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Running and wrestling

 Running and wrestling

We have so many mental battles in just 24 hours that sometimes we don’t even realize it. Let’s use distance running as an example. Distance runners go through a great deal of mental battles before they achieve miles and miles of running. When you are a beginner at running you learn to speak to your mind and then get your body to follow.

You first start by moving your legs and arms without being sure that you can make it to even just one minute of running. At that point, you are making your body move but your mind is not convinced that you can even do it, it’s just going through the motions.

At first, you feel good when the wind is in your hair and you feel the nice breeze on your face. After about a minute (or depending how badly out of shape you are) your heart rate rises, you start to perspire and feel out of breath. At this point your body starts to speak loud and it’s telling you, “stop!” you can’t do it.

Here comes the mind: jumps into action and gives you two choices: suffer through or stop. That’s just the beginning of the mental fight. Then comes the next run’s fight. Then comes the fight of running again with soreness and pain. Then comes the fight of running the following week. Then comes the fight of having the right diet in order to get better at running. Then comes the fight of getting back on track when you have a set back that forces you to stop, like an injury or getting sick. The mental battle of running is all about the body and getting your body to move. What I love about running is that it forces you to take things one day at a time and start small. As soon as you begin you already know that this will be a lengthy fight and it might take months even years for you to achieve the goal.

Now I’m going to stay in the same subject but switch gears.

Think of everything I said about a mental/physical battle but more in the emotional sense.

Everyone at some point in their lives have experienced some type of trauma or something hard that they lived through. Dealing with emotional pain is just like training your body to run a marathon. The pain that comes from that place is not always processed because emotional pain is complicated. Letting ourselves feel emotional pain that feels like death is part of processing it. However, it is a life long mental battle that not all are able to conquer because not all are willing to put themselves through that fight that deals with the pain. As a matter of fact, going through physical pain might be a little easier than going through emotional pain. Physical pain cannot be avoided if the body is broken or hurt, it just automatically feels the pain and there might be medicine to regulate it. However, when the emotional heart is broken with all of it’s intricate parts and layers, it takes a lot more than a prescription to cure it. It takes The One who built it to fix it.

I am learning that earlier in my life, I swept so much of my unprocessed pain under the rug that as an adult it started to manifest in several erratic and unpredictable behaviors. At times it felt like a mid-life crisis but I knew it was something deeper than that. It took years of God dealing with me personally and others working with me to rip off layers and layers in order for me to realize the incredible amount of hurt that I walk around with. And yes I intentionally said, “walk”, present tense.

This is going to be a life long process for me, especially after discovering these things later in my adult life. I already went through the stage of realizing all of the issues and also went through a period of anger after the diagnosis. That alone took me 2 or 3 years to process.

Now, it’s time for me to walk through it and wrestle with God. When Jacob wrestled with the “man”, he wrestled with the hardest thing that he ever had to do at that moment. He sent everyone ahead because he knew he had to do the wrestling alone. No one can wrestle for you, it has to be your wrestling match. No one can wrestle for you when God goes deep. People can support you and walk a certain distance with you but after a certain point, or certain times, it’s you and God. I have to face this pain the same way I approach the beginning of a run, just emotionally instead of physically. Once I’m positioned in the right place, I have to talk myself into what I am about to put my body through. That place will be like a doctor’s office for my soul. A safe place where I will be able to peel off the smile, let out the harsh words and just be what I feel. There is no safer place then God’s arms. I have to tell myself that this path of healing will be incredibly painful, awkward, and the aftermath will feel awful at first but after a while I have to believe that it will be completely worth it. It will be worth it for the benefit of my loved ones and generations behind and generations to come. What God heals today, He heals in the past and He heals in the future.

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