A Better Question: TO?
Who do you run TO?
When we run AWAY from something or someone we are always running TO something or someone.
Most people think in terms of AWAY from… "I need to run away from this stress", or "I need to run away from this toxic person". Especially now, during this time of COVID 19, the urge to run away is so great.
Running away was easy; not knowing what to do next was the hard part.
When I think back on the most difficult seasons of my life, my initial response was so often to want to run - to get as far away from the situation/person as possible.
During my early years of marriage - after the “honeymoon”phase wore off and the “this is your life” phase kicked in… I became a runner. Well, I actually became a driver.
You see I was raised by a single mom and never witnessed healthy couples disagreeing and working through differences. Instead, I was shown what a healthy marriage should look like from Mike and Carol of The Brady Bunch, Marion and Howard of Happy Days and my favorite, Samantha and Darrin of Bewitched. Not exactly REAL Life models.
But that was what I saw and believed was how a married couple should relate - no problems, only “Yes” and smiles. That marriage should always be sunshine and happiness. So you can imagine the devastation I experienced when I encountered my first married disagreement. I was shocked and emotionally hurt. And, unlike Samantha (Bewitched), I couldn't just wiggle my nose and change the situation to suit me.
I reacted by running AWAY. In my case driving AWAY. I would leave the house and drive. I would drive all around Houston, convincing myself that I had made the biggest mistake and wondering how in the world I could escape.
We run away all the time to avoid coming face to face with ourselves.
I was running AWAY from disappointment, shattered expectations, and LIFE.
But the most important question I had to ask myself was - What was I running TO?
When I think back to those drives, I was ultimately running to fear, to lies, to “worst case scenario”, to darkness. And I learned that THAT is a long and treacherous road for your soul to go down.
God allows us to choose those routes because they eventually lead us TO Him.
Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.
We need hours of aimless wandering or spates of time sitting on park benches,
observing the mysterious world of ants and the canopy of treetops.
Always, every time, after my dark pity party ended, I ran first TO God. Not first TO a friend, not first TO my mom and not even first TO my husband.
Run First TO God.
Only God will embrace me without judgement.
Only God will accept me and love me unconditionally.
Only God will gently shine Light on the darkest parts of my heart - that need healing and transformation.
Only God will guide me in forgiveness and give me the words and wisdom to move forward and grow.
Life will hurt. People will disappoint. You will experience wanting to run AWAY, escape from it all and that is OK. Your feelings are true to you. Who you run TO is what matters. For me, the answer to my question is always God.
When I run AWAY - I run TO God.
Oh, that I had wings like a dove;
then I would fly away and rest!