You may recall a story I have told you before about how I “run marathons.” In 2015, as my husband and I sat on the edge of my new bed at the hospital (where I would remain for the next 35 days), we were in complete shock. The news of my Leukemia diagnosis was still fresh and we felt “boneless and skinless” as we stared wide-eyed and tried to interpret what the doctor was telling us.
As one of my favorite nurses, Starr, rubbed my back and cried with us, my husband said something like, “How can this be? She is young and healthy and ran two half marathons last year!” That’s what he said, but what got recorded on my chart was: “She runs marathons.” So from then on, each time a resident, doctor, or nurse came into my room, they would squeeze my hand and say, “Don’t you worry. We will get you running marathons again in no time!”
Ummm…no thank you, friend. I had indeed run two half marathons in 3 months time that practically killed me. Afterwards, I swore off running forever and chalked it up to midlife-crisis-kind-of-craziness. That, and I was technically bribed by my brother-in-law to come to run a Diva Half Marathon with my sister-in-law who was turning 40. So I guess that was kind of a no-brainer. And for the record, she started throwing up the night before but still ran and still beat me.
I have been successfully holding strong to my commitment, my eternal vow, to “not run.” Until last week. It kind of snuck up on me really. And even though I snuck it in subtly between my walking routine, I have to confess that I did indeed—run.
This is a great reminder to me to be careful what I say I will never do. God and life have a way of thwarting those kind of vows.
But even more so, it reminds me that often, through circumstances and often suffering, my current philosophies are subject to change. As Plato powerfully points out:
“Time will change and even reverse our opinions. Refrain, therefore, from setting yourself up as judge on highest matters.”
When I look back on what opinions I held strongly back then, I can see how my world view and stance on many of them has shifted as a result of cancer, the family disease of addiction, hurtful relationships, death, world trauma and the everyday grind of life.
At my core, I still put my trust in God, but my relationship with this all-powerful Being has also shifted. Because I have grown and shrunk. Been wounded and healed. Been laid bare and restored.
If you read the intro to my newest book, Soul-Selfie -#NoFilter, I warn you that my solutions in the first blog may differ from the solutions I land on in blog 120. It’s not because I am unstable in what I believe (though possibly slightly unstable in other ways!), but because I try to hold life and my hard opinions a little more loosely than I used to. If you have known me personally for very long, I think you might agree with me. I used to have an unspoken sense of responsibility for other people. I often acted as if it was my job to be people’s personal Holy Spirit, convicting them and trying to convince them to straighten up and fly right!
Today, by the grace of God, I have gone through a “couple things” that have changed my approach to life.
I don’t do it perfectly but I try to remind myself that I don’t know what’s best for me most of the time so I certainly don’t know what’s best for other people. I can do my job and humbly let God do His.
And FYI, I am all-in on the running thing. The exact opposite of my vow to end such nonsense. I am considering training for a half marathon. But this time I think I will stick to only doing one because, hey, I’m not a lunatic!