For the majority of my life I have had two constant companions; Jesus and running. These two companions of mine have never left me, they are always there if I choose to utilize them. That is the thing, I need to choose them. It's too easy to stay in bed, sit on the couch, scroll on my phone, and leave my running shoes at the entryway or my Bible closed on my nightstand.
Yet, when I choose them, they never disappoint. I have been choosing to run a lot recently. If I am honest, I have run more since my husband Mark died than I probably did for the 5 years Mark and I were married. Of course, part of it was because we were busy with babies and life. I have realized though that there is a correlation between my desire to run, and how broken my heart is. Whether my little teenage heart was hurting over teammates that seemed to hate me, my early twenties heart reeling after a long overdue break up, or the heart wrenching loss of my husband before even reaching my 30th birthday, running was a way to feel the pain and keep going.
I don't think there is any kind of broken heart that Jesus and running can't heal. Today, I went running. I had a rough day, nothing particularly bad happened, I was just plain worn out. Hezekiah has been in what I call "battle bot mode" for the last 4 days. Work isn't always working they way I want it to. And I am buried in prep for upcoming ministry opportunities. I am also however training for a 10 mile trail run, so I have a schedule to stick to. I went into my run thinking it would be a tough one. But I started out, and I got into the rhythm. It was a beautiful night, cool temperature, warm sun, not too much wind, and a route past the lake.
I ran and I thought about why running has helped heal my broken heart, and I think it comes down to one thing. When you choose to put yourself through something difficult and you accomplish it, it builds your confidence that you can handle the difficult things you don't choose. When your heart feels like its beating out of your chest, your lungs are burning, and you have to remind yourself to keep pumping your arms so your legs will move, it's a reminder that you can do hard things. I run to have time to myself, I run for my health, and I run as a reminder that "survivor" is written across my heart.
This brings me back to my Jesus. My Jesus who provides me with the ability to run, who breathed literal life into my lungs, who gives me an eternal goal to continue running toward in an earthly and spiritual realm. My Jesus who created the world I experience while out on my run. Thankfully, I have chosen both Jesus and running. Without them, where else would I turn?