I used to run.
Sunday mornings, on our way to church, we drive around the lake near our house. There are always flocks of people running, biking, walking. Even if it's twenty-degrees outside you wouldn't know it. Minnesotans are committed. The other week on our drive my eyes locked in on this young girl in her early twenties.
She was wearing black running tights and a baggy sweatshirt. Her pony-tail bouncing up and down with every stride. She looked kind of intense but she also looked free. I saw my younger-self when I looked at her and I thought about what it would be like to be in her shoes. I took a deep breath and it was almost like I could feel the cold air burning in my lungs. My train of thought got away from me and before I knew it I blurted out,
"I used to run."
"What do you mean?"
I can see how he would be confused considering he spent all of that money buying me a jogging stroller. " I mean, I used to run. I would wake up in the morning, grab my shoes and and take off. There was no one who needed me, no time I needed to get home I would just stick in my earphones and run." I went on about how it would feel to come home, sit on the floor and stretch. How I would lay on the floor in quiet. I would feel so tired but so alive. The feeling was still so familiar. Again, I could close my eyes and it was like I could feel the weight of my body sinking into the floor.
"You need to run babe."
"You're right, I do."
As we continued to make our way to church I thought about the young girl. I thought about her day. How she would go home to her cute and cozy apartment, take off her shoes, grab a glass of water and find her place on the floor. She would stretch out and rest. No one would call for her, no one would come jump on her stomach, no one would need to nurse. She would sit in silence for as long as she wanted. When Jessi first started talking about being in the thick of it this was the moment I came to.
For me, being in the thick of it feels weighty. Demands are pulling me in so many directions it's hard to imagine what it would feel like to run free again. I feel the weight of everyone looking to me to hold it all together. I fear if I run it will all come crumbling down. I feel the weight of being a mom,a wife, a friend, a neighbor, a daughter, a sister, a small business owner, a follower of Christ.
During church that morning I felt heavy, tired and desperate to run. In a moment of prayer I felt it all come out... "Lord, It often feels like I am the cornerstone, the one everything is resting on. I feel the weight and I'm afraid to move. I'm afraid to run. I'm afraid if I do it will all fall apart." I heard Him gently respond, "Jessi, you were never meant to be the cornerstone. I AM the Chief cornerstone. I bear the weight so you can run free." “
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30
When you're in the thick of it do you feel the weight, do you feel like the cornerstone? The one holding it all together. What does it look like to stand in the thick of it but not bear the weight of it? Where does my role end and faith begin? These are some of the questions I'm wrestling through. The questions I come to everyday around 5 p.m. when the weight is bearing down.
How do I live in my role but let Him bear the weight so I can run free?