Day 100: Lord, take me back to the start

7CC1F70E-F299-4686-A457-21BDB4741F13Sylvester Stalone spoke to his son in one of the most memorable Rocky scene about “believing in yourself.”

“The world ain’t always rainbows and sunshine,” said Rocky Balboa to his son in the popular believe in yourself speech. “It is a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, and no ody is going to hit harder than life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now, if you know what you’re worth, go out and get what you’re worth, but you’ve got to be willing to take the hits and not point fingers saying you’re not where you want to be because of him, her or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that. I’m always going to love you no matter what. No matter what happens. You’re my son and my blood. You’re best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, you’re not going to have a life.”

Sometimes words like these can be hard to hear especially when the world knocks you down to your knees and you lose hope and belief in yourself.

God’s Word also has a memorable scripture about experiencing difficult things. In Romans 5:3-5, the scripture says these hard things happen to teach us, shape us, and help us value who we are, bring us closer to God, and to the people around us – and most importantly, serves as a reminder that we are never, never alone. Each of those moments, God always draws us back to Him.

I love the verse of Proverbs 3:5 which reads, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.”

Sometime we take our eyes off Him while taking hard, painful hits and lose sight of who we are. Sometimes we wander with selfish and empty hearts while trying to control that happened with our own hands instead of leaning on Him. Maybe there is no rhyme or reason, but our Father is calling out to us in our pain, begging us to connect with Him.

Sometimes God uses the tough moments to teach us while shaping our direction. Maybe the road we were on was a terrible one. Maybe we were leaning too deeply on a person who would eventually leave, or chasing love in the wrong places. Maybe we were letting ourselves be the center of the universe, living without true purpose or hope, but all of this disguised by temporary things.

Stallone is right. We do have value, even when we don’t believe or see this worth.

This year I took a friend to Tybee Island’s Annual Critz Tybee Run Fest. It was the five-year anniversary when I ran this race for the first time and a solo race when I experience one of the most difficult times as a wife, runner, and parent. This year’s race brought back so much emotion and a strong desire to seek Him.

The first time I ran this race, I was intending to pound every bit of anger, emotion, and tears on the path of Tybee’s 26.2 mile race. Did it work? Well, yes, but God showed me a bit more. You see, I was aiming, like many of us do when we try to put things in our own perspective on life, to achieve perfection in this race – if I could just try harder, love deeper, and give more. But no matter what I did, said, or how much I pushed myself, I seemed  to forget that bad things just happen and are the inevitable and escaping pain is impossible.

Related story : Day 74: A Light Unto My Path

This year, I was able to celebrate this hope  in God’s love. He reminded me that pain will happen, but I don’t need to feel alone and weak because Jesus already carried my pain. I just needed to do is accept my Father’s love, and allow Him to direct my path and continue to have hope.

Just like the LightHouse story I experienced and wrote down in this blog five years ago, this hope and His light, shown through a symbol of a lighthouse on Tybee Island, carried me to the finish line. I learned that sometimes things will feel a little off, nothing will always appear right, spinning in circles or taking misguided paths will cause dizziness and confusion. That there will be times when I want to quit, run or chase something that makes me feel light looking for another thing hoping to fill a temporary feeling.

That’s when God steps in. He desires to fill us, give us peace in our chaos, rest exhaustion, and healing in our brokenness. He wants to help us find our footing, continue forward “getting us back to the start”. In my case, another starting line where I can once again discover hope and unconditional love of my Father. His reminded promise that even when the world hits us hard breaking us to our knees, He is always here and never leaving.

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