Guest Post: "Chase This Light With Me"

      Navigating the terrain of singlehood in this day and age is full of twists and sharp turns. And trusting in the goodness of God and the multitude of promises spoken over our lives in the midst of such changes is difficult to say the least. 

     One thing I've realized about myself, is that I'm better equipped and prepared to step into new seasons of life by taking the time to process old and current seasons-especially through the writings in this blog.

     We've hit a theme of sorts in my last blog post, "Excerpts". And I decided that we needed to revisit this revelation that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. And no matter where you are in life, you are worthy of love.

     My good friend and sister in spirit, Bethany Mossburg, is bold and fiery, intelligent and tender. She sent one of her journal entries to me a week ago to simply share her heart. After reading, I knew her writing wasn't just meant for me, but it was meant for you too. I ever so graciously asked if I could share it with you. And thankfully she obliged...


So from Bethany's personal journal to your eyes and heart, "Chase This Light With Me":

     "Tonight, I went running with a friend. As I am currently in the throes of training for both a half and full marathon from veeeeeery little running, it's quite the task to attempt running (and this is only week two). After a very active day, I changed and walked down the street to my neighbor's home. He, a younger brother-like figure to me, was waiting, headphones in and ready to roll. We began moving at a jogger's pace, moving through cul-de-sacs and around bends, occasionally sprinting and then slowing to a walk. But I found myself struggling - my body tensing up and my lungs getting tight. And I knew why.

     Mentally, this run was going to be one of the hardest of my training, and it wasn't because it required much physically. Oh no. THIS was going to be a mental game. A deep mental game. Why?

     Because the last time I went running with someone else - and more specifically, a man - was over a year ago with my ex, "Mr. Man."

     The issue in question had little to do with Mr. Man, really, but rather carried the gravity of our last run encounter. You see, Mr. Man IS a runner. It's what he does. He does it with friends, he does it alone. Mr. Man...is THAT guy, who every other day, like clockwork, hits the pavement in the wee hours of the morning.

     Frankly...I liked that guy. The dedication was a thing of beauty to me. The commitment and, dare I say, calling to one foot in front of the other...even now, I value it. But in that run together - our first as a couple - I found a very deep principle that echoed into our relationship in so many ways:

     Mr. Man would find a way to get his distance in, even if it meant leaving me behind.

     As a less experienced runner (and at the time, someone coming off of a harsh chest cold), in my mind, he had every right to leave me. He wasn't hurtful, but he was silent about my skill (or lack thereof). He wasn't mean, but didn't encourage me either. And as a person who loves words - who allows them to give shape, reason, and meaning to her world - the silence was deafening.

     When he left me to "meet me on the other side of the lake", I thought nothing of it. But last night, it all became stingingly clear: I was waiting for Luke, my friend and brother, to leave me too, because I simply wasn't going to be enough.

     My lungs grew weaker.
   
     My knees started to pull "steadiness" out of the vocabulary of my step.

     My heart started aching.

     And I stopped, breathlessly, to GET IT TOGETHER enough to not seem noticeable.

     Luke, feeling the change (as all good friends do), pulled his headphones out and waited for me to speak. "I'm just tired," I said, hoping to guise my internal monologue of defeat. (Logically, tapping out before someone walks out on you feels better...right? ...Right?)

     "I know, but you can do this. Let's do it together, okay? Just...ten more minutes that you have to do!"

     Look. I'd seen the clock. I knew this man was trying to push me past myself by quite a chunk of time. And for whatever reason, I rolled with it, lungs collapsing and heart bleeding.

     "Okay. Yes. Okay," I said.

...

     Seven minutes of steady jogs and one or two walking breaks later, we were turning a corner when Luke said, "Let's book it all the way back to my house, and then I'll walk you home!"

     "Luke, that's a hill. Can't we start at the truck? Or the other house?"

     "Nope. Come on. No compromise. You can do this. We can do this."

     And there it was.

     The magic word.
     
     "We."

     I started running, and crying a little, and running a little more. I could feel the rain smacking my face, with every drop of resistance the weight of a semi truck against my psyche. But I could see him beside me. I could see his arms moving with mine, his steps paced with mine. And then came the final sprint home.

     "I can't!" I shouted loudly into the street.

     "You CAN! We CAN!" He shouted back.

     And so, like giving birth to a new life, I screamed and pushed myself hard, thudding my tennis shoes onto the pavement and praying for the end to come soon.

     And suddenly. We were home.

...

     As promised, Luke walked me to my house.

     I explained a little of what had happened for me, and he explained that it was his pleasure to be there for me like that - to help in the redefinition of that moment.

     I went into my home, and started the shower water. Surely, that was enough for one night.

     But the Lord is rarely interested in what we deem "enough to function" and far more interested in the fullness of our hearts being restored and recovered.

     In the shower, I cried. And couldn't stop crying. The depth of the uprooted wound had left me feeling a need for gentleness and kindness to come like a salve over my heart and wash through the cracked spaces.

     The Lord started to speak. "Bethany, my love, it's time to let go of the man who left you behind for his own gain, and it's time to let go of the man who left you behind just to prove himself to you," which, that second one is a more recent love-gone-awry tale of insecurity marring a relationship to fractures and fragments. I sobbed.

     "What do I do, then. How do I do that?"

     "When you get out of the shower, take your oil, cream, and perfume. Put them on."

     Now, I have a bottle of oil, a perfumed body lotion, and an actual perfume that are all meant to be worn together. They each smell of different things, but are meant to marry into one. They're expensive. I wear them only on special occasions. And I am running out.

     "But I'll be showering in the morning for work..."

     "I know that. But you're worth it, Bethany. Let Me reanoint you here. Let me cover you with salve and heal your heart. Let yourself be beautiful for no one but you and Me. YOU are the special occasion now."

     And so I did. I sat on my floor, obediently, and spent my costly perfume on myself. I watched the bottle empty down as I went, hearing His heart, and feeling my value.

     Last night reminded me of something: my value doesn't come from me. My worth is not determined by me, or a standard that I uphold for myself. My value doesn't come because Maya Angelou said it or because Ray Charles sang "You Are So Beautiful". My value comes from my heavenly Father.

     I'm worth keeping step with - not being left behind.

     I'm worth confident, self-assured love - not being abandoned to make a point & live in fear.

     I'm worth the most expensive perfumes - because they aren't wasted on me.

     But not because I said so. Because He said so.

     Because it WAS so before the foundations of the earth.

     And because I trust Him, I believe Him."





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     So Beloved, what will you believe today? 

     Often walking in the light involves a pursuit and an exchange of sorts. My interpretation of Bethany's post title, "Chase This Light With Me" took on a double entendre form for me:

     The burdens of our own insecurities become heavy, but when we look up at God's heart for us--Christ's love extended towards us ("The Light"), He makes our load "Light". It's not simply a hope, but a promise.

     We, in and of ourselves suffer great limitation. And I personally can attest to those many moments in life where my own strength and intellect ended, yet where Love's strength arose in me and around me.

     And all of this, as a result of chasing and pursing the "Light", the truth of who we are in God. And embracing the enormity of who He is and what He has already done for us.

     On top of that, believing and knowing, that as you chase the Light, the Light has already been chasing you...




Wisdom's Knocking:

  Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]

Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.

 For My yoke is wholesome (useful,good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.


--Matthew 11:28-30 Amplified Bible (AMP)