Have you ever gone for a run and had those little buzzing insects swarm your head incessantly? If you haven’t, God bless you, but it seems that there’s something about my weave-like hair that attracts them.

Yesterday I decided I needed to run in the blistering heat for a really long time. My body, or maybe just my soul, starts to crave the movement and the outdoors, and before I know it I’m miles from home with enormous dinosaur bugs poking and prodding at my head. There isn’t much that annoys me more than this.

I realized at some point early on that if I stop running the bugs get worse, so the only way to distract myself was to keep running. Only having had Levi 8 weeks ago, running is somewhat of a joke to me, despite how much I love it. So on and on I ran, pushing myself to just keep going.

It always comes down to the same lesson; when we stop moving forward, or moving at all, things are bound to get harder. When we give up, the enemy pursues. And these bugs, these are certainly my enemy. I have been known to call Megan Mastroianni and unload a lovely line of curse words at her in the name of these bugs, solely because she also has lion mane hair and can understand. The more I get angry with the bugs, the less fruitful my run, because who can focus on the beauty of creation and sweat and sun and heat and strength and quiet when there’s a murderous feeling building up in you?

That’s why we’re supposed to carry our crosses with dignity. With calm. With acceptance and suffering. If we stop, we are bound to lose.

I have noticed that God is giving me a second (can I say 100th?) chance at life. He is slowly but persistently knocking on the walls of my heart. I know that I lost a lot of myself in Haiti. I know that a part of me died out there, and this is to no one’s fault but my own. When I stop praying, something in me disappears. I become hungry for the world and almost ravenous with desire; this false desire to live and feel and breathe life, but in the wrong way. I’ve always said that my heart is too wild, and I stand to this, especially now. My heart needs taming and limitations, because when I chase after life in my own way I simply just get lost. I become overwhelmed and cannot see clearly.

God is constantly willing to give us new eyes.

I remember driving down the longest stretch of open road in Haiti in the back of a truck, wind whipping my hair everywhere, the heat so thick you can swallow it, and feeling taken. Feeling entirely overpowered by this huge world and how small we are in comparison. Music would echo throughout the mountains and somehow take over the rhythm of my heart beat. I wondered if I would ever leave those hills; if the chaos of it all would simply just devour me.

Still, God was always knocking. I just didn’t have the eyes to see Him. To see that He was the creator of it all. That no music can be so perfectly played, that no sun could splash color for miles in the sky of purple and pink and orange, that no people so poor could be always laughing, without Him. Without His Divine Hand upon it all. I did not know those days that my smallness was really God showing me how much He made for just me. For all of us. This beautiful world to explore and love and give. Always give.

The most conflicting emotion I’ve ever known is having Levi. How good is it that from my sin came a gift? How can I look at him and regret anything, yet in my heart do just that, regret? Would I ever take it back? No! Hell no for that matter! He’s my Levi. He’s my gift. And God entrusts to His weak so much. If I thought I was held responsible before that was nothing in comparison to this task. My perfect little son, given to a girl with Cystic Fibrosis. All my doctors said to me, “are you sure you have CF? You’re the very first girl we’ve ever had come through here with CF. Must be a miracle baby.” Yes, he must be.

There is simply so much hope. We are bathed and surrounded by hope. Hope is a tangible thing waiting to be grasped by all and always being given by He who is Hope. Of course I wish it hadn’t been this way, to have Levi outside of marriage, but really to have lost so much of myself that led to Levi’s life. But now I do have him, and he’s so good and innocent and precious. So this is my second chance. My next chance. And we all have them, in whatever it is we are stuck and can’t seem to find hope. There is always something new, something waiting for us. God is always knocking, big things and little things.

So me, I’m going to lose some weight. Steroids and emotional eating is not a good combo for any person. So with God, I’m taking control. I’m going to be an advocate for hope. I’m going to follow beauty and listen to His voice within it. I’m going to pray, every day, regardless. I’m going to be honest. Honest about where I’m at. How I’m feeling. Honest about what life is giving. I’m going to forgive. This leads to some of the sweetest tasting grace. I’m going to love Levi to my greatest ability, and never stop seeking our purpose in this messy world.

And I’m not going to let the bugs bother me or slow me down. Yeah, right.


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