"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow you have to put up with the rain."
Today, was no different than it has been for the last week.
The skies had opened up on me coloring the sky with a dark overcast. It felt like a game of mercy, who would be more mulish?
Today, was my "back-to-back" long run.
Yesterday 20, today 15.
With about 8 miles in, my clothes drenched and my chaffed skin burning, I came off of Elliott Rd. The sweetest older man was walking his aging dog down the driveway when our eyes met.
I smiled in my suffering. And I was suffering! My legs were tired and sore, and my energy tank was on low fuel.
"HI there!" I cheered up and greeted him.
Very quietly the gentleman responded, "We miss running like that..."
My heart melted.
I smiled even wider, "It's Ok, You are doing what you are doing now and that's great!"
As I ran farther from him my thoughts drew closer and closer to his words.
I was reminded of how gracious God has been to me.
I was reminded of how God has redeemed me.
I was reminded of how God has recovered me.
I was reminded of how God has humbled me.
I was reminded of how God has covered me.
Been Faithful to me.
Been Patient with me.
Been True to me.
Here I was running. Today, I get to run. I get to feel soreness. I get to hear my breath panting. I get to taste the sweat as it drips heavily.
I get to.
My run is not anything spectacular by athletic standards but it is miraculous by the circumstances I have overcome.
It is gracious and humbling.
I ran for 2 1/2 hours with no music. I just prayed.
I prayed for a voice louder than my own.
The Lord is working even when we do not understand.
Even when we do not see.
Even when we do not feel like we deserve.
Even when things look hopeless.
Even when things do not make sense.
Sometimes it is not only the sky that appears cloudy, it is the circumstances in our lives that look overcast.
But today, I heard the words of an older gentleman to remind me that cloudy days come and go, suffering comes and goes, but we get to live it.
There will be a day when we will "Wish we could..."
And we will "miss" those days sooner if we don't embrace them as we have them.
I want to live every day in such a way that no matter how ugly it might feel, I get to LIVE it out with gratitude.
I get to live out loud loving myself and loving others.
I get to live it out loud with grace, giving myself grace, giving others grace and allowing myself to receive God's grace above all.
In other news:
Austin got married this weekend!! It was beautiful!! I am still over the moon from the wedding. It truly is a dream come true.
Growing up was such a mess for me. Living with addiction is total chaos. I never believed I would have the life I have. I never believed it was real, it was something that only happened on TV.
I would pray over Austin in tears. I knew I could control myself from being a alcoholic or a drug addict if I didn't use but I couldn't control what my kids did.
I fervently prayed my kids would not be lured by addiction.
And my dreams have come true in ways I never imagined.
God gave Austin a beautiful God loving wife and God gave me a daughter.
I am so blessed, so humbly blessed.
So many days, I have struggled to see beyond my past circumstances. But I am reminded that God does not visit my past because he is to busy working on my future!