Saturday, January 10, 2009

Praise Jehovah-Rapha!

The most amazing thing happened last night and I want to share it with you.  You may read this and think I am crazy, but I am going to share this anyway.  

I went running.  For the first time in over 18 months.  It felt great!  And my heart has been blessed beyond measure because of it.

You probably know that I was a runner before I got sick.  It wasn't fast and it wasn't pretty, but it was my thing.  My runs were my time to really lay it all out with God - it is nearly impossible to be less than authentic while wearing clothes with partial spandex and sweat dripping down a face that has absolutely no make up on.  When I was running, there was no extra energy for distraction.  It was me, my thoughts, and God and His thoughts.  I was at my most spiritually vulnerable while I was running.  Being able to run changed the way I felt about myself.  Every run changed me for the better.

I know how ridiculous it may sound, but losing my ability to run was a crushing part of being sick this last year and a half.   I cringe even as I read that, because it sounds so selfish and superficial.  But if you are a runner, you probably know that intangible blessing of a run.  While I have gained a lot of my health back, I haven't been even close to trying a run.  I had almost lost hope.

I have been reading an interesting book called "The Beginners Guide to Intercession".  The very first chapter deeply resonated with me.  Everything starts with a love relationship with God, whether we're talking about prayer or service or evangelism.  Nothing is important outside of a true, intimate relationship with God.  In Revelation one church is admonished, not because of a lack of good works, but because they had lost their first love.  

Now I know that God loves me and I know that I love Him.  He and I have had some really powerful moments together over the years.  But as I read this book I realized I was longing for time to love God and to be loved by God without the almost instantaneous response of "doing".  I asked God for time where we could just focus on each other - not on my response to His love as much as the beauty of His love.  I wanted time to soak in God's love and to spend time just loving Him.

I had no idea how beautifully God would answer my prayer.

Yesterday I felt really good - really, really good.  I didn't have to lay down (which is the first time in as long as I can remember).  I didn't feel short of breath going up our stairs.  I was on my feet for awhile, and it didn't make me dizzy.  Last night I took Marshall for a walk, and we kept such a fast pace that I suddenly knew I was supposed to go for a run.  As soon as we got home I dug out my old running clothes and grabbed my iPod before I began to doubt and lost my nerve.

Now it was only a mile and a half, but it was the sweetest 13 minutes God and I have had together in so long.  All I could do was run and sing to Him.  And while it sounds strange, I know without a doubt that He was delighting in me.  The ability to run that mile and a half was a love letter from God in a language He knew would speak right to the bottom of my heart.  I was reminded of how intimately He knows me, and how very, very much He wants to shower His love on me.

I am not sure if I am going to be able to run today or later this week, or ever again for that matter.  I am not sure it makes any difference.  God gave me last night, and it was loving and intimate beyond explanation.  So if you were driving through my neighborhood last night around 5:30 and saw a women running (albeit slowly), laughing out loud, with my hands raised up to heaven (I lost all my Swedish Lutheran inhibitions in those moments!), that was me.  I was loving God and rejoicing in His love for me.


Aly-Rae said...

Where's the kleenex?
I woke up a few times last night, as I often do and immediately I thought of you and your amazing experience and a smile spread across my face. I was truly rejoicing with you and praising God. Thank you so much for calling me last night, you don't understand how much that blessed me that you included me in your rejoicing.

Renovation Girl said...

Wonderful, simply wonderful!

Norwood Mama said...

Your story brings tears to my eyes! Praise God for the special moments he gives us!