My default when I feel backed into a corner is to run to a wide-open space like the beach or a hiking trail. Sometimes I am not sure if I am running from something or to something. Let me clarify, I do not physically run anywhere! I take my car.
The time that comes to mind is years back when life just got complicated and every minute of every day felt like a struggle. I was tired, overwhelmed, and just plain devoid of joy. The only feeling that I could “feel” was despair and it was heavy. I could barely pick my feet up because the load was so heavy. Hopelessness enveloped my whole being.
Oddly enough, as alone as I felt in my pain, I was not alone. The normal people and responsibilities of life were suffocating me. People make noise and I had enough of that going on in my own head! Suddenly, I understood needing to be able to hear myself think.
I felt that my life and my sanity depended on my escape. I had no idea where I was going to go but I went. I got in my car and drove. The more miles that I put between me and all of the “muck” of life, the calmer I became. I ended up driving to the beach and staying there for three days. It wasn’t the most responsible thing to do but it was necessary.
I was the first person on the beach in the morning as the sun came up. I extended my arms and took the deepest breath I have ever taken. It was as if I needed to breathe in life. I held it for as long as I could before I finally exhaled. I did that many more times and then let my arms fall and encircle me. Yes, I hugged myself. I smiled and then I cried. Peace.
It was there looking at the waves of the ocean that I began to see that my problems had been swallowing me up like the sea. My problems had been my focus and I could not see anything beyond them. They felt so big and I felt so very small and powerless against them. Here the perspective was different. I was so small compared to the vast ocean before me. All of my problems combined might have equaled a seashell and there were so many of those scattered about. It was as if the change in perspective was allowing me a glimpse of my situation through God’s eyes rather than my own. Rather than focusing on God, I had been focusing on my troubles.
In the silence of my mind, I realized it had not been that I needed to hear myself think but rather that I needed to experience God. My priorities were askew. I had crowded God right out of my life. No wonder I was breaking due to all of the stress cracks!
The God that created this magnificent ocean, the creator of the universe had created me! He was and is all-powerful and all knowing and I was trying to figure life out on my own. I spent the rest of my time there soaking God in. Being still and knowing.
No, my problems did not go away. Truthfully, as long as we are living life’s problems never go away. What did happen was that I no longer felt I had to carry the weight of them alone. I had a new approach at dealing with problems and noise. I no longer looked at my problems through my limited lens but rather through the kaleidoscope of God’s eyes.
I returned to my crazy, chaotic, noise-filled life and God and I together began to deal with it together. For those people like me that love lists and checking things off, organization, order, and neatness – life with God, at least for me does not look that way! I had to adjust to that. God is perfection. Life is not.
Why am I sharing this with you? I asked my best friend this morning if she ever wanted to run away because that was what I was feeling. There is something reassuring about getting a friend’s “me too!”
So yes, there are still days that I just want to run away to a quiet place with God when my crazy life feels out of control. This morning was one of them. Thankfully, since I could not run away to the beach, God met me right where I am.
If you want to run away but can’t, please message me. Let me pray for you!
Until Next Time.
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