running and vulnerability

I am a proud member of the slow runner’s club. This, however, is not to be confused with calling myself a runner. I am slow and it hurts but I am learning to love the process. I ran three miles for the first time in over two years and I felt like I’d just finished a marathon. It is becoming a time for me to think and pray and not constantly fill my time and energy and thoughts with whatever is directly in front of me. I’ve stopped listening to music and now the things I’m so quick to distract myself with are gone.

Last week Taylor and I ran together for the first time ever. I had to eat my words after swearing up and down that I would never run with him. My insecurities lurk beneath the surface and they so suddenly rear their ugly head. You’re slow. You’re embarrassing. You can’t do this. They’re all lies yet I’m prone to believe them. And so, I let Taylor see me when I was struggling in a big way. It was a scary leap and it was extremely freeing and for the first time I saw running as something truly beautiful. Not because it got easier or I was less tired, but because it allowed me to begin to tear down the wall I hadn’t quite realized was even there. In exposing the weakest parts I like to keep hidden, light was allowed in. And where the light floods and exists and beams, darkness cannot.

So any slow runners out there…I’m there. I’m with you. Let’s go together.

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on the subject of weddings

Our wedding was an unusually cool evening in July, smack dab in the middle of a holiday weekend. It was beautiful and wonderful and all of our people were in one place. It was an incredible day and yet what I truly remember is standing and taking communion with Taylor, tears streaming down my face. It was the culmination of years of different prayers being answered in a single hour and it was too good for me to imagine. Yet, it was just a day. In the process of planning a wedding the thought we kept coming back to is that we were not just planning a wedding. We were not just planning a special day, although it would be incredible. Instead, we were beginning the process of planning a life together. Our wedding would be special and lovely but it was and is everything else that comes after. Our honeymoon would end eventually (although we’re on honeymoon day 49, way to go babe!) and there would be conflict. Maybe even conflict ON our honeymoon. Yes, that too.

We planned our wedding for six months and it was an incredible time of seeing the Lord provide so many people and gifts in that time frame. From baking our wedding cakes to altering my dress to helping oversee every aspect of our wedding, it truly was a gift to see the outpouring of love. The village that rose up around us and supported us was such a tangible picture of God’s provision and love for his kids. And after six months of planning, it’s not the decorations, invitations or bridesmaid dresses that I remember. And if you were there, I bet you don’t really remember those things either. In the end, all of those tiny details I spent so much time worrying about, planning and agonizing over really didn’t matter. Because at the end of the “dream wedding” I was now living with somebody who is just as human as I am. That means there’s fighting, selfishness and learning how to love somebody in a new way. It happens no matter how beautiful the wedding is.

Instead, here is what remains of that day. Saying yes to this grand adventure of life with the man that I love. Promising to choose him, to say yes and to make space to invite more people to sit at the table. Committing to love him and fight for him because he is so worth it. And at the end of the day, we got married. Hallelujah.