I have a lot of blog ideas rolling around in my head, but someone besides me must need to hear what about to talk about because I just can’t stop landing on this topic. But first, remember how “I run marathons”? (see blog entry: “Why I Hate You in a Nutshell”). Or should I ask, remember how I “ran two HALF-marathons in 2 months after training for only one month because I wanted to fly to California and run with my sister-in-law in a Diva Race and then was so messed up I had to quit running for while”? Remember that? Yes, I wisely began running in August and joined a training group in September to train for a Half marathon in December. While I was training, I decided it would just make sense to run a local half marathon in October with my new running friends, ya know, since I was already running with them. We won’t even go into the poor judgment on that decision. Anyway-at first I didn’t know anyone and I was technically not a “runner”. I scoped out a group of girls that I wanted to run like and would literally “follow in their footsteps.” Eventually I could keep up with them and we started to visit. They asked how long I had been running and I told them, “one month.” They told me how impressed they were. That by the look of my stride they thought I had been running for years. They apparently mistook me for a “real” runner. I was shocked! Here’s why: for 23 years I have been living in the shadow of a lie. In college a friend ours (who was NOT a runner, btw) saw me running and commented that I sort of “shuffled” when I ran and that I shouldn’t really call it running. For some ridiculous reason, that assessment of my stride has kept me from ever believing that I could become a runner. A shuffler maybe, but my hopes of running were dashed. So, you can imagine my surprise when “real” runners gave me this compliment. Was it possible that he was wrong? Or that what he said to me 23 yrs. ago didn’t need to determine how I thought of myself until someone set me straight at the age of 44!?!?!?
I have a couple other friends who have lived in the shadows of such lies. One of them is an actual runner with a healthy, amazing physique. However, when she was growing up her father reminded her regularly that she had inherited the “thick” genes and was “big-boned.” I just want to clobber her when I hear her criticizing herself, wishing she was thinner and more petite. The other friend has a beautiful singing voice. However, when she was very young, some boys overheard her singing her heart out in pure joy and broke into hysterics. They teased and laughed and she didn’t sing again for many, many years. These girls spent years believing lies about themselves. I have done the same. The “running lie” was just the tip of the iceberg. How many times have you allowed what others said about you define you? Was it a parent? A spouse? A friend? A teacher? Even a stranger? In my life I have been effected by negative words from almost all of those categories of people. Some of those words have imbedded themselves in my soul so deep that I live as if they are true.
It’s important for us, for me, to spend time listening to what God thinks of me. Letting Him determine my worth and my truth. Just because someone else, even someone who loves me, thinks it about me-doesn’t make it so. I love the words of a song by Casting Crowns called “The Voice of Truth”: “The voice of truth tells me a different story…of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.” Know yourself and let God search you and show you what is true and what is a lie from the pit of hell. Replace the lies by embracing the truth. No one but you and God has the right to define you.
Now-start running. 🙂