to FIGHT the weight every day! When others would think that it's all great, that I have hit the "right number" on the scale. But in my reality, the weight shackle is still there.

I deal with this daily. To be honest, I have dealt with this daily for the last 28 years. Yes, 28. Since I was eleven years old.

That's quite a shackle.

Running has helped me refocus and redefine who I am. I am learning that I am not defined by a number on the scale. But it is not easy. Everyday I step on that scale thinking that it is going to be five pounds heavier. Everyday I pull out a pair of pants to wear and wonder if they will fit. Just this morning, I pulled out a pair of pants that I haven't worn in a few months and was surprised they fit. I shouldn't have been surprised. I know what size I am. But I was. I expected the pants to be too tight. 

I have to say, it is really, really hard to break a shackle that you have come to call as part of you. It's an extension of who I am. I'm not proud of that, but it is my reality.

I am learning to break this shackle. I am learning that I am more. 

If you wondered why running a marathon was important to me, now you know. To run a marathon, you have to be strong. Skinny doesn't equal strong.

Wow... didn't mean to go into self-reflection there on you.

Maybe you should all go back to the top of this post and listen to my mom's message. Cause I'm going to stop there. I got side tracked and don't remember the other points of hers that I was going to tell you about.

Tomorrow morning, as I take a well deserved rest day after a hard weekend 18 mile run. I am going to remind myself that I am more. I am going to remind myself that I want to break the shackle so that I can run free. And let me tell you... this is NOT easy, but I am Worthy.

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