Tuesday, November 11, 2014
The other morning, I woke up early before anyone else was awake. I knew the day was going to be busy and I wanted to get a workout in before the rest of the day's commitments. I quietly slipped out of bed, dressed, slipped on my running shoes, and headed out for a run. I'd had a lot on my mind. A lot of the same things that every other mother/wife worries about. The negative self talk we find ourselves doing when we feel like we are falling short, failing our husband or kids, yelling too much, losing patience, not being the version of me Heavenly Father wants me to be, hefty medical bills, neglected to-do lists.....and on and on and on.
I could feel the weight of my thoughts physically slowing my pace. I turned a corner and saw the long stretch of road before me and all of the sudden I felt overwhelmed. The endless to-do's, the things that need to be changed, the worries, the miles I needed to go felt almost too heavy. For a split second I thought about just turning around and walking home, but something inside me said, "Keep going, just watch the ground. Focus on the steps right ahead of you." So I steadied my pace and pushed forward. My thoughts were still circling with all the ways I was falling short and how far I needed to go. My eyes filled with tears, the burdens I was feeling in that moment were threatening to crush me. I said a little prayer as I ran, asking Him to show me how to fix what needs to be fixed, how to change this, how to be that. Again, I heard something inside me say, "Focus on the steps right ahead of you."
And that was it, my answer. I was, and have been, focusing on everything all at once. I could see how far I need to go to be the person I need to be and it all felt so impossible. But if I just focus on the steps in front of me, just fix or change a little bit at a time I will get there. To try to change everything all at once IS impossible. It would be setting myself up for failure.
I worked through all of this in my mind as I ran, feeling a surge of confidence and determination and less weighed down. I'd kept my gaze down the whole time, not focusing on the next mile, not focusing on the time. I hadn't looked up in a while and decided to peek. And just like that, I'd run 4 miles and not even realized it. (Four miles may not be something to get all excited about, but coming from someone who a few months ago couldn't run a mile, this was HUGE.) I'd focused on the steps, focused on the journey, not just the destination.
When I finally made it home, I burst into tears. I cried because I was proud of my body. I cried because I was tired. I cried because in this silly little run God made it clear to me that He knows me, He hears me. And while it all felt a little silly and perhaps not so life changing for anyone else, it changed me. I'm not perfect. I still have so far to go to be who I want to be. But I'm a better version of myself than I was that morning. And I think that is exactly the point.