I run hard two miles early every other morning, my black shoes slapping the pavement with intensity.
I run hard. Hard enough to soak my shirt. Hard enough tear ligaments from my joints. Hard enough to shatter bones in my feet . . . twice.
I can’t run hard enough or fast enough.
“When was the last time you talked to him?” my husband innocently asked about the person wounding my soul. The soul scab ripped open, and I dashed down the street, breaking my own speed record the mile home, breaking into a sweat only when I burrowed into my closet under my blanket, patting away the sweat but unable to stop the internal bleeding.
I could not run from the reality full of pain.
He doesn’t love me. Did he ever love me?
The questions I cried out to God twenty years ago, two decades past when first abandoned and disowned, the same came back with greater intensity than before. Why again? Can there be no trust, no protection, no reconciliation? Am I just a thing to be used, paraded, then discarded?
Will I always be running away?
The thick, comforting silence of the closet enveloped me as I lay my pounding head back on the fluffy blanket. In the quiet, I cried softly, then lay still, empty, alone. Who would find me? Who would care?
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
I can run, but I can’t outrun God. He saw me racing down the street, and he is with me in the dark closet.
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
It can feel hellish. Even the Psalmist says that, so I can say it. Abandonment, rejection, abuse, slander, it’s all hellish and I can be assured the Lord is there with me.
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
Some of the best poetry ever written. I can say, “My closet will keep me safe. Just like I hid under my bed as a child, just like I locked myself in my closet as a preschooler, just like I stay up all night to avoid the traumatic nightmares, just like I hide in my closet right now . . . God sees me in the dark. He is the Light, and He will comfort me with His hand.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
My Heavenly Father never says, “Don’t talk to me.” “Don’t call me again.” “Don’t come around.” “I can live without you.” Instead, He says only precious, loving things. He created me to delight in me and never will leave my side. He knows all about me, and He only loves me more.
For many of my friends, Father’s Day is hard. And we want to run hard until we break open the hurt and shatter the walls and bleed out the wounds that never seem to heal.
But this Father’s Day, our Heavenly Father wants us more. More to love, more to protect, more to cherish . . . more to celebrate.
“I am still with you.”
Happy Heavenly Father’s Day.
Quotes from Ps. 139.
Are you hurting from unresolved relationships, a painful past, or rejection? Rocking Ordinary offers compassion, perspective, and a plan for growth and healing no matter your trial. Women in abusive marriages, women recovering from childhood trauma, and women ministering to the hurting and lonely have found resources and encouragement in these pages. If you’ve struggled with any of these, please know my prayers are with you this weekend.
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